Invariably, our storages in toilets & wet areas get spoilt over a period of a couple of years. This is the problems with storage in toilets. So what is the remedy? For some time, a solution in the form of WPC is being used successfully. The material is ideal to be used in areas where some water splash on your storages / cabinets are likely. These are a good substitute. Please don’t use it as a water proof material, but as a water resistant material. While fabricating, one must understand that the hinges etc are of metals & would need extra care to prevent them from rust & resultant decay.
What is WPC-Wood Plastic Composite?
WPCs are composite materials made of wood fibre/wood flour and thermoplastic(s). The material has a proportion of 70 percent cellulose content (although 50/50 is more common) to plastic, the mechanical behaviour of WPCs is most similar to neat polymers (fibre plastic).
Advantages of WPC:
- WPCs do not corrode and are highly resistant to rot, decay, and Marine Borer attack.
- They have good workability and can be shaped using conventional woodworking tools.
- WPC is considered a sustainable material as can be made using recycled plastics and waste products of the wood industry.
- The material carries the ability to be moulded into almost any desired shape.
- A WPC member can be bent and fixed, to form strong arching curves.
- It lacks the need for paint.
- WPCs are manufactured in a variety of colours.
Disadvantages of WPC:
- It is not fully water resistant as the wood fibres embedded within the material do absorb water. However, it is not very susceptible to effects of water.
- Although these materials continue the lifespan of used and discarded materials, they have their own considerable half life or less; the polymers and adhesives added make wood-plastic composite difficult to recycle again after use.
- WPCs have a lower strength and stiffness than wood.
- Also, they experience time and temperature-dependent behaviour.
- The wood particles are susceptible to fungal attack, though not as much so as solid wood, and the polymer (plastic) component is vulnerable to UV degradation.
- It is possible that the strength and stiffness may be reduced by moisture absorption and freeze-thaw cycling.
- Some WPC formulations are also sensitive to staining from a variety of agents (even water at times).
- WPC has higher fire hazard properties than wood alone, as plastic has a higher chemical heat content and can melt.