A wood composite is in essence a material that is made from a mixture of natural wood, normally fibres of recycled timber and wood products to which recycled man made material such as recycled plastics are added. The result is a wood composite material that can be moulded or formed into almost any shape and can be used as a replacement for 100% natural wood traditionally used in garden decking.
Garden decking made from wood composite has many benefits over traditional wood decking in that it involves no painting, staining, sealing or sanding. This makes it great low maintenance garden decking solution that does not fade or splinter, it is also more slip resistant than natural timber and comes with our 25 year residential warranty.
The wood used in composite decking boards is sourced from reclaimed / recycled wood that has been discarded by modern industrial process & that thrown away after domestic use.
This reclaimed wood is processed to produce a fine wood flour that forms the wood component of the WPC decking boards.
The 'P' in WPC Decking stands for plastic, not just any old plastic, but reclaimed / recycled plastic that is processed into plastic beads so as to make the plastic easier to process further & in the case of WPC decking easier to process with the recycled wood flour the result being raw wood plastic composite WPC.
Making the Raw WPC
Taking the wood flour and recycled plastic beads as shown above, bonding & colouring agents are added then processed to form what is known as raw wood plastic composite (WPC).
The raw WPC is in a form that can be fed into extrusion, process & injection molding machines that form preset items based upon their internal mold shape.
This manufacturing process allows us to build in subtle design features some of which natural wood just does not have.
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC)
Having read the above you will now understand what the term WPC stands for. The term has become a common term in recent times for a wood composite who's man made component is made from recycled plastic materials. Given the recent interest in global plastic pollution it adds yet another benefit of wood composite WPC over the use of traditional natural wood.
Wood composite is now used to manufacture replacements for all wooden decking components. This results in a garden / outdoor decking structure that looks just as good as traditional natural wood decking, but is virtually maintenance free and has a guaranteed life of at least 15 years (Select decking Products). Unlike natral timber that is grown, WPC decking is manufactured and as such allows for customisable manufacturing processes such as coloured composites, composites with varying textures & who's to know what lies ahead for WPC products, but one thing is for sure. The use of WPC products in modern garden & outdoor structures is only going to grow in the coming years.
Capped Composite Decking
Capped composite decking is the latest development in composite decking products. It is composite decking that has had a durable, moisture-resistant polymer sleeve added during the manufacturing process. While standard WPC decking is durable & long lasting, capped composite decking boards add yet a new dimension to the possibilities for modern wood composites.
As an example note the capped WPC boards used to line the edge of the pool in the picture, you would not try this with natural wood decking boards.
Composite Garden Decking
Garden decking became popular during the mid to late 1990's, it is reported that the increase in popularity of garden decking was in part due to T.V. programs such as 'Ground Force' and its handy man Tommy Walsh. During this time in the UK garden decking, both frames and boards were predominately constructed of 100% natural timber / wood, which over time without maintenance and treatment decayed and rotted.
With the increase in modern garden decking designs also came an increase in calls from environmentalists about the damage that the demands of garden designs that centred around such as raised decking platforms, wood patio walkways etc were having upon the natural resources of forests of the world.
History of Garden WPC Decking
At roughly the same time as traditional wooden garden decking was taking off here in the UK, gardeners and homeowners in the U.S.A who had been using traditional wooden decking for sometime were starting to experiment with a new composite decking material.
This new natural wood / man made fibre composite material, although slightly more expensive than wood soon became the number one choice for all outdoor decking requirements due to its reduced maintenance and increased life over traditional wood decking products.