Exterior Space Promotes the Growth of Wood Plastic Composite Material
With the sustainable and renewable features, as well as the development out of decoration, the requirement on WPC has been booming in the world’s markets. As estimated by Steven Van Kouteren, who’s the Consultant in Principia Partners, for thermoplastic and thermoset Wood Plastic Composite Material, it reaches 900,000 metric tons in the global market. He’s in charge of hosting the Conference on Wood Plastic & Natural Fiber Composite Material held annually. It was estimated that North America covers 70% of the markets, Europe covers 20%, Asia covers 10%, and the pending small number remains in other regions.
The trends on the North America market
In North America, the majority of WPC will be used in Architecture and Project. Although the real estate market goes slowly, the requirement on WPC has been increasing continuously, which is for replacing wood, and other materials as fence, and handrail, etc. Van Kouteren explained that more and more desires on tailored outdoor space are pushing the increasing on WPC markets. This kind of trend is booming, and even derives a brand new industry of distributors which focus on outdoor space. He added that everyone is sourcing for materials with low maintenance, and the popularization of WPC just caters for the requirements on products with different colors and different types. The North America market has divided the WPC products into low-end and high-end. The high-end products is located for those rich consumers who rarely care about the cost. One high-end product is ProcellTM, a Azek building product, which fills PVC foam With linen fibers.PVC is intrinsically more scratch resistant than polyolefin, and the use of flax fibers instead of wood fibers has been reported to eliminate microbial growth and reduce discoloration.Despite its high cost, the product has been a success in the premium paving market.Encouraged by Procell’s success, several other plank manufacturers have recently introduced PVC based products.Other architectural innovations in WPC are focused on improving appearance and physical properties, such as foaming products, more colors and textures, weatherability co-extruded panels, etc.
In North America, WPC granules are still in use, although extrusions produce most OF the WPC.JER Environmental Technologies, which supplies customized biomass composite compounds, has found that the use of WPC granule in injection wood plastics is growing rapidly and is being penetrated into emerging markets along with other WPCS.Edward Trueman, President of Environmental Technology at JER, said: “Our ingredients and formulation technology provides WPC materials that are highly dispersed and consistently contain less than 0.5% moisture.This is good news for injection molding, and many people don’t realize that this low moisture is available.