Environmental Polymer Products: New range of recovered wood fibre/HDPE profiles

Environmental Polymer Products (EPP), UK, is launching a range of wood fibre-reinforced polymer composite building profiles manufactured from recycled post-consumer waste. It announced at this week’s Plastics Recycling 2002 conference that pre-launch production of the Knotwood range of profiles is already underway.
Target applications include external construction profiles for decking and fencing. The company is implementing a distribution network for the product, which it hopes to see stocked in timber depots across the UK.Knotwood profiles are manufactured in a 50:50 blend of wood fibre and HDPE recovered from recycled post-consumer milk bottles. The process uses an in-line compounding and extrusion process developed in-house by EPP in St Helens. Orme said the Knotwood pricing structure will also enable it to use virgin PE, meaning development of the product should not be compromised by shortages of post-consumer recycled resin.

The company has invested EURO 1.86m in two new manufacturing lines for the Knotwood project.The first line, which has a capacity of around 700kg/hr, is already installed and will be in full production by mid-September. The second line of 2,000kg/hr will be installed later this year. A key element in the Knotwood production lines is a patented cooling technology which, Orme claims, will allow it to extrude solid, hollow and foamed profiles at high line speeds. The firm plans to start selling Knotwood production licences worldwide next year. It is also considering supplying compounded material in pellet form.

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