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The Structure And Mechanics Of Cork

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The excellence of cork for stopping bottles, for thermal and sound insulation, and as a shock-absorbing material for flooring and packaging is due to the special shape, size and structure of its cells. When loaded, the cell walls bend or buckle, giving large recoverable deflexions and large energy absorption. We have investigated the structure of cork and have measured its moduli and other mechanical characteristics. These can be broadly explained in terms of cell-wall deformation.