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Last edited 20 Apr 2017
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.
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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 11 things you didn't know about wood.
- Composite decking vs timber decking.
- Cross-laminated timber.
- Engineered bamboo.
- Laminated veneer lumber LVL.
- Physical Properties of Wood.
- Recognising wood rot and insect damage in buildings.
- Timber preservation.
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