Wood Plastic Composite a material of the future
Wood Plastic Composite a material of the future
Industrial logging of the world’s primary forests is rapidly destroying the habitats of thousands of animal and plant species, and depleting our planet of its oxygen reserves. The situation today is of concern to us all: we need to call a halt to the destructive exploitation of hardwoods responsible for this widespread deforestation.
Solutions to the problem do exist. More than thirty years ago in Japan – where green awareness is ﬁrmly instilled in popular culture – an engineering company, EIN Engineering, invented and developed a substitute for wood made from softwood waste and recycled polymer resins.
This new material had the appearance and qualities of the rarest species of wood while offering a truly eco-friendly alternative, and met with instant success. The extremely demanding Japanese market was won over by the quality and exceptional lifespan of this product, which followed the Shintoïst tradition of respect for, and love of, nature. Wood Plastic Composite material is widely available today in Asia, and especially in Japan, where it holds a 60% market share in architectural landscaping in the public and private construction sectors.
Many entrepreneurs the world over have tried to imitate the original Japanese wood plastic composite. Whether imported, or produced locally, the equivalent products sold in Europe and the U.S. are of very varied quality. The manufacturing technology has to be so ﬁnely tuned and intricately controlled; both know-how and accumulated experience are keys to the fabrication of a high-quality, resilient wood plastic composite. Nonetheless, in today’s construction sector there are some very competitive solutions that fulﬁl green criteria. Our company, WPC Corporation, which offers worldwide customers both know-how and a license to manufacture, has selected and developed a full range of products conforming to rigorous standards.
Qizhen’s manufacturing process adheres strictly to the original Japanese technique, and is produced exclusively in Japan. It remains the leading global brand in the ﬁeld, and undeniably offers the best guarantees available when it comes to durability, aesthetic appeal, and the use of eco-friendly technologies. The company is gaining recognition as one of the success stories of the green revolution: a material for the future of the construction sector in world markets.
Durability: an essential quality
Qizhen is used in very diverse climates, and under difﬁcult conditions where exposure to extreme heat and sunshine, or constant humidity, are the norm. Its resistance to extreme climatic conditions explains its success throughout the Japanese archipelago, from the North of the country bordering the Arctic Circle, to the South, where external structures are often exposed to tropical storms. Qizhen is guaranteed to withstand huge differences in temperature and humidity. Its resistance to the effects of the sun has been rigorously tested in the laboratory, but the product’s stability under harsh conditions is also demonstrated by the lasting attractiveness of installations built in the tropics, which are subject to far longer and more intense periods of sunshine.
While hardwood will gradually succumb over time to weathering and hostile outdoor conditions, the Qizhen extrusion process used in the manufacture condenses the material irreversibly. The subtle intricacies of the technology and the resins used form a perfect adhesive, without the addition of any glue or solvent. More compact than competitor products on the market, Qizhen remains water-repellent and extremely dense, so preventing humidity from penetrating its interior. The boards will retain all their special properties indeﬁnitely, and will not split, go grey or undergo damage as a result of extreme cold or heat. They will not be blighted by unsightly growths of moss or lichen, which make traditional decking or swimming pool surrounds dangerously slippery in, or just after, wet weather.
Colour-fast and attractive for years to come
Qizhen is supplied with a 10-year manufacturer’s limited guarantee, but still looks as good as ever, unaltered in shape or appearance, after 15 years’ continuous use at hundreds of different sites. This kind of lifespan is unthinkable for natural wood (or inferior quality wood plastic composites) without the need for regular and laborious maintenance. Qizhen has the advantage of being coloured throughout its mass. The pigments and anti-UV agents impregnated during the manufacturing process continue to be effective in protecting the material from discolouration for decades, without the need for any maintenance or treatment. The boards have all the warmth and beauty of exotic wood, even when seen at close quarters. Warm in appearance, Qizhen is soft to the touch, and closely resembles wood. Slightly granular in texture, and protected by an exclusive surface treatment, the risk of slipping and falling is greatly reduced, even when the boards are wet. Impervious to water, and invulnerable to insects or fungi that feed on wood, Qizhen has a ten-year limited warranty against rot, termites, splintering or cracking.