Learn more about composite (WPC) deck tile materials
What’s all this noise about “composites”?
Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) are composite materials made of wood fiber/wood flour and plastic(s), (including PE, PP, and PVC). Many of the balcony deck tiles in our inventory are made of WPC. They were carefully selected because not only are they beautiful, they’re resistant to issues that wood is prone to. This makes them low-maintenance!
Wood-plastic composites are new materials relative to the long history of natural lumber as a building material. The most widespread use of WPCs in North America is in outdoor deck floors, but it is also used for railings, fences, landscaping timbers, park benches, window and door frames, and indoor furniture. Wood-plastic composites were first introduced into the decking market in the early 1990s. Manufacturers claim that wood-plastic composite is more environmentally friendly and requires less maintenance than the alternatives of solid wood treated with preservatives or solid wood of rot-resistant species. These materials can be moulded (shaped) easily in the manufacturing process.
Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) are produced by thoroughly mixing ground wood particles and heated thermoplastic resin. The most common method of production is to extrude the material into the desired shape, though injection molding is also used.
Polyethylene based WPCs are by far the most common. Additives such as colorants, coupling agents, UV stabilizers, blowing agents, foaming agents, and lubricants help tailor the end product to the target area of application. Extruded WPCs are formed into both solid and hollow profiles. A large variety of injection molded parts are also produced, from automotive door panels to cell phone covers.
WPCs do not corrode and are highly resistant to rot and decay.
WPCs offer a wide range of advantages over alternatives such as pressure-treated lumber and naturally durable cedar or redwood: weather resistance, long service life and lower maintenance, to name a few. These products also play a role in developing a more sustainable future: many WPCs use recycled plastic and wood as raw materials in the manufacturing process.