The concept for high quality composite material is simple: fibres provide strength, stiffness and a natural feel: the plastic binds the fibres and protects them from the weather. High quality composite deckings also contain UV stabilizers, high quality colour pigments, and other ingredients that enhance performance. While many WPC (wood plastic composite) products look similar when new, how they perform over the years varies greatly. Compare composite decking materials and see what benefits a high performance composite decking have.
What is a high performance composite decking?
Stain resistant surface
To ensure good stain resistance, the deck boards should have a closed surface. This can be achieved with a 100% plastic cap (coating) or a fibre and plastic composite whereby the fibres are fully encapsulated. A closed surface also allows you to build a deck without an incline, saving installation costs.
Long lasting colours
Most materials will weather over time, which for composite deckings may mean that they darken or lighten. Improved colour durability is obtained by using lignin free fibres which do not suffer from the typical wood greying effect. The best colour durability is achieved if the deck has a high performance plastic cap on the surface, so long as the right quality of UV stabilizers and colour pigments have been used.
High impact resistance
A deck needs to be able to withstand the impact of falling objects, even when the temperature is below freezing. Dropping a heavy hammer or plant pot should not damage the deck.
High scratch resistance
A high fibre content on the surface supports achieving a good scratch resistance, however will have poor stain resistance and colour durability. High performance polymers used in the deck surface material, combined with grooves or an embossed surface will achieve a good level of scratch and stain resistance, as well as colour durability.
For a durable core, it makes no difference if the board is hollow or solid, the key point is that the fibres should be fully encapsulated in plastic. Although all decks must be well ventilated to prevent mould growth, high performance WPC boards should be able to be installed in direct contact with the ground or even under water without suffering from structural failure.
All UPM ProFi decking boards have an ultra-durable core that will remain structurally sound in direct ground contact or under water installation. This is due to their patented two stage manufacturing process and a fibre content that does not exceed 50%. All boards feature a closed surface for superior stain resistance.