Development of Industry Consensus Standards for Recycled-Plastic Lumber

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Courtesy of EMC2

Just a decade ago, recycled-plastic lumber (RPL) was used mainly for park benches, picnic tables, and other non-critical load bearing applications. While produced in common dimensional lumber sizes, RPL materials have some important mechanical property differences compared to wood. The thermodynamics of processing RPL materials produce products that are non-homogeneous in their cross-section. Typical standard test methods for measuring mechanical properties of plastic materials use coupon-sized specimens cut from the bulk. Such test methods are not useable for measuring properties of RPL. Standardized test methods and specifications are needed to expand the use of RPL in construction applications.

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