No rot and no need to repaint. Interest in wood-plastic composites is growing and the Swedish company A-Plast has developed a material all of its own. At Elmia Subcontractor visitors have asked many questions about the technology involved.
Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is a composite material of polyethylene mixed with wood fibre. Because the plastic is coloured as part of the production process, the end product does not need repainting, and thanks to the plastic’s properties the material functions perfectly in wet environments.
“Instead of a wooden jetty you can use WPC material and you get a jetty that lasts for years,” says Hans Bergersäter, who is one of the two owners and founders of A-Plast.
The company began investing in WPC a couple of years ago and the material has been produced in cooperation with its manufacturer. Today A-Plast has a whole line that only manufactures products made of WPC.
“It’s going really well and we believe that we’re almost the market leader in Sweden,” Bergersäter adds. “We’re new in this field but this technology has huge upside.”
The market is broad and he mentions park benches and plant boxes as two examples of products where WPC is an excellent alternative. Another example is houses, sheds and recycling depots that would otherwise have been built with wood.
“Thanks to various finishing methods, there are endless possibilities to vary the surface structure. You can make it look as much like wood as you want and almost put a grain on it.”