WPC for industrial applications
Wood plastic composite (WPC) is a new composite material made from wood fibres and plastic that has already proven optimal performance in many applications because of its extraordinary properties:
- Mouldable like plastics
- Firm like wood
- Not electrically conductive
- Inexpensive like plastics (basic compound without additives)
- Fulfils all important standards for toys and foods
- Improves carbon footprint
- Reduces environmental impact due to plastics
Wood fibres are mixed with plastic and, if needed, additives; the blend is then compounded and granulated. The resulting WPC granulate can be processed by injection moulding, extrusion, compression moulding, blow moulding and foaming to produce high-quality products.
Tailored to the application
Each application imposes specific demands on the WPC compound. Toys must resist breakage, products that come into contact with food must fulfil the requirements for food safety and products for the furniture industry must be stable and withstand high strains. The properties needed for the desired application are achieved by means of additives. This is why our WPC is so versatile.
Saleable compound material
Many of our customers are using WPC for the first time. Our customers frequently have many questions prior to processing the material for the first time and when developing new applications, and we will be happy to answer these. Here you will find some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
FAQs on WPC
To see the answer, please click on the question.
Why was WPC developed?
The underlying idea was to use a renewable resource for industrially manufactured products instead of plastics, since plastics are mainly obtained from crude oil, which is one of our most valuable raw materials. In addition, a life without plastics is hardly imaginable. By means of wood plastic composite (WPC) it is possible to save crude oil and yet not have to do without plastic products. We save crude oil and decrease the environmental impact with every wood fibre we use instead of plastics.
WPC is a compound consisting of wood fibres and plastics. The new material combines the qualities of plastics and wood. Depending on the composition, WPC is, for example, weather-resistant, freely mouldable and at the same time dimensionally stable.
JELU-WERK has developed different WPC blends – based on both conventional plastics and on bioplastics.
One of our compounds consists of starch and wood fibres. The end product manufactured therefrom meets the European standard for compostability (DIN EN 13432).
Another compound contains polyethylene (PE) from sugar cane. Since PE made from sugar cane has the same properties as PE from crude oil, the resulting products are weather-resistant.
In addition, we provide many more WPC granulates with many different qualities. Here you will find a list of our premixed compounds and here information on our custom compounds.
Plastics and wood fibres are compounded, that is, both raw materials are mixed in such a way that they form a robust bond. After compounding, the resulting biocomposite is granulated. The granules are approximately as big as a peanut: 4.5 x 10mm. Granulation has several advantages:
- In contrast to directly extruded WPC, granulated WPC is more homogeneous and its processing is improved. WPC granulate has consistent running properties on the machine, facilitating a higher output.
- Due to compounding, the density of the material is higher compared to direct extrusion. Granulated WPC and the end products manufactured therefrom have a greater strength and stiffness. The increased density also ensures that the end products absorb less water and are more suitable for outdoor use.
- The new material can be metered as easily as plastics granulate. It can be optimally portioned for processing in injection moulding or extrusion techniques.
The contrary properties of wood and plastics pose a problem for compounding and also for subsequent further processing of WPC. Wood burns when it becomes too hot. Plastics, however, can only be processed at temperatures that are high enough to melt them. The trick is to heat the raw materials in separate steps that are precisely coordinated to each other and to cool them in a controlled way so that both materials form a homogeneous bond. The wood must not burn, and the plastics must be warm enough. If this succeeds, a homogeneous biocomposite like JELUPLAST is the result. Our WPC granulates are suitable for many products that have so far been made from pure plastics and that we come across in our daily life.
- WPC is suitable for conventional plastics processing machines.
- The know-how of processing plastics can be transferred to WPC processing.
- WPC can be used to manufacture products that have the properties of both wood and plastics.
- WPC properties can be influenced by means of additives and can be optimally adapted to the respective application.
- PE from sugar cane as well as TPS are more expensive than common plastics. The addition of wood reduces the price.
- Since JELU WPC consists up to at least 50% of the renewable resource wood , the material contributes to a better ecological balance and improves a product’s carbon footprint.
- JELU offers WPC mixtures that consist wholly of renewable resources. This material improves the ecological balance even more and optimises a product’s carbon footprint.
- Products made from WPC open up a whole new market segment.
- Products made from WPC reduce the environmental impact caused by plastics and can be advertised accordingly.
- Since JELU WPC consists up to at least 50% of the renewable resource wood , the material helps to improve a product’s carbon footprint.
- JELU offers WPC mixtures that consist of wholly renewable resources and optimise the carbon footprint of a product.
- Plastics products that are made entirely from renewable resources attract strong consumer attention and can be advertised as being highly environmentally friendly.
- The wood we use for our WPC granulates comes exclusively from certified, regional and sustainable forestry, something which can also be advertised accordingly.
- Consumers and companies can acquire products made from environmentally compatible materials without having to sacrifice the benefits of plastics.
- Products from WPC diminish the environmental impact of plastics.
- Since JELU WPC consists up to at least 50% of the renewable resource wood, the material helps to improve the ecological balance.
- JELU offers WPC mixtures that consist wholly of renewable resources. This material improves the carbon footprint even more.
- Wood is antibacterial by nature, and this property is retained in the compound.