Wood Plastic Composites or WPCs – the term usually used to designate materials or products made of one or more natural fibres or flours and a polymer or a mixture of polymers. Natural fibres and flours come from different sources (e.g. wood, rice husk, hemp, sisal, jute, kenaf, coconut, flax, almond, bamboo, grass) and all kinds of polymers (virgin or recycled) can be used but currently the most common ones are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP) and high density polyethylene (HDPE).
Wood Plastic Composites or WPC are gaining popularity as a safe, environmentally sustainable and long-lasting material for use in outdoor decks, patios, bridges, claddings, park benches, fences, railing, etc. There is also a growing market for potential indoor uses such as door frames, trim and furniture. Today, composite products can be found everywhere from National Parks to your neighbor’s backyard.
Wood Plastic Composites offer a wide range of advantages over alternatives such as impregnated wood and naturally durable cedar or redwood: weather resistance, long service life and require very low maintenance. Composite products also play a role in developing a more sustainable future: many WPC products use recycled plastic and wood as raw materials in the manufacturing process.
Although the technology is not new, there is growing interest in the new design possibilities this combination of materials offers.