As the number of new homes increases, with more space for the little cosy alfresco corner in the form of a balcony and a patio, the demand for wood and non-wood decking products is also seen on the rise.
Analysing and identifying good Wood Plastic Composite decking is a difficult task since there are many WPC brands available in the market at different prices.
Wood Plastic Composite decking, is in short known as WPC decking and is one of the best and most popular outdoor decking options available in the market today.
The following will help you in choosing the best WPC decking for your indoor and outdoor decking needs.
1. Differences in Raw Materials Used
The main raw materials of WPC decking are recycled wood powder and plastic. Though they are recycled materials, from place to place they differ greatly in texture and quality.
Take wood powder, for example, Wood Plastic Composite decking made in Southeast Asia and China mainly uses the wood powder that is discarded by the plywood industry and generally, it is Poplar wood powder.
Poplar is softwood and when it is made into plywood, glue is added. Therefore, this kind of wood powder contains a relatively high content of formaldehyde, which is poisonous.
As for plastic, they mainly use PE, which is recycled plastic. which are already recycled 3-4 times, thus containing high levels of hazardous materials. This weakens the WPC and thus, in turn, has a bad impact on the durability of WPC decking.
For high-end WPC decking, for example, Japanese WPC decking, the Japanese usually build wooden houses using hardwood. Therefore, there is a lot of good-quality hardwood powder available for use in Japan.
So when it is converted into plywood, only minimal quantities of glue are added. So this contains only a little formaldehyde.
As for recycled plastic, many manufacturers directly collect it from big companies like McDonald’s, Sony, etc. so the quality of plastic used is better.
2. Whether it contains the Antioxidant and Anti-UV agent.
A good WPC decking usually contains an antioxidant and anti-UV agent to prevent colour fading, but the cost will be 5 USD/sq.m more than the plain decking without these additives. Most low-price WPC decking doesn’t contain these additives.
3. The weight per meter and density of Wood Plastic Composite Decking.
Many high-end WPC deckings weigh 2.5 – 3.0 kilos/meter and have a high density which ensures Wood Plastic Composite decking does not twist or shrink. However, it does not mean the heavier the better, because some manufacturers add stone powder into raw materials in order to make clients believe their decking is good.
However, it is definitely not very good for the quality of WPC because stone and wood powder hardly blend. In the course of time, the Surface of these deckings will peel off layer by layer.
4. Technological differences.
Many low-quality WPC decking manufacturers put plastic, wood powder and colourant directly into Giant blenders/machines which produce WPC decking in a single-step process.
However, the high-end WPC decking manufacturers will first dry the wood powder( if the wood powder contains water, it is difficult to blend it with plastic and bad for the service life of WPC decking).
Then they blend the dry wood powder with plastic and add antioxidants, anti-UV additive and finally the colour pigments.
The blended materials are shaped into small round pieces and finally shaped into WPC decking as per design. The quality of this decking can be monitored and maintained if manufactured this way.
But the production speed of good Wood Plastic Composite decking is slow. In other words, the higher the quality, the slower the production speed will be.
In general, we must be aware of the raw materials and the technology used, in order to identify whether it is a high-end WPC decking or not. Always ask your suppliers for more information and be a smart buyer.
If you have any questions regarding WPC decking, Aluminum WPC hybrid, or any other type of decking, drop us a line.
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