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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Where "liquid wood" flow from?

While searching the web, one can come across the products of the above said developers (e.g. Techanro's Arboform) or epoxy-based deep-penetrating wood consolidant which regenerates rotted, dried-out or spongy wood by restoring structural strength and integrity to wood fibers, named LiquidWood. Although the latter has nothing to do with wood plastic composites.

Worth to mention that "liquid wood" definition has gained popularity in Russia becoming one of the most used synonym of traditional WPC.

wood plastic composite (WPC) siding comes out of the extrusion die

Term "liquid wood" has likely appeared in the course of development of polymer technologies, particularly related to the field of new advanced composite materials based on plastics and wood fiber, well known today as wood-plastic composites (WPC).

It is not known for certain who introduced the term. Supposedly, it could be used in a professional field since the very beginning of development and/or industrial production of wood composites. However, judged by the Internet citing, "liquid wood" came into consumer language only in the late 1990s, when WPC market entered in a new cycle of its dramatic growth.

The fact that conventional wood and synthetic thermoplastic based WPC is practically not referred to as "liquid wood" in the US and Europe indirectly speaks for the assumption that the term was introduced exactly that time by European developers of bioplastic WPCs based on natural polymers (starch, maize, lignin), such as Fasalex, Technaro, who make natural wood liquid without using of synthetic components, thus, obtaining real natural "liquid wood". 

Why is wood «liquid»?

WPC, being a composite material consisting of wood (or other lignocellulosic) filler, thermoplastic polymer, either synthetic or natural, and additives, is made through extrusion, injection or compression molding.
In the course of either of the above production processes WPC dry blend (or pellet) is hit and melt into viscous liquid which is extruded through a die/mold or fills in a press-mold, being shaped into WPC lumber profile (e.g. decking) or WPC molded product (e.g. flowerpot) after cooling.

It is this ability of WPC to turn into viscous liquid and be consequently molded into varied shapes that made wood plastic composite to be sometimes referred to as "liquid wood".
More at http://www.wpc.asia

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Is bamboo plastic composite WPC or BPC?

Wood-plastic composite (shortened as WPC) is commonly used as a definition for all natural (wood, bast, leaf, seed, fruit and stalk) fibers filled plastic composites. In the context of this definition "wood" represents all fibrous materials of plant origin. Today, however, "represented" would be a better word, since some non-wood fibers more actively come into play.  

For instance, some Chinese WPC makers specialized in manufacturing of bamboo plastic composites offer BPC (bamboo plastic composite), though, in many cases, a BPC will be explained as a WPC filled with bamboo powder as yet. Those manufacturers who use either wood flour or bamboo powder as a filler, in most cases would prefer using WPC name for their lumber.

Anyhow, today we may observe a trend of utilization of new names for lignocellulosic plastic composites, along with or instead of WPC. Strictly speaking, such names are more precise by definition. Besides, despite of similar chemical structure and composition, specific lignocellulosic fibers, bamboo fiber among others, are capable to enable plastic composite with improved physical or aesthetic properties, as compared to wood. Thus, principally they have the right to be addressed independently from wood.

Widespread awareness and utilization of English "WPC" abbreviation in its unchanged form in many languages keep most of non-wood filled WPC makers from not using the term completely.

It's not so long ago that WPCs were only put in contrast with natural wood, plastic, metal and other materials. Today we observe the rivalry inside «lignocellulosic family», because the rules of the game are set by the market. As competition grows, non-wood WPC manufacturers will not employ the name of fibers they use simply trying to be precise in naming of their composites. Rather they will be using this as an opportunity to differentiate their non-wood filled composites against WPC, focusing on the benefits their specific fiber brings, as compared to wood.

Product differentiation is somewhat inevitable. Recently even conventional wood-fiber based WPC lumber makers are forced to match their lumber products against each other. Today an advanced WPC manufacturer will offer you traditional WPC, capped WPC, heavy-duty WPC and some «super-brand» WPC, with the latter being the best WPC ever.

More at http://www.wpc.asia