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Reinforcing Used Plastics To Help (Re)Cycle Their Way Out of Landfills

SpecialChem / May 24, 2010

Plastics and wood-plastic composites (WPC) have been known to be the materials of choice for building and construction applications like decking, railing, fencing, door and window profiles, and marine structures. Wood and natural fiber composites are promoted as 'green' because they replace a portion of the petroleum-based plastic with a renewable resource, which is sometimes even a waste product like wood flour or rice hulls, and may use recylate in the plastic portion. Other companies are taking a slightly different approach, using recycled plastic and strengthening it with reinforcing fibers for structural applications.

Trelleborg Marine Systems, a business within the Swedish engineering company Trelleborg AB, produces Ecoboard®, SeaPile® and SeaTimber® composites from recycled plastics, reinforced with chopped glass fibers or glass fiber rebars, for use in marine applications like jetty structures, structural piles, fender piles and systems, piers, railings, and walkways. The materials are impervious to marine borers, without the use of chemical treatments needed for wood. The company says these materials are maintenance-free, with no warping, corrosion, mold, or decay, and come with a 50 year limited warranty.

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