One of the newest types of fencing materials is made from a combination of wood and plastic. It not only uses recycled plastic, but waste wood such as sawdust that would otherwise go into landfill. Fencing contractors would tell you that the end product has become extremely popular over the last 12 years since it was first invented.
There are many benefits of using this type of material for your fence.
- It combines the best properties of both wood and plastic materials.
- The raw materials used – waste wood and plastic – are both in plentiful supply.
- It turns waste wood and plastic into something useful that many people need, hence, keeping it out of landfill.
- Fences made from plastic composite are affordable and about the same price as other fencing materials.
- The fences are easy to make using wood processing techniques that are traditional.
- There are many different styles and colours available ensuring that you can choose a fence that really suits your home.
- The fences are weather and rain resistant and need no maintenance
- Termites and other insects are not attracted to the finished product.
- The finished product is impact resistant and as strong as natural timber is on its own.
- Because the product has minimal water absorption qualities, it is rot resistant.
- It can be cut, planed, routed and drilled with the same implements that are used for timber.
- It has both tensile and flexural strength.
Many of the above points can fall into the sustainable category, but there is more still that makes this composite material eco-friendly.
- There is almost no waste in making the material, and what little waste there is, can be re-used.
- It contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCS) or other toxins.
- Such a fence can be completely recycled by regrinding and reused by making it into another fence.
- If the fence is not recycled, the waste from it is non-hazardous.
Wood plastic composites can be used for other purposes besides fences. It is suitable for things like signposts, bollards, outdoor furniture, decking, bin retention, posts for vineyards and sheeting to name just a few.
One of the best advantages is that because the plastic encloses the wood, water cannot get into the product and can only be absorbed into the cross cut section where the wood is exposed. Studies have shown the water absorption rate is only 0.7% compared to that of pine which is 17.2%. In addition, the product has excellent thermal properties meaning it does not get hot in the sun like many kinds of plastic do. Thus, you don’t have to worry about children getting a burn on their hands from touching the fence on a hot day.