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What is Composite Decking

  • Luke
  • February 12, 2019

Composite decking is an engineered decking board made up of 60% wood fibres, 30% (high-density polyethene) & 10% additives (bonding agents). Wood fibres can be sawdust or wood chips, and all HDPE plastics used in the manufacturing process are made up of recycled plastic materials, wasteland milk bottles and much more, therefore helping to reduce waste and improve the environment.

The wood fibres, plastics and bonding agents are mixed and heated to be made into board-length shapes. The boards are further pressed with a wood grain or grooved lines onto the surface and then cooled.

After the bonding and shaping process depending on the manufacturing quality required, each individual board is brushed, sanded and treated. The end result is the creation of a wood plastic composite decking board (WPC Decking) that looks and feels like authentic wood without the drawbacks of regular maintenance, staining or sealing.

 

The History of Composite Decking

Composite decking has been sold and produced for over 20 years; when purchasing composite decking, it’s important to ensure you are purchasing a product from a supplier or manufacturer that uses high-quality raw materials and, most importantly, has the latest machine technology, experience and knowledge to produce a high-quality finish and product.

Due to the interest and growth of composite decking, a high number of start-up manufacturers and suppliers are producing a low-quality cheap composite decking board that, on the surface, may look and feel the same as any other high-quality composite decking boards. That is where the similarity ends since the raw material plastics, wood fibres, components and additives used in the manufacturing process are of much lower quality. These lower quality raw materials tend to be LDPE plastics and a reduction in uv resistance within the formula.

Using LDPE plastics enables the product to look the same but not to perform the same. These issues will become apparent after 2-5 years as the decking boards will begin to experience extreme colour bleaching or fading and due to the use of LDPE plastics the board will crack and experience structural strength issues.

A high number of composite decking brands do not follow due diligence with their quality control during the manufacturing process. If you carefully check online reviews, you can quickly understand who some of these rogue manufacturers are.

A quick and easy home test to perform when checking the quality of any composite decking samples is to boil the boards for 24-48 hours, and you will easily see and filter out low-quality, poorly manufactured composite decking boards. If you are still unsure or don’t wish to carry out these home tests, simply give Ultra Decking a call, and we will help you with advice and key information to help you make an informed decision on your new decking project. Even if you don’t purchase from Ultra Decking, our mission is to ensure that the industry is supplied with a high-end quality composite decking product exactly right for your needs and requirements.

Introduction Of Second Generation

Composite decking has gone through many changes and manufacturing processes during its 20-year life and, like any new product, did experience early teething problems with fade, mould and mildew. The good news is that these problems have all been resolved, and the industry welcomes the next or second generation of wood plastic composite decking boards.

The second generation was introduced in the late ’00s for many reasons, mainly to resist fade, mould, mildew, and staining and to supply an ultra-low maintenance composite decking product that customers will love for many, many years. The mission to resist the teething problems with first-generation composite decking was completed. However, customer feedback on one key issue was the natural look and appearance of next-generation composite decking boards.

Second-generation composite decking boards are manufactured and produced with a shielded layer, coating or capping that covers the entire decking board. (Some boards are half capped, which we will discuss in another section) This shielded capping or co-extrusion process was the key process used to allow these new composite decking boards to resist fade, stain, mould and mildew. However, many customers highlighted their disappointment with the surface texture of these new second-generation boards, which gave the appearance of a cheap plastic deck.

During 2014, Ultra Decking continued to perform product research and development, including sourcing new Grade A raw materials from the USA. This product development and hard work paid off, helping Ultra Decking to create a second-generation shielded wood plastic composite decking board that offers a natural wood look appearance and finish like no other on the market. The plastic look and feel were removed with the latest composite machine technology, including computer-aided design (CAD) techniques to mix the colours and board finish at random times with a secret manufacturing process and technique to welcome the birth of Ultra Decking’s’ signature collection.

The new Ultra Decking second-generation shielded composite decking boards offer a natural wood grain look and finish. The new signature collection is truly stunning and displays a true natural wood look indistinguishable from real wood and its drawbacks. Completed customer projects and feedback is simply “WOW”. Additional feedback from customers is that the samples don’t do these new composite boards justice; to really experience the true quality and wood-look finish, they would recommend viewing the full 3.6m lengths to really experience the natural beauty and aesthetics of Ultra Decking’s Signature range.

Conclusion

Composite decking is synthetic man made material in which consists of a combination of two material, most composite decking sold in the U.K. market is made of recycled wood fibres and HDPE plastics. These boards use bonding agents and are heated through a mould to produce the boards you see online or in stores.

They have gone through many changes over the last few decades improving there strength and fine turning there features and benefits. They are design to be more authentic than ever before, with different surface treatments and mixed colours capturing the true imperfections and appearance of exotic wood.

They don’t warp, crack, splinter or spilt like traditional wooden decking and have grown at huge rates due to there ability to within many weathering elements, along with providing ultra low maintenance and most importantly standing the test of time.

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