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Compare plastic Lumber brands and Manufacturers

Here are a few valuable aspects to look at when you are buying HDPE plastic lumber.

Make sure the lumber you buy contains maximum UV inhibitor additive. Remember, bright hues of yellow, red, blue and yellow will fade quickly in the sun. Make sure your provider offer the maximum amount of inhibitor.

Make sure the dimensional tolerances are accurate. If you need a flat surface make sure you tell your manufacturer this; plastic profiles can easily run with a slight surface variance.

Do you need a fire retardant? If you are using the material in a commercial setting you may want to request a retardant additive be included. This will be worth the cost if you are in this scenario.

Look for a “premium” branded lumber if you are needing an aesthetic product but if you are making a rough and ready product search for a “utility” material. You can save some money of you use a utility material due to the amount recyclers that can be used.

Unfortunately low grade fillers can be used and are often used without the customers knowledge. Make sure you are using a reputable company this will only use pure HDPE poly, otherwise you will find the surface quickly turning to a chalky white, becoming brittle and even chunks will break off. If you get a quote 20% or more less than leading manufacturers there is a reason for this, they are using “junk” grade recycled plastic or cheap fillers like lime stone.

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Here is an example of a plastic profile that failed over time more than likely due to poor product quality.  Often this type of failure can be predicted  by looking at the surface of the boards to assertain the quality of the extrusion process and raw materials.  These indicators are present with this board:

  • Rough surface that is almost “stringy” in appearance; this board was probably ran extremely face on the line with low quality recycled plastics.
  • The end of the board  reveals a lot of air bubbles that make the board lighter, and while thats not necessarily bad it indicates that the board was run fast on the extrusion line as well as many other possible negative alternatives.
  • You’ll notice that the crack featured in the photo below shows that the crack is more that  likely due to a design failure where the frame brace bolt is drilled to closely to the edge of the material.  Make sure that you maintain a proper spacing on holes and latches; the material is strong but it need to be used in a properly engineered setting to function properly.

Posted in high density polyethylene, Plastic Lumber Profiles, POLY.

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