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Ultra-Low Maintenance Wood Plastic Composites

SpecialChem / Nov 1, 2010

Wood plastic composites (WPCs) are used broadly in outdoor decking and railing as well as applications like fencing, siding, and outdoor furniture. WPCs have long been marketed as 'low maintenance', especially compared to pressure-treated wood, because they do not require routine staining or painting to protect the surface. However, WPC manufacturers have struggled with aesthetic issues such as color fade, poor scratch resistance in some formulations, and stains. Stain problems include oil or food soaking into the WPC as well as mold and mildew growth. Suppliers have used additives such as biocides, UV stabilizers, and improved colorants to attack these problems. In March, PolyOne Corporation announced development of a patent-pending fiber treatment technology aimed at enhancing resistance to weathering, scratching, and staining. Additive solutions may have a place, but the current industry trend is to use either a...

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