What is Manticore Plastic Lumber?
Created at: Jan 15, 2019
Last updated: Feb 15, 2019
Plastic is an incredibly versatile and resistant material and it's highly useful characteristics have lead to a consistent increase in global production and consumption for over 50 years. Whilst it’s durability has made it such a desirable material, the environmental cost of plastic comes with its inability to biodegrade; plastic has staying power, but what if it’s biggest downfall could also be used to our advantage?
What Is It Made Of?With the production of plastics increasing year on year, there comes a need for more inventive products and solutions. Manticore Plastic Lumber is formed from 100% recycled plastics, collected from all over the UK. The production process is able to make use of mixed plastics from post-consumer waste, which is currently unusable by conventional recycling methods, meaning an otherwise contaminated surplus plastic packaging can be diverted from landfill into second-life products.
How Is It Made?
Deliveries of waste plastic are taken from all over the UK and the shipments are mixed and impure. The production process used is able to work with these contaminated plastics, giving worth to what would previously be a worthless material. The plastics are shredded into smaller pieces, making the washing process faster and more manageable. The clean plastic is melted under a high temperature and pressure so it becomes molten, after which it is put through extruders (machines used to produce continuous lengths of plastic). The extrusion process can use multiple frames at once, manipulating large volumes of molten plastic into various products. After being left to cool, a plastic lumber product is formed which is more lightweight and longer-lasting than wood!
Why Are There Holes At The Ends?
Various additives or ‘fillers’ can be added to plastics in order to improve their physical and mechanical properties. Two main steps are involved in the formation of plastic beams; the extrusion process and then die drawing. During the die drawing process the plastic lumber is pulled through a mould, stretching it into a thinner, desired shape. Holes or ‘voids’ are created when the plastic is pulled away from the filler particles during the drawing process, which helps to reduce the density of the finished profile, creating a lightweight fibrous wood-like structure throughout.
What Are The Benefits?
- Made from a long-lasting, durable material which does not rot or degrade with age.
- Does not crack or dry
- Resistant against insect attacks.
- Longer lasting, whereas a timber product may need replacing every 5-7 years.
- Does not require any painting or chemical treatment prior to use.
- Does not require any particular maintenance besides cleaning.
- The material can be fully recycled.
- Workable with contemporary carpentry tools.
- Inert; does not leach any environmentally harmful chemicals.
- Realistic alternative to hardwood.