WPC development at critical stage, says expert
Producers of wood-fibre plastic composite (WPC) products have to continue to reduce costs and develop new products...
Producers of wood-fibre plastic composite (WPC) products have to continue to reduce costs and develop new products if the industry hopes to sustain the high growth it has seen over the last few years, said John Balatinecz, University of Toronto professor emeritus, Faculty of Forestry. Speaking at the International Conference on Woodfiber-Plastic Composites held last week in Madison, WI, Balatinecz said producers must begin to look beyond the decking/railing market and develop new commercial applications for WPCs, such as fencing and furniture.
Sales of WPC products have been growing at a rate of 25% annually since 1998, spurred mostly by the demand for WPC decking and railing systems. It is this market for decking, lacking in Europe and Asia, that has given North American processors the lead in WPC technology. Balatinecz reported that the top ten suppliers of WPC products account for 70% of the market share. All of the companies are located in North America.