31 August 2013

Global Trends in Wood-Plastic Composites (WPC)

Overview over the global production of WPC and the forecast

Generally, there are four main factors that make the use of natural fibres and wood in plastics attractive: (1) they enhance specific properties e.g. stiffness and thermal behaviour (2) they reduce the price of the material (3) they heavily improve the bio-based share and (4) they are better recyclable when compared to glass fibres. When compared with glass fibre, wood fibre offers a weight reduction for the composite, which can be an important factor in transport costs.

After more than 30 years of market development, in 2010 global wood-plastic composite production reached 1.5 million extruded tonnes, which would mean, with an average wood share of 50%, 750,000 tonnes of wood – which is still only a fragment of the total timber market. WPC is predominantly extruded world- wide to hollow or solid decking boards and is predominately replacing tropical wood. The oldest market can be found in North America where a few big companies make the running.

… to read more, download article in full view: “Global Trends in Wood-Plastic Composites (WPC)” (PDF)

Source: bioplastics MAGAZINE, [04/13] Vol. 8, 2013-08.

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