Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JAN 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Page 21 of 71

by Mike Dahl, LC/DBM Above Man-made composites, two or more materials combined to create a new, stronger one, have been around for centuries, with bricks being one of the earli- est examples. A modern composite material made of recycled wood and plastics by Trex Company is now being used in fenc- ing. And as an example of its strength, it has wind certification of 110 mph and can withstand gusts up to 130 mph. A A composite material consists of two or more substances that work together, without fully blending or dissolving into one another, to give the new substance distinctive properties. At least one of the substances provides strength, and is known as the reinforcement, and at least one binds the reinforcement together, and is called the matrix. Concrete and fiberglass are two well- known examples of composites. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, "The biggest advantage of modern composite materials is that they are light as well as strong." And different combinations of reinforcement and matrix materials allows for composites that can be targeted for specific applications, especially because many can be formed into a wide variety and complexity of shapes. Wood composites have been around for a while, with plywood being one example, but a more advanced one was developed over 20 years ago for the decking industry by Trex Company. Their material is made of over 50 percent re - cycled wood, which is combined with recycled plastic bags. The manufacturer refers to it as a wood-alternative composite and now makes fencing products from it. According to Trex's website, their "special for - mula takes the strength of wood and pairs it with the durability of plastic," creating a product that is more sturdy than other manufactured fencing products with posts that are 4 times thicker, and therefore don't need to be sleeved over metal or wood fence posts for added strength – though they can be. The fence pickets are solid, not hol - low as some competitors' are, yet "only weigh slightly more…, making them just as easy to in - stall, but their resilience means you'll only ever have to install it once." 22 LC DBM

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