THE VERY FIRST CELL...
was identified by the English scientist
Robert Hooke, who observed tiny pieces of
cork under a microscope. Hooke observed
small cavities which he named “cells”
(from the Latin cella = enclosed space,
Representation of Hooke’s first microscope
(from the book “Micrographia” by Robert Hooke).
Drawings of Robert Hooke after observing the
cork cells under a microscope (“Micrographia”
by Robert Hooke)
The cork cells are grouped into a characteristic honeycomb structure. Each cell has
the form of a minute pentagonal or hexagonal prism, that can measure between
10 and 50 thousandths of a millimetre.
Each cubic centimetre of cork contains
around 40 million cells which are laid out
in rows perpendicular to the trunk of the
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF CORK
The great secret of cork lies in the gas mixture similar to
air that fills each cell and the percentage of suberin in the
The high percentage of gas of each cell is responsible for
the extraordinary lightness of cork, while the association
of these cells as if they were small pillows joined together
is responsible for its elasticity and compressibility.
Cork can be compressed to half its size without losing
AN INIMITABLE PERSONALITY!
It is impossible to mimic so many features simultaneously in a single material! There is no material in the world
like cork ... none that is able to unite all of these features:
> Excellent thermal and acoustic insulation
> Impermeable to liquids and gases
> Excellent resistance to fire and high temperatures
> High friction resistance
> Excellent elasticity and compressibility
> Good resilience
> Extremely light and buoyant
> Soft to the touch