Engineering Mechanics Corporation of Columbus (Emc2)

Long-Term Durability of Recycled Plastic Lumber in Structural Applications

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Courtesy of Engineering Mechanics Corporation of Columbus (Emc2)

Recycled Plastic Lumber (RPL) is increasingly being used in structural load bearing applications. These applications have involved residential decking boards, marine boardwalks, fender pilings, joists, and pallets. The objective of this paper is to address issues regarding durability and long-term performance of RPL. Although numerous factors affect the long-term performance, this effort is focused on four primary factors: creep deformation under a sustained load, outdoor weathering effects, thermal expansion, and hygrothermal cycling due to freeze-thaw. This paper details the work carried out at Battelle and at Emc 2 over a three year program to address the above issues.

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