Last edited 02 Feb 2021

The Benefits of Composite Decking

Composite decking is one of the most widely-used decking materials. Composite decking is also referred to as wood-plastic composite or WPC and is a variant of standard wood decking. Standard wood decking tends to be manufactured from timber slats or planks that are combined to form decking. Composite decking, is made of wood flour – incredibly fine wood particle that ranges from the size of sand to rice grains – and recycled polymers.

WPC is a very different from standard timber, and should not be confused with medium-density fibreboard, also known as MDF.

WPC consists of wood flour and recycled polymers, which it is claimed is more 'environmentally friendly' than standard wood decking as there tends to be less waste material.

The polymers that are included in WPC are some of the world’s most common plastics, such as polyethene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Because of these polymer additives, such as high-density polyethene (HDPE), the strength of the WPC is drastically increased; composite decking with HDPE integrated within it has a higher tensile strength compared to standard wood decking, meaning that it will resist any splintering and decay that could happen to standard wood decking.

Because of the recycled polymers, it can also withstand the traditional problems of standard wood decking. For example, wood decking that has been exposed to water can become structurally unstable and can rot. WPC decking does not rot when exposed to water.

Another problem that people can suffer with standard wood decking is, if they accidentally spill something on wood decking, that any substances that get onto the wood stains it, which can make it look untidy and dirty. Some types of composite decking feature a thin layer of polymer-based veneer above the standard WPC decking, meaning that it’s easy to clean if there are any spillages.

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