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Traditionally, teak has been the standard material used in the marine industry to build decks for different types of vessels. However, increasing environmental concerns have been raised over recent years regarding the impact of this material on ecosystems and natural resources. That is way it is so urgent to review current practices in order to protect future generations.

Cork composites are Navicork by Amorim’s response to the marine industry’s needs. In addition to being a 100% natural, reusable and recyclable raw material, cork has a variety of technical characteristics, such as lightness, acoustic and thermal insulation and resistance to friction, which are ideal for such applications.

Cork’s attractive visuals and versatility actively contribute to the promotion of unique, disruptive and innovative design projects, opening up new opportunities for this industry.

Cultivating the future by preserving forests

Deforestation and the illegal exploitation of forests are two of the problems associated with the marine industry that have raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of traditional solutions.

Unlike what happens in the production of tropical hardwoods, no trees are felled or damaged in the cork extraction process, only their outer bark is removed. The cork oak is the only tree whose outer bark regenerates itself and can be harvested approximately 17 times throughout its life cycle, which, on average, is 200 years.

The cork oak forest, from which cork is cyclically extracted, is also an important ecosystem for preserving biodiversity, and is considered by UNESCO as part of one of the world’s 36 most important biodiversity hotspots. Furthermore, cork oak forests prevent soil degradation, making them more productive, regulate the hydrological cycle, combat desertification and constitute a major carbon sink. For every ton of cork produced, the cork forest sequesters up to 73 tons of CO2

Cork decking and its contribution to the marine industry

NAVICORK by Amorim entered the maritime industry with the mission of developing high-performance cork solutions for decks for different types of vessels, seeking to inspire and challenge the sector’s status quo. The company has cutting-edge technology, as well as a capacity for innovation that is unique in the world in terms of developing new cork composite solutions.

NAVICORK is part of Amorim – the world’s largest cork processing group. The group bases its operations on strong sustainability credentials, with a positive impact on climate regulation, providing a range of solutions, materials and articles for some of the world’s most technological, disruptive and demanding activities. Committed to fostering a solid and dynamic future, with sustainability and technical performance as its main benchmarks, Amorim’s strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The solution developed for marine decks – Navicork FD01 – offers a distinct and refined look to vessels while promoting a soft and fresh sensation when walking, providing extraordinary comfort for passengers.

The transition from traditional materials to more sustainable solutions, such as cork, represents a step towards a more responsible and environmentally conscious approach for the boatbuilding sector.

Without change there is no innovation and without innovation we may undermine the future of the planet and future generations. For further information about these solutions, get in touch with us.

1 Source: Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), 2016