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Wood-plastic Composites Gain Popularity

SpecialChem / May 18, 2005

Composites of wood and thermoplastics are growing rapidly due to their wide acceptance in strong and durable outdoor decks and fences, window and door profiles, spas and marina boardwalks. In many cases, the composites are replacing wood for these applications, but unlike wood, the composites are resistant to rot and insects and require little maintenance. Compared to extruded plastic profiles, the wood composites are stronger and more rigid. Although wood-plastic composites are usually more expensive than solid wood, this differential is shrinking as processors find more efficient ways to produce the composites. Use of recycled resins in composites can further drive down costs. Even with the current cost structure, many consumers are willing to pay a slight premium for the composites in return for the benefits they offer. Supply issues affecting markets for wood-plastic composites include the availability of high-quality wood fillers and the recycled plastic resins often used to make the composites.

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