The Wood-Polymer Composite (WPC) deck boards for our GRAD system are formed by a single extrusion process which creates a highly resilient material. The composition is 35% high quality graded recycled HDPE plastics, 60% FSC sourced European Oak timber fibre, and 5% adhesives. These boards are made slip and stain resistant, and over time they will gently weather down to a uniformly paler shade of their original colour. Strength and flex characteristics comply with EN 15534 for Wood-Polymer Composites.
Most composite wood and plastic decking is made from Polyethylene (PE) or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Polyethylene (the most widely used plastic) comes in various forms, including Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Both materials have very similar density; 0.910–0.940 g/cm3 LDPE and slightly greater than 0.941 g/cm3 HDPE. However, the molecular structure of HDPE allows it to have a much higher tensile strength, while maintaining its flexibility compared with LDPE – which is used for plastic bags and applications where lesser strength, but increased flexibility is required. HDPE is used for applications such as water pipes and plastic container packaging, for example, milk and bleach bottles. You will note all the HDPE products are items that are very tough and difficult to tear or crack.
By comparison, PVC (the third most widely used plastic) is denser, harder and stronger than HDPE but has less flexibility to absorb and dampen shock, especially in cooler temperatures.
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