5 amazing facts about WPCs
Wood composites include a range of different derivative wood products, all of which are created by binding the strands, fibers or boards of wood together. The ability of wood composites to be tailored to specific uses, together with their strength properties and affordability, makes them a sustainable solution to reducing the need for solid wood. Over time since the process for producing it was patented in Milan in 1960, WPCs have been successfully applied in all forms of building, from small home projects to industrial construction work, all over the globe. As technology in manufacturing them advances, here are 2 amazing facts you need to know about WPCs and how you can take advantage of them during construction.
1. It is man-made
One of the main advantages of wood composite is that it is manmanufactured. Instead of the manual cutting of real wood, WPCs use technology to replicate the look of wood but make it more versatile. WPCs can be designed for specific design requirements. It can be produced in various thicknesses, grades, sizes and exposure durabilities, as well as manufactured to take advantage of the natural strength characteristics of wood (while not lacking the natural look and color of real wood). Therefore, it can be used in different projects, enabling more design options without sacrificing structural requirements.
The technology used to process WPCs was first invented and patented in Milan by Covema of Milan, founded by Terragni brothers (Dino and Marco). Covema called WPC under the tradename Plastic-Wood. Later on, different countries followed suit, with different technologies and fillers. Japan contended, with its high-tech processes and laboratories. Their keen attention to details also prompted them to conduct various tests and set standards to qualify recycled composite woods and plastics.
Did you know that here in our country, PADI Floors and Decks Inc., who has been furnishing decks, gardens and patios with award-winning quality outdoor furniture for over 30 years now, is the pioneer of a Japan-invented technology in producing their WPCs? Called WOOD HYBRID TECHNOLOGY (WHT) is an innovative hybrid technology that enables heterogeneous materials to be successfully extruded together under high temperature. This technology is an outcome of several researches made in Japan since 2009 and based on wood composite technology and co-extrusion process. The product, called wood hybrids, have the look and feel of natural wood. They are easier to install and perform better than natural wood and their exceptional properties allow utilizations that are many times broader than those of wood. They are used in both exterior and interior applications such as facades, cladding, louvers, trims, screens, pergolas, canopies and other architectural designs.
The product, called wood hybrids, have the look and feel of natural wood.
A resort in Boracay
2. WPC is not entirely made out of just pure wood and plastic.
WPCs are composite materials made of wood fiber/wood flour and thermoplastic(s) such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or polylactic acid (PLA). In addition to wood fiber and plastic, WPCs can also contain other ligno-cellulosic and/or inorganic filler materials. Regular WPCs are created from a unique blend of natural wood and plastic fibers. But today, different manufacturers use different fillers and cores to go with the times and needs of today’s modern built environment.
In PADI Floors and Decks Inc., three (3) layers of different materials undergo their Japan-patented triple extrusion process [WHT]. Light & stable aluminum serves as the core. The outside layer is made up of copolymer resin of wood plastic composite resulting in the profiles characteristics of tropical wood. Theirs is an alliance of two outstanding materials - wood composite and aluminum.
Starbucks, Lakeshore Pampanga
3. WPC is as durable as (if not more than) real timber.
Cheap isn’t necessarily substandard. Composite wood, while manmade, is less likely to fade or warp over time and far more resistant to rot, decay and marine borer attack than real wood. It means you don’t have to put as much energy or money into maintaining it over time. This therefore reduces the overall costs of your construction. Wood composites also tend to be cheaper than high-quality solid wood due to the affordability of wood scrap material and the manufacturing process.
Padi Floors and Decks Inc.’s WHT profiles owe their ultra-resistant qualities to an exclusive process of coextrusion developed in the Japanese construction industry, whereby an aluminum core section is fabricated with an outer covering, or skin, of wood composite. The highly resilient and corrosion resistant aluminum is then covered with a waterproof layer of wood composite. It is six to eight times lighter than previous generation profiles. WHT is also simpler and faster to install. The profiles feature an impressive dimensional stability and are also highly resistant to fire. It can be manufactured in a variety of sizes, grains, colors, and with a comparable appearance and feel to real timber. Selecting WHT opens the door to a stunning array of original, aesthetic, hardwearing, and economical solutions for facade trim, sunshades, screens, view breakers and balustrades.
4. It is more sustainable.
There is no doubt that one of the greatest advantages of composite wood is its environmental impact, as it can be produced from smaller trees when compared to solid lumber and doesn’t require the felling of large, old-growth forests. It can also be made from wood that has defects and would otherwise be discarded, as well as species that have not traditionally been used for solid wood. But its environmental impact depends largely on the ratio of renewable to non-renewable materials used in its construction, with petroleum-based polymers having a negative impact because of their reliance on non-renewable raw materials.
The core used in Padi Floors and Decks Inc.’s wood hybrids is aluminum. Aluminum is one of the most widely recycled materials and through the recycling process it saves 95% of the energy that it would cost to produce new aluminum. Moreover, PADI Floors and Decks Inc., branded PADI OUTDOOR, a total outdoor furniture line using its patented frame construction technology and recyclable synthetic polyethylene wicker, all crafted by skilled experienced handweavers. Using modern alternatives to natural and forest based materials, PADI OUTDOOR takes advantage of current technologies and explores fresh perspectives in modern aesthetics to deliver outdoor furniture solutions that are not only environmentally responsible but are on the cutting edge of modern design—chic, sophisticated, sculptural style.
5. Design Compatibility
W.H.T. can be bent in the same way as other aluminum materials based on a range of designs without losing the timber design features of the surface layer.
ABOUT PADI FLOORS AND DECK INC.
Established in 1988, PADI has been furnishing decks, gardens and patios with award-winning quality outdoor furniture for over 30 years now. From its initial product line of rattan and wicker, in 1997 PADI went into woodworking and upholstered furniture, and expanded its market domestically, successfully establishing itself in local retail outlets in the Philippines. In 2009, the company launched a total outdoor furniture line under the brand PADI OUTDOOR, using its patented frame construction technology and recyclable synthetic polyethylene wicker, all crafted by skilled experienced handweavers. PADI’s handwoven rattan and wicker furniture has been making its way to upscale homes and establishments in the United States and Europe, and has garnered much recognition for its work. In addition to numerous awards and citations from different organizations, the company was first to receive the Kabuhayan Award, given in 1996 by then-Philippine President Fidel Ramos at Malacañang Palace. In 1997, PADI was honored with the Golden Shell Award for Excellence in Export, the highest honor that can be given to an exporter by the Philippine Government.
Here in the Philippines, PADI Floors and Decks Inc. is the pioneer of a Japanese-developed technology called Wood Hybrid Technology in producing their WPCs. Invented in Japan in 2008, this technology is based on wood composite technology and co-extrusion process. Their Wood Hybrid profiles are the result of an innovative hybrid technology, which enables heterogeneous materials to be successfully extruded together under high temperature.
Three layers of different materials undergo our patented triple extrusion process. Light & stable aluminum serves as the core, while the outside layer is made up of copolymer resin of wood plastic composite resulting in the profiles characteristics of tropical wood. This innovative combination of materials gives our profiles exceptional superior features. They are three times lighter, four times more stable and eight times more rigid and strong than wood plastic composite profiles.
Lean Karl Duanan