What Is Composite Decking Material?
What Composite Decking is Made Of
Essentially, composite decking boards are comprised of a mix of recycled wood fibers and recycled plastic. It's this fusion that gives composite decking its inherent strengths such as lower maintenance, and resistance to insects, mold, stains and fading. MoistureShield's parent company, Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies (A.E.R.T.), is a leading plastics recycler and manufacturer of environmentally friendly decking and other green building products. In state-of-the-art processing plants, AERT recovers and utilizes a wide range of polyethylene plastic sources. Our unique process encapsulates recycled wood fibers in the recycled polyethylene plastic. The wood comes from kiln-dried red oak mill waste, along with discarded pallets and construction debris. The plastic is sourced from milk jugs, grocery bags, detergent bottles, pallet wrap and food packaging. Our composite decking contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer and 60% pre-consumer recycled content. Due to this high percentage of post-consumer recycled content, MoistureShield products exceed the requirements for landscape decking published in the LEED for Homes green building rating system.
Ways to Produce Composite Decking
There are three ways to produce composite decking – extrusion, injection and compression. Extrusion (how MoistureShield boards are made) mixes the raw materials (wood, plastic and binding agents) and forces them through a board-shaped opening which solidifies as it is extruded along a conveyor system. The boards can then be cut to desired sizes and shapes. Injection and compression molding combine the molten raw materials and either injects or pours them into a wood grain mold, which is then compressed to form a physical bond. These can be more challenging processes because wood will begin to degrade at the high temperatures required.
Popular Types of Composite Decking
The two most popular types of composite decking are uncapped and capped. Uncapped boards were essentially the first generation of composite decking. For some brands, these were vulnerable to staining, fading, mold and mildew. But MoistureShield boards have always been protected to the core.
Capped composite decking, like the name suggests, has a cap or cover that is bonded to the core during manufacturing. The core and surface cap are co-extruded to make beautiful, durable board. You can get certain MoistureShield boards with this added layer of protection.