Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) can be applicable to any product that contains (A) Wood with a (B) Thermoset or (C) Thermoplastic.
(A) Hardwood is selected as they have good durability and strength properties. This hardwood is then transformed into fine particles which are about the size ranging from sand, sawdust to grains of rice.
WPCs can be found predominantly used for decking but other markets have emerged such as wall cladding, trimmings, outdoor / indoor furnitures and interiors for the automotive industry.
The amount of manufacturers is increasing exponentially throughout the world due to demand and the availability of automated machinery. Specifically, there are companies such as WPC.asia that offer profile extrusion, pelleting machines and raw products such as antioxidants, composite pellets and resin. Most of the manufacturers come from China, Japan and North America.
In Australia, you can find the following suppliers / manufacturers:
- ECW | Eco-Composite Wood (Manufactured by Rubicab Projects)
- Ezywood & OzTuff Decking (same company / two different websites)
Research conducted by David Burke (2011) analysed the properties and differences between Kiln dried hardwood and Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs), specifically compared the brand ModWood for furniture and construction applications. Given that the chemical composition and structure of different brands of WPCs are almost the same the table below gives a good comparison between two widely used products:
|Ease of machining||B||A|