Combining the low weight, sustainability and feel of cork, with the processability of plastics...
The main quantity of natural cork which is harvested today is used as pressed cork or mixed with PU or rubber. The processing of this kind of cork can be expensive and require a lot of energy. We have developed a special manufacturing method to combine natural cork with thermoplastic raw materials. Meaning Lifocork can be processed using typical thermoplastic processing methods such as injection moulding, extrusion or thermoforming.
Cork - a renewable raw material
Cork is a natural product which comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. The removal of the bark does not harm the trees and the bark is only harvested after the first 20 years of growth. The removal stimulates a steady regeneration of the bark. Each cork tree provides on average 16 harvests over its 150-200 year lifespan.
Cork itself has a cell-like structure which is light and highly compressible. It is used in construction, sports, industrial and household applications.
- Hardness 50 to 98 Shore A
- Low density
- Different base materials
- Customized materials possible – we make your desired compound with your desired properties
- UV resistant
- Resistant against sweat and hand cream
- Resistant against moisture and water
- Soft touch surface
- Natural cork optics
- Different colors possible
- Easy processing through injection molding, extrusion or thermoforming
- Good abrasion
- Can be foamed with blowing agents
It’s also possible to make foamed parts from Lifocork. This offers materials with very low densities (as low as 0.45 g/ccm) and therefore gives lightweight parts. The foamed Lifocork also gives a damping, shock absorbent effect, ideal for orthopaedic shoe lifts and inserts.
Lifocork can be processed using thermoplastic processing methods. In injection moulding it can be processed using standard equipment. Lifocork can also be processed in 2-component moulding. It has an excellent bond to TPE, PP and PE. Other processing methods include extrusion or thermoforming with a double belt press.
Lifocork is suitable for a wide range of applications, with new ideas being introduced every day. Its comfortable feel and non-slip texture make it a good choice for handles and grips, where it has been used in sports equipment, tools and household items. Lifocork has also been used to manufacture bowls, trays, boxes and plant pots and toys.
In 2K applications, the material can be overmoulded or co-extruded onto TPE, PP or PE. Allowing for sophisticated designs and enhancing consumer appeal with the integration of a soft-touch area.
Plates, belts, endless tapes and tech profiles can be manufactured from Lifocork via the extrusion process. You also get a damping effect for orthopaedic shoe lifts by foaming Lifocork.
We offer coloured Lifocork compounds or it can be easily coloured using a standard PE masterbatch, opening up even more design possibilities.
Download the Lifocork Product Guide
For further information about our Lifocork products please contact lifocork@hexpolTPE.com