Wrecking of cork pieces in a star mill. “Broken” is sectioned again to produce granules of various sizes, which are calibrated by nets. After this, these different size granules are separated in densimetric tables, which selects the core of the cork.
Drying and Storage
The granulated cork of different sizes is stored in silos with a drying system. This step of the process is crucial because a low moisture level prevents the development of microorganisms and of their by-products.
Disinfection and Decontamination
The granulated cork is transferred into a rotating drum in which water and alcohol vapor are injected at a certain pressure and temperature, which substantially eliminates cork aromas and disinfects the granulated cork.
After the mixture of the granulated cork with approved agglutinating chemical products, it is agglomerated in moulds where the cork bodies gain form. Because our highly innovative process of individual moulding, it has been patented in 2013 (EP 2 733 086 B1, Machine for manufacturing bodies of cork agglomerate, in particular stoppers to be used in the oenological field), by the European Patent Office. This technology has allowed us to produce agglomerated cork stoppers with better mechanical properties.
Gluing of natural cork disks with agglutinating chemical approved for contact with food products.
Dimensional rectification (diameter, length and chamfer).
Disinfection of the external part of the cork stopper with food contact approved chemical products.
Process in which every semi-finished cork stopper is visually analysed in order to remove defects and to separate the disks in visual classes.
Cork stopper personalization according with the logo of the client. The fire branding could be made in the body and/or in the tops; the ink printing is only performed in the body of the cork stopper. Also, surface treatment of the cork stopper with a paraffin emulsion (waterproof/non absorption functions) and with silicone (for lubrification, which regulates the insertion and extraction forces).
Packaging and Transportation
For final clients (bottlers, wineries), packaging in plastic bags, vacuum sealed and with SO2, and its posterior accommodation in card boxes. For distributors, packaging in raffia bags (aerated).