(Photo : Composite Materials Manufacturing Process and Techniques)Composite materials have come a long way since they first appeared on the market. Back then, they were not as versatile, durable, and aesthetically pleasing as the ones we use today. Today, composite decking manufacturers employ techniques that improve composites even further. What are these practices, and how does it affect the overall quality of composites?
Producing Composite Materials
There are various ways of producing composite materials. The most popular method is through moulding. Moulding composites have two types of categories; open and closed moulding.
Open moulding involves extruding thermoplastic resin into wood fibres and placed in an open mould. The process is relatively cheaper and better suited for low-volume productions. On the other hand, closed moulding uses two-sided, sealed moulds. In terms of consistency, precision, and waste production, closed moulding is better. However, it can be more expensive than open moulding.
Both open moulding and closed moulding have different sub-categories. Each process has its advantages and disadvantages. For open moulding, hand layup and filament winding are a few examples of more commonly-used processes. As for closed moulding, pultrusion, vacuum infusion, and compression moulding are the most widely-used methods.
Once moulded and produced, composite decking materials are ready for construction projects. However, using them presents a few problems. The older generations of composites are more susceptible to wet environments, thermal expansion, and other issues.
To further the quality of wood-plastic composites, many manufacturers decided to add another layer of protection around the material. Because of this, most composites in the market today have capping. Manufacturers bind thermoplastics, such as HDPE and PVC, as an outer protective coating to the composites. The capping material also affects the boards’ slip, moisture, and fade resistance.
How manufacturers use capping techniques vary. For instance, UltraDecking, a reliable composite decking supplier in the UK, offers various products with different caps. Their composite decking boards have three-sided capping, ranging from platinum top caps to standard. Their finest products offer superior slip, stain, and scratch resistance as well.
Increasing Moisture Resistance
Despite what some may believe, composite materials still absorb some moisture. While not nearly comparable to wood’s absorption rate, it can still pose some problems. Because of this, many manufacturers looked for ways to prevent and minimize moisture by increasing the board’s. Brinkwire Summary News.