Ultra High-Density Cork
Suberra is made from 100% post industrial recycled cork. Cork is the quintessential rapidly renewable resource. The bark of a cork oak tree grows three to four inches thick after the first twenty years of the tree’s life. This bark can be harvested from the same tree every nine years without harming the tree, which will continue to grow for several hundred years.
Most of the world’s cork is grown in Portugal. Because of the longevity offered by the harvesting of cork from oak trees, the recurring revenue stream is highly beneficial to the people of Portugal. The bark is stripped from the tree and wine corks are the first product pressed out. The rest of the bark is mulched and used for flooring, tack board, and in the case of Suberra, countertops pressed to the same density as oak.
As more and more wine bottles use screw-on aluminum tops, there is a growing supply of dense, renewable cork. The strength of cork is something that is often overlooked. A waxy, tannin-rich substance called suberin permeates the bark to protect oaks from the exterior, and naturally gives cork its durability. When heated the suberin acts as a natural binder, expanding and adhering to itself. Because of its closed cell structure, cork is naturally non-porous meaning it resists stains and does not harbor bacteria. This makes Suberra an ideal surface for food preparation where sanitation is a must.
Just as cork insulates the interior of oak trees, so does it work perfectly as a natural insulator for buildings. When coupled with a rainscreen system Suberra makes an excellent exterior insulator for any building or home. Exposure to outside heat only causes the suberin to further adhere to itself, thus requiring zero adhesives or binders.
There are several industrial applications for cork. Many automobile gaskets are made from cork due to their heat resistance and strength. Cork has been used on the decking of schooner ships for its wear and water resistance, and even on the cone of the space shuttle because it would not burn up or deteriorate upon entry into the atmosphere.
Because cork is non-porous, it will not absorb stains and finishes. Suberra can be burned to darken the color, but will also expand from the heat. A stain can be applied to the surface and then covered with a commercial sealer or finish. Over time this sealer will wear off before the cork shows its age.
Suberra blocks for countertops and work surfaces are made of 99% cork, and less than 1% polyurethane binder. It is tested by a third party that rates 100% bio-based material, and is completely compostable. Even though it is made from 100% recycled material, it is strong enough for countertop and commercial food service areas. Normal cork is usually 12-16 pounds per cubic foot, while Suberra is 31 pounds cubic foot, the same density as oak wood.
- Counter & Table Tops
- Interior Wall Paneling
- Cutting Boards
- Sound Attenuation
- 99% Post Industrial Recycled Material
- Endlessly Recyclable
- No Heat or Cold Sink
We sell Suberra in 1 1/4” raw slabs intentionally oversized at 25 1/2” x 36 1/2”, to yield a 25” x 36” finished slab. Fabricating Suberra is incredibly simple, as it machines easily with wood-working tools. We recommend biscuit joint and epoxy or wood glue to produce a virtually undetectable seam to the Suberra. Depending on the application of the Suberra, a wood sealer can be used to retain its durability, though it is not necessary.
We offer Suberra cork slabs in two colors: Natural & Chocolate. Please contact us for specific information about each color.
Possible LEED® Credits
- MR4 | 1-2 Points
- MR6 | 1 Point
- MR7 | 1 Point
Our Value-Added Services Division
EcoCuts is the value-added services division of EcoSupply. By combining CAD software, cutting and machining services, our suite of sustainable materials and decades of experience, EcoCuts can deliver value added solutions to help you achieve your project goals.