Today entire world is rigorously looking for substitute products of natural resources. Whole world has seen a big calamity caused by the nature and green house gases in Germany, Europe recently. Country like india is behind Solar and Electric Vehicles and government is trying it’s best. Similar way globally many countries are cautious now for increasing the use of substitute products including Power, Fuel and materials. Green, recyclable and biodegradable products are the future of the world.
But most important point is – ‘Substitute products should be sustainable.‘ All governance of the world is little to moderate is trying to accept green, recyclable products but the focus should be on sustainability as well. Sustainable product means – A product has some inherent properties those lead for a longer life span for it. It should not require to be replaced in a shorter life span that leads more material usage and more waste generated. Sustainable product with longer life span saves materials, maintenance cost and operational cost.
Being into wood industry since nearly about 2 decades I have seen an exaggerated use of natural resources wood. Standing trees and forests are being cut for timber those are actually natural products. Once cut there are no effective plantation practices to replace those lose by public or private sector. Further natural wood is absolutely a product from the mother nature just like a human body. It has a tendency of act as an earth element, thus it will grip & leave moisture. It will decay, it will be corroded and it termites also can eat them. So, these are the regular phenomenon happens with wood and allied products, despite of it’s highly agitating with chemical & temperature treatments. Thus wood can never be a sustainable product for years and it needs several maintenances, replacements and finally it creates wastages on the earth. Chemicals used for converting them into panels are also not bio-degradable and Emission zero grade so that is an another serious problem as well.
Amongst all these a product named as Wood polymer composite, popularly known as WPC has created a space in the application markets. In my experience, WPC can be termed as a real sustainable product in the crowd of furniture materials. I have been continuously traveling across the globe for exploring newer materials for wood industry. I have always tried to get something extraordinary that can change the face of the industry as a whole. Being a Polymer Engineer I have got a chance to see, evaluate and mobilize wood and polymer technologies, hand in hand. WPC is one that was found outstanding having more potential than other sustainable products.
Before entering the WPC technology space I was used to get engaged with MDF, Particle, OSB and Modular furniture technology fields. We were installing turnkey projects for these panels and i was not happy with the use of bulk and bulk of woods being crushed there. As a substitute we were trying for bagasse waste but that was also not a sustainable composition. Industry was just moving based on the expanding market needs of panels. At that time we had never thought of replacing of natural wood and allied products with some other sustainable products. I was closely conversing for some developments with Dieffenbacher, Siemelkamp, Metso, Andritz, Pallman, Homag like major global players. Across the journey I was meeting with polymer giants like Battenfeld-Cincinati, Reifenhauser, Bausano for discussing the potential and possibilities of wood substitute products. Our of all the thought was seriously coming up for Wood polymer composite as a power product for the industry, replacing wood use and wood applications.
WPC is a real sustainable product against wooden products. It is giving you a natural advantage of being a Polymer derivative. If you visit our office at Ahmedabad, it is built with total WPC panels and with just zero wood/panels. We have not even used Screws for building the overall layout. This material can be termed as plug and play material for joinery. Being totally termite and water proof, you do not need to worry about future issues of maintenance. If used indoor it has a too long life compare to wooden materials. Further we have used water based green certified paints from Rhenocoll, germany those take very few hours to get dried. They have developed speciality paints for PVC/uPVC based systems and it fits best with the recyclable WPC materials.
WPC is a truly eco-friendly material with it’s usage pattern. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycle atleast 2-3 times in it’s life cycle. We are working on developing Bio-degradable WPC materials and we have strong hopes for bringing those soon. In final words I say, sustainability of earth matters and we are concerned for that.
by Hardik Panchal
HARDY SMITH, India.