A Complete Guide to (WPC) Wood Plastic Composite – Composite Lumber

If you are building a new deck in your backyard, you would want to use Wood Plastic Composite decking. WPC decking is an eco-friendly way to increase the value and beauty of your home.

The purpose of this article is to provide the readers with information on wood-plastic composites, or WPCs. In it, you'll be able to learn what this material is, how it's used, where you can find WPC decking materials, and much more.

Many people know that wood-plastic composites (WPC) are flexible, durable, water-resistant, and don't warp. These features make WPC an ideal substitute for natural wood. The environmental benefit of WPC over other materials is evident.

It is an improved alternative to wood in almost every way; its durability can be expected to last more than 15 years under everyday use. It is also resistant to infestation by mold and insect attacks. Visit thecompositecompany.co.za for more information related to WPC.

 

What Is Wood Plastic Composite?

Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is a material made of wood fiber/wood flour and thermoplastic ( Usually polyethylene). As the name implies, the primary ingredients of WPC are wood and plastic. Wood-plastic composite is a relatively new material that has many potential uses.

It is used in outdoor decking, cladding, park benches, privacy screens and planter boxes. Wood-Plastic Composite is also used in automotive parts, such as door panels, floor trim, and exterior trim.

WPC offers numerous advantages over traditional wood products. The wood filler in most composites is wood fiber, which is harvested from wood that would otherwise go to waste. The plastic used in WPC is typically high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is often recycled and comes from post-consumer waste. This makes WPC a renewable resource.

Moreover, a Wood-Plastic Composite is manufactured by binding wood flour or fiber to an amorphous or semi-crystalline polymer resin matrix, with or without pigments. Processing methods include extrusion, compression, injection, and balloting.

The plastic provides wood plastic composite with durability, stiffness, and strength. The wood flour provides a wood plastic composite with moisture resistance, dimensional stability, and workability.

 

Advantages of using WPC:

As WPC becomes increasingly popular, an increasing number of products, such as decking, railings, and fences, are available.

The main advantages of using WPC are:

  1. Low maintenance: WPC surfaces do not require painting or staining.
  2. Low weight: WPC products have a low density compared with natural wood, which is essential for product design.
  3. Electrical conductivity: WPC products have a high electrical conductivity, which means that WPC surfaces are suitable for electrical applications.
  4. High durability: WPC products are resistant to rot and fungal decay.
  5. Fire resistance: The combustion of wood-based materials is more complicated than thermoplastics, so WPC products are resistant to burst.
  6. High stiffness: WPC products have high stiffness, meaning that WPC products can be manufactured in various shapes and sizes.
  7. Sound deadening: WPC products have a high sound insulation capacity, vital for noise control applications.
  8. Low cost: WPC products are relatively economical.
  9. WPC is nontoxic, has good weathering resistance, and is anti-UV, anti-fade, and anti-corrosion.
  10. WPC can brighten up the outdoor space. The natural wood of WPC decking is durable.
  11. WPC can improve the outdoor environment. WPC decking is a kind of environment-friendly material. It requires less energy to produce, and it can be recycled.
  12. WPC can be used for many products. It can be made into various outdoor products, such as decking, railing, fencing, landscaping, siding, trim, molding, furniture, and automotive. WPC is also great for fences because of its ability to resist rotting and insects.

 

Disadvantages Of Wood Plastic Composite

WPC decking has multiple disadvantages compared with timber and plastic. Moreover, timber decking is cheaper than WPC. Furthermore, WPC decking is more brittle than timber.

 

Composite Lumber – Plastic And Wood:

Composite lumber is wood or other organic material combined with or bonded with synthetic resins. Composite lumber is used to substitute non-renewable wood materials, such as pressure-treated lumber, solid wood, plywood, and particleboard.

Once considered experimental, composite lumber has become a mainstream building material. It's a structural building material used in a wide range of framing applications. Composite lumber panels are often used in construction as sheathing, flooring, and trim.

As with other building materials, composite lumber can be manufactured in a large variety of grades and sizes. The rates range from A (the highest quality) to D (the lowest rate). Each step of composite lumber is designated by a letter code, which indicates the tensile strength of the lumber.

The durability of composite lumber depends on the quality of its binder and the thickness of the mixed layer, which is typically 3⁄4 inch. Composite lumber is manufactured in thicknesses of 1⁄2 inch, 3⁄4 inch, and 1 inch.

The composite layer is made by layering the wood fibers and polymer binders to create the desired thickness. The mixed layer is commonly made of wood waste, although reclaimed wood can be used.

Composite lumber is manufactured by a process called co-extrusion. In co-extrusion, the mixed layer is fed into extruders, which squeeze the layers of wood.

 

Wood Plastic Composite Applications

Applications of WPCs include outdoor decking, siding, fences, landscaping timbers, indoor furniture, molding and trim, and door frames. WPCs are often considered a sustainable alternative to other outdoor materials.

WPC production technology is similar to wood flour processing. The first product made was Trex, which is made from polyethylene and wood flour. Production of WPC decking has increased rapidly in recent years.

Wood-plastic composites are also used in cladding, fencing, molding, trim, and window and door frames. In addition to wood, plastics, and fiber, WPCs may contain mineral fillers, pigments, and additives.

The composition of WPCs determines their performance.

 

WPCs Can Be Either Rigid Or Flexible:

Rigid WPCs have a wooden internal structure, while flexible WPCs have a less stringent design than a rigid WPC. Rigid and semi-rigid WPCs are difficult to cut and shape. Rigid and semi-rigid WPCs are most commonly used for outdoor applications such as decking and fences.

Flexible WPCs can be cut, drilled, routed, and snapped. Flexible WPCs can be used for machining parts that are difficult to manufacture with wood.

 

How To Install Wood Plastic Composite Lumber Decking?

Installing a wood plastic composite decking isn't tricky, but it's time-consuming and does require some know-how. It's perfect for do-it-yourselfers who want to save money but don't want to spend hours on installation.

During installation, the decking is fastened to framing timbers using screws. For an even more durable connection, many WPC decking products come with a hidden clip system screwed into the frame.

Before installing a decking board, you must start at the bottom of your deck and work your way up. Although you could install decking boards on all four sides at once, it's much easier to install panels one at a time.

Laying the first row:

  1. Measure the width of the deck. It is best to use the centerline of each board as your guide, but if your decking is curved or irregular, measure from corner to corner instead.
  2. Add 8 inches to each measurement to determine the length of each board.
  3. Cut the board to the desired length for the first row.
  4. Fasten the boards to the edges of the deck using 3 or 4 1/2-inch deck screws.
  5. Continue installing decking boards on all four sides of the deck.
  6. Once all the boards are installed, check to ensure the decking is level and then fasten the decking to the framing using 3 or 4 1/2-inch deck screws.

After the deck is assembled, you can begin installing railing posts.

To install railing posts, first measure the width and length of the deck. Determine the spacing between centers as well as the height of each post. Then, decide whether you want your patio to be supported by railings or posts. Bars are bolted to the camps while posts rest on a deck frame.

 

Take Away:

The Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) industry has experienced significant growth over the past few years. The WPC industry has developed rapidly in recent years, and the market is expected to continue to overgrow during the forecast period.

The WPC industry is primarily driven by factors such as; the increasing applications of WPC in residential, commercial, and infrastructure sectors, increasing demand for indoor/outdoor flooring, the rising use of WPC in automotive and marine applications, the increasing demand of WPC in packaging applications, increasing demand for WPC in industrial applications, increasing use of WPC in furniture, the growing use of WPC in industrial construction and the increasing use of WPC in infrastructural applications.

However, high raw material costs, stringent environmental regulations, high processing costs, and fluctuating prices of crude oil and petroleum-based polymers are limiting the industry's overall growth.

Here we have described wood plastic composite. If you are interested in buying products related to WPC, visit our website thecompositecompany. Moreover, you acknowledge our different products like Decking Boards, Screen & Fascia, Corner Edge Trim, Cladding, Decking Fasteners, and items related to Cleaning / Care.

How have you found the article? Share your feedback in the comment section below.