Other applications of cork
Cork is obtained from the cork oak tree which is grown extensively in Portugal and the Mediterranean type climate greatly facilitates its growth. The cork oak tree has a very thick bark which is known as cork and once it attains a certain amount of thickness, the cork is extracted from the tree to be harvested fro over a decade. Cork had been used to perform manifold functions since antiquity but in recent times, its most prominent functions has been by serving as cork stoppers for the wine bottles. However, there are several other fields in which cork is used. This has been possible due to the foray of newer technological innovations which has enabled cork to be used in automobile, military and space industries, for footwear, building and architecture, as tiles in floors, and furniture etc. Certain materials obtained from corks as derivatives are used for such purposes like black agglomerate, white agglomerate and the rubbercork.
The black agglomerate is a material derived from the cork wastes after being subjected to extensive heating at certain stipulated temperature conditions. It has significant artistic uses as owing to its dark coloring it is often used for ornamental purposes. However it is also used as vibration, thermal and acoustic insulators. Grinding of virgin corks gives rise to white agglomerates and they are used to perform multifarious functions. It has industrial uses as well by acting as applications in case of machineries. White agglomerates are also used as constituents to construct various sports goods like hockey and baseball balls, golf clubs and rackets and many others. It has also several other uses as being used as components in the making of computer printers, handbags, fishing rods, buoys, floats, carpets, helmets. The rubbercork refers to another kind of agglomerate which is made of a combination of rubber and cork grains and is used extensively in electrical and automobile industries.