The WPC or Wood Plastic Composites have revolutionized the decking and flooring segment because of their invincibility, usability, strength, and flexibility towards applications. These materials are formed as a result of a combination of plastics (including polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polylactide, and polyethylene among others) and the wooden fiber/powder.
These composites also have certain chemical additives, which can provide a boost to the integration of wooden powders and polymers. They are useful towards the achievement of the optimal condition during the various processes. WPC is now a well-recognized flooring product as well, which consists of an outer veneer made up of vinyl, while the core can be extruded and could be devoid of wooden fiber.
Advantages of WPC that revolutionized the flooring segment
WPC flooring, as well as outdoor decks, can offer many different advantages. Many of the advantages of the WPC floors are a “first” for a flooring material, as no other material could earlier provide it. Some of the unique advantages of WPC floors are listed below.
- They cost the least towards maintenance.
- WPC floors are more environmentally friendly. They can be formed by the use of waste products of the wooden industry as well as the waste plastics.
- They do not corrode easily and hence can have a wide range of flooring and decking applications. They can resist the marine borer attacks, and do not rot and decay.
- Chemical treatments including acetylating can further increase the performance of WPC products in the wet environment.
- WPC offers ample flexibility to the manufacturers. They can be conveniently reformed through the use of woodworking tools.
- While wood does not offer any flexibility towards molding, this new composite can be molded so that it can attain any many different kinds of shapes.
Production of WPC flooring and decking products
The production of wood and plastic composites initiates with the mixing of the wooden powder and the plastic or polyvinyl resins (which are at a high temperature). The mixture is subsequently molded into desired shape through injection, molding, or through extrusion. As the end product can differ widely, the coupling agents, coloring agents, UV stabilizers, foaming agents and other materials can also be added to the main mixture in order to specifically tailor the product and make it match the desired end specifications.
Apart from the WPC decking and flooring materials, which have a somewhat different composition, the composite is used in a wide variety of products today. They are used in the outdoor decks and floors (like those found in the garden and swimming pools), indoor and window panels, claddings, sidings, park benches, and even in the home and office furniture. Because these new materials have lots of advantages over the wood products and other materials, their usage is likely to grow manifold in future