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Thermwood

One-Pack Masterbatch for Wood/Plastic Composites

17 September 2006

The first biocide-containing colour masterbatch for wood/plastic composite (WPC) decks and other building applications has been launched to enable manufacturers to enhance the appearance and longevity of their products while saving on additive costs.

Tradenamed TEK Deck Pro, Teknor Color Company’s masterbatch combines colour, UV absorber, and Rohm and Haas Company’s Vinyzene biocide into a single product that costs at least 15% less than if the three additives were purchased separately, according to John Politis, marketing manager.

Teknor Color will custom-manufacture TEK Deck Pro masterbatches to meet the colour and UV-protection requirements of individual customers, Politis noted, and can also incorporate pigments whose high level of infrared reflectance reduces heat buildup in deck components, which can cause polymer degradation. The function of the UV absorber is to prevent chalking and cracking caused by prolonged exposure to solar UV. The biocide improves aesthetics by controlling fungal growth, which cause staining and makes cleaning of the deck difficult.

“Besides providing WPC processors with the handling ease and cost savings of an additive package, TEK Deck Pro helps them to manufacture products that look better and last longer,” Politis said. “Drawing on its expertise in concentrates, Teknor Color Company can supply them with darker, richer colours that enhance the wood-like appearance prized by homeowners while actually expanding the plastics advantages of durability and low maintenance.”

Vinyzene biocides have consistently exhibited outstanding performance in field trials and accelerated weathering, according to Politis. He noted that the Vinyzene product used by Teknor Color contains no heavy metals, making it an environmentally friendly formulation.

“While manufacturers of WPC deck products anticipate continued double-digit growth rates, they have indicated a strong need for additive formulations to enhance the appearance, reduce the maintenance requirements, and prolong the lifetimes of their products,” Politis said. “WPC decks must last at least ten to 20 years, and some manufacturers even offer lifetime warrantees.”

While initially focusing on the deck market, Teknor Color sees other WPC applications that can benefit from TEK Deck Pro masterbatch, including fences, railings, and siding, as well as non-construction uses in the marine and other sectors. TEK Deck Pro can be used with polyolefin resins as well as rigid and flexible PVC.

While the costs savings attributed to the additive-package approach taken by Teknor Color is largely accounted for by reduction in the amount of carrier resin used to incorporate concentrations of additives in masterbatch, the building products industry typically calculates savings not in pounds but in linear feet. “For a typical application, we have estimated that it would cost an average of 37 cents per linear foot to dose colour, biocide, and UV absorber separately,” Politis said, “while the TEK Deck Pro one-pack product would cost 30 cents, for a savings of nearly 20%.”






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