Innovation on Cork Composite Solutions

Amorim Cork Composites

Affirming itself as a leading international company in the research, development and production of cork composite solutions, Amorim Cork Composites develops ground-breaking concepts and has launched innovative products, applications and solutions in the market.

The new worlds of cork

The company proposes to reinvent the world using the unique raw material of cork, based on the know-how, expertise and savoir-faire provided by its technological research, scientific experimentation and laboratory prototyping.

Amorim Cork Composites also offers a paradigm model of the circular economy, since it recycles, reuses and reinvents by-products from other business sectors.

i.cork factory

In order to stimulate the capacity to innovate, develop differentiated materials and test new composites, Amorim Cork Composites inaugurated the i.cork factory in October 2018, which is a mix between a factory, a laboratory and a test centre, with a hands-on spirit.

This pilot-workshop will offer valid answers to the many challenges posed by the 25 different business segments in which Amorim Cork Composites currently operates, including some of the most world’s most demanding technological and advanced business sectors, such as aerospace, construction, automobile, electric, sport or design. The company always combines Research & Development and Innovation (R & D + i) with highly specialised, qualified and efficient engineering processes.

This formula has been upheld since the company was founded in 1963. The results are clearly visible, both in terms of the number of projects that have been successfully implemented, and the multiplicity, complexity and heterogeneity of the products, solutions and applications that are made available to customers, institutions and industries. One example is the development of a new cork composite for the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV), the development of an innovative cork-based material for an installation at the Turbine Hall gallery, in the world-famous Tate Modern in London, or the development of a revolutionary cork-and-concrete solution for the Lisbon Cruise Terminal.

The company has also developed a new cork composite for the decks of river cruise ships, an innovative cork-based material for public leisure spaces, and a revolutionary cork infill solution for synthetic turf pitches.

This diverse range of products exploits cork’s unique characteristics, such as lightness, comfort, durability, safety, sustainability, shock absorption and thermal, acoustic and anti-vibration insulation capacity. These same unique qualities have also seduced world giants, such as NASA (Scout, Space Shuttle or Falcon projects), Siemens (Inspiro surface meter), Boeing (Delta IV program), SpaceX (rockets) or CP (Alfa Pendular trains), and also artists, designers and architects such as Britain’s Tom Dixon (Chlesea Flower Show 2019), Norway’s Lars Beller Fjetland (Porto and Lisbon cork tiles), the US designer Jeremy Barbour (Claus Porto store in New York), Brazil’s Irmãos Campana (the Sobreiro furniture line), Switzerland’s Herzog & de Meuron and China’s Ai Wei wei (Sepertine Pavillion 2012).

In fact, a deep passion for cork, complemented by extensive research and experimentation were the core foundations of the Metamorphosis programme, which enabled Amorim Cork Composites to implement visionary proposals by artists such as Álvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, João Luís Carrilho da Graça, Manuel Aires Mateus, Herzog & de Meuron, Alejandro Aravena, Amanda Levete, James Irvine, Jasper Morrison or Naoto Fukasawa. Expanding the limits of this raw material to unimaginable levels.

The different formats of materials are another of Amorim Cork Composites' principal vectors of innovation. On the basis of this assumption, the company has developed the Extrucork materials programme, which provides cork composites mixed with biopolymers that enable cork to be injectable, extrudable, mouldable and thermoformable, making it possible to create unprecedented forms, opening doors to different applications and discovering new areas, spheres and areas of intervention.

Amorim Cork Composites also offers a paradigm model of the circular economy, since it recycles, reuses and reinvents by-products from other business sectors. One of the most recent examples of this eco-friendly stance is its partnership with Nike. This is a close collaboration in which Amorim Cork Composites, in a perfect industrial symbiosis, is incorporating correctly recycled materials from the North American multinational to create innovative composites.

Highlighted Projects

R&D and Innovation by business unit

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