ThermaCork is probably one of the most resource efficient uses of cork that there is. ThermaCork is made from pieces of cork that would otherwise be wasted and does so with very little use of external energy resources.
After cork is harvested off the oak tree, the cork and wood is separated. When the cork is brought to the factory, all parts of it are used in the production of ThermaCork. First the cork is deposited in a silo and carried in a channel which vibrates, separating out impurities. This process creates dust, which instead of being wasted, is used as fuel for production. Between 90 - 93% of the energy needed to create ThermaCork comes from this dust.
After the vibrating sorting process, the cork pieces that remain are then ground into granules that are put into a block shaped form. Super-heated steam (350 - 370 C) is injected into the block which expands the cork. Because the form is in a closed block and is receiving pressure inside and outside, it binds naturally with its own resin.
So essentially, ThermaCork = cork + water, nothing else. It doesn’t get much more natural than that.
After the block is heated, it is cooled by carefully injecting water into the core of the block. Once cooled, the block rests for 10 days to stabilize its dimensions. Then it is ready to be cut into the dimensions that are requested by the customer.
You can learn more by viewing the two videos on this page.