The transfer of oxygen through a corked bottleneck was investigated using a manometric technique.
First, the effect of cork compression on oxygen transfer was evaluated without considering the glass/cork interface. No significant effect of cork compression (at 23% strain, corresponding to the compression level of cork in a bottleneck for still wines) was noticeable on the effective diffusion coefficient of oxygen. The mean value of the effective diffusion coefficient is equal to 10–8 m2 s–1, with a statistical distribution ranging from 10–10 to 10–7 m2 s–1, which is of the same order of magnitude as for the non-compressed cork.
Then, oxygen transfer through cork compressed in a glass bottleneck was determined to assess the effect of the glass/cork interface. In the particular case of a gradient-imposed diffusion of oxygen through our model corked bottleneck system (dry cork without surface treatment; 200 and ~0 hPa of oxygen on both sides of the sample), the mean effective diffusion coefficient is of 5 × 10–7 m2 s–1, thus revealing the possible importance of the role of the glass/stopper interface in the oxygen transfer.
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