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New FRP deck materials
2012-03-09 15:50:15


LifeTime Composites, a California company, recently launched LifeTime Lumber®, a non-WPC extruded wood replacement product for decking, fencing, dock boards and other non-structural applications. It is produced using polyurethane reinforced with 60% recycled fly ash, which is a non-hazardous mineral recovered from the combustion of coal in electric utility plants. The profiles have working properties similar to wood and can be fastened with screws and nails. Used in a deck application, the product is said to require less material or labour than other composite decking because of its wider joist span of 24 in. (0.6 m).

GAF Materials Corp, North America’s largest roofing and roof system manufacturer, recently introduced a new line of decking with a textured, natural wood-grain finish. The DuraLife™ Natural Grain Collection includes deck boards extruded with high density polyethylene and rice hull fibres. The composite eliminates exposed wood particles found in standard composite decking that can lead to staining and fading, notes GAF. The decking, available in four colours, features a natural deep wood grain embossed on one side and a combed finish embossed on the other side, providing for variations in deck designs. GAF’s Sabre™ Clip hidden fastener system or standard deck screws can be used for installation.

Trex Company, a leading USA manufacturer of WPC products, has developed the Trex Transcend™ high-performance decking and railing line, which is said to outperform wood, composites and PVC. Trex WPC is produced from wood fibre filled polyethylene. The key to the new product’s extreme durability is an integrated shell, which is two to three times thicker than that of other manufacturers’ products, claims Trex.

Each Transcend board is protected on three sides for superior defence against extreme weather, heavy foot traffic and spills. The underside of the board can breathe, allowing moisture to escape. Two profile styles are available, grooved and square. The grooved boards accommodate the Trex Hideaway® hidden fastening system. A modular railing system provides design flexibility with the same durability as the decking products, the company relates.

FRP composites also play a role in roofing. CertainTeedoffers Symphony™ composite slate roofing shingles which replicate the look and feel of natural slate. Lighter and more durable than slate, the product is an engineered polymer composite available in widths of 6-12 in. (15.2-30.5 cm) and in three fade-resistant colour blends. The tiles are said to be well suited to replacing roofing on historic homes, churches and other architectural landmarks at a much-lower installed cost than natural slate.

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