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CORK NEWS: Congrats Amorim!

Awarded Top-10 2013 Building Product by  


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The harvest is where it starts...

And then it comes to us...


 The Small Planet Workshop has picked up the trend: Cork Insulation. We are the first US distributers of cork in the US and want to let you know why cork is the best choice for insulation. 

“A huge variety of wildlife is dependant upon the maintanience of these cork oak forests as in the prevention of desertification.”

The forests cover a total area of 735,000 hectares (approx. 1,816,224 acres) and each tree produces cork every 9 years.  Cork forests prevent soil desertification and provides local employment in the forestry sector. The cork forests are also important for maintaining the biodiversity that is unique to Europe. Plus, Portuguese forests of cork oak trap 5 million tons of C02 every year“Ecologically, the cork forests absorb carbon on a significant scale, assiting in reducing the impact of carbon emissions and other green house gasses.”


“The material is clearly renewable and recyclable unlike materials that are by-products of fossil fuels.” -Amorim Group



Production process:

1: The raw materials are from Portugal in Silves (Algarve) and Vendas Novas (90 km/55.9 miles south of Lisbon).

  • Extraction/external exposure: following pruning of cork oak; extracted both manual and mechanical. The sun, wind, and rain act as catalyst of the falca (virgin cork). Highlight: No inclusion of foreign matter occurs anywhere in the process. The process is known for its extremely low embodied energy during manufacturing.                      

2: ‘Natural’ industrial process granulates cork by size for specific application. The cork is then subject to superheated steam and pressure which induces expansion and releases natural resin (suberin) to create a free adhesive to permantly bond the granules.

  • Blocks/autoclave released and cooled with recycled water approx. 100 degrees C. (33.8 degree F)
  • Automated packaging and labeling then transport by land or sea freight.

Post: blocks broken down and recycled as the main energy source for the heating process- 90% consumed is biomass. Any wastage from the industrial process is 100% renewable by using the cork and granules.


3: Best insulator: agglomerated form keeps properties, stays unaltered which is great as a thermal or acoustic insulator. Its versability includes:

  • dscf0364.jpgStandard quantities and densities for thermal insulation
  • High density for vibration
  • Special quantiies and forms for decorations
  • Insulation and acoustic corrections
  • Wedge shaped for flat roofs
  • Isolating coating for industrial pipes

Here is a video of the samples we used to show you how to apply cork into the walls: 

4: Application: Although there are many applications, at The Small Planet Workshop we are using it for insulation:


  1. Thermal for roofs and attics 
  2. Thermal walls (ventalation space)
  3. Thermal flat roofing
  4. Thermal sub-pavements
  5. Thermal and acoustic of external walls
  6. Insulation against vibrating noises
  7. Anti-fire and insulation doors

  • Standard density: > 110/120 kg/m3
  • Thermal condition from 0.037 – 0.040 w/mk
  • Resistance to breaking
  • Dimensional stability
  • Durability without losing any of its main characteristics
  • Thermal, acoustic, anti-vibration insulation
  • Natural and ecological insulation
  • Does not react to chemical agents
  • Does not release toxic gases when exposed to fire
  • Recyclable
  • Not attacked by rodents




Cork Fact: Convent de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra (Convent of the Holy Cross of the Sintra Mountains) in Sintra, Portugal was founded in 1560. The pictures are what the convent looks like in 2012.  convent-sintra1.jpg








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Information provided by: Amorim Group. Amorim Group has been focused on providing focus to these topics since 1963. By 1987 the group established the organization Expocor to effectively market the numerous innovative cork products.