What is composite decking
Wood Plastic Composite decking is the fastest growing decking solution on the market today. It offers an authentic wood appearance and feel without the drawbacks of regular maintenance that comes with timber or wooden decking solutions.
How it’s made
Composite decking is an engineered decking board made up of 60% wood fibres, 30% (high-density polyethylene) & 10% additives (bonding agents). The wood fibres can be sawdust or wood chips and all HPE 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 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 (link product platinum) of regular maintenance, warping, splinters or cracking
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 which on the surface may look and feel the same as any other high-quality composite decking board. That is where the similarity ends since the raw material plastics, wood fibres, components and additives used in the manufacturing process are of a much lower quality. These issues will become apparent after 2-5 years as the decking boards will begin to experience colour bleaching or fading with some boards structural strength even failing. 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 test 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 product exactly right for your needs and requirements.
Second Generation Boards
Composite decking has gone through many changes and manufacturing process during its 20-year life and like any new products 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, 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 to include 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 Deckings signature collection.
The new Ultra Decking second generation shielded composite decking boards offers 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 Deckings Signature range.