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    Eight composite decking products on comparable measures [supplier list]

    Nathan Johnson

    This article is Part Three in a series of articles on alternative solutions to traditional timber decking. In Part One, we spoke with suppliers and asked why composite decking isn’t so widely used in Australia—some interesting responses there Part Two was a product guide for wood plastic composite decking, which is the major alternative decking solution on the Australian market.

    Alternative decking products are only 15 years old in Australia, and their use is still nowhere near parity with traditional decking.

    Although young, the range of composite products and suppliers – particularly wood plastic composites (WPC), is vast and almost innumerable.

    We’ve narrowed the list to just eight suppliers and have tried to size them up on comparable measures.

    The measures:

    Composition:  What the decking board is made from is very important. The ratio of wood fibre versus plastic in WPCs is very important as is the type of timber and plastic used. More on this importance here:

    Colours: Most suppliers offer more than one colour and some more than five. Nearly all suppliers offer a brushed and smooth version of their products. More on that here:

    Water absorption rate: Because of the nature of wood fibre, it is important that a decking board’s water absorption rate is known. Different applications will obviously necessitate different needs in terms of water absorption. The rates supplied are generally full submersion over 24 hours.

    Thermal Expansion Coefficient: It is important to understand how much the boards will move, especially under Australian summer conditions. We tried to use ‘linear expansion ratings’ where possible, which measures the change in length of the board at temperature fluctuations and therefore affects everything from board spacing to joist positioning.

    Warranty: All warranties are based on residential applications. Note that most manufacturers require a warranty card that is returned within 30 days.

    KingWood Composite Timber Decking

    • Composition:  70% recycled hardwood waste, 30% plastic
    • Colours: three
    • Moisture absorption: 0.006%
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: undisclosed
    • Warranty: seven years limited warranty

    CleverDeck from Futurewood

    • Composition: 100% recycled rice husks hardwood flour and HDPE
    • Colours: five colours
    • Moisture absorption: 0.31%
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: 0.02% 40 degree Celsius
    • Warranty: ten year limited warranty

    INNOWOOD from InnoDeck

    • Composition: 70% wood waste-material
    • Colours: three
    • Moisture absorption: 0.54%
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: 0.0006 zero degrees Celsius
    • Warranty: seven years

    Millboard from Urbanline

    • Composition: natural minerals bonded with a polymer resin
    • Colours: seven
    • Moisture absorption: undisclosed
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: 0.1%
    • Warranty: 25 years limited

    Modwood

    • Composition: 90% recycled milk bottles and reclaimed pine saw dust
    • Colours: four
    • Moisture absorption:  <1%
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: 0.05% in 40 degree variation.
    • Warranty: ten year limited warranty

     

    Decker Composite Decking:

    • mposition: 60% non-virgin wood fibre and 40% recycled plastic.
    • Colours: four
    • Moisture absorption: not given
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: >1% 
    • Warranty: 12 year limited home owners’  warranty

    Urbanedge from Ultra Design Composites:

    • Composition: 60% PEFC certified sustainable wood fibre 40% recycled high density polyethylene
    • Colours: two
    • Moisture absorption: 0.025 per °C
    • Thermal expansion coefficient: 0.05%
    • Warranty: ten years

    Passport Decking from Composite Materials Australia

    • Composition: 100% Cellular PVC board
    • Colours: four colours
    • Water absorption: none
    • Thermal Expansion Coefficient: 0.000062% in -17 degrees
    • Warranty: 25 year warranty
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