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Why Wood-Plastic Composite?

Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC), a material that looks identical to wood but with all the best properties of plastic, is being used more and more in Russia’s building industry. The number of manufacturers of this material is growing by the day, and the range of WPC is dazzling.

Savewood is the biggest producer of the material in Russia. The company’s CEO Pavel Moroz told MosBuild, Russia's largest building and interiors exhibition, about what makes WPC so good, where it can be used, and how customers can make the right choice when buying it.

Why is WPC such a popular choice?

There are two factors – the wide availability of WPC, and the unique qualities it has. Previously, Russians could only use WPC if they were well off, as it had to be imported from abroad, but there are now many Russian producers turning out WPC. This fusion of plastic and wood offers unique physical, aesthetic and practical qualities, and it can make a structure comfortable, durable and beautiful. The end result is both fashionable and practical.


Tell us about the specific features of WPC structures. Where they are used?

The flexibility, weather resistance and longevity of composites means they can be used to make a range of architectural forms – underwater structures, roofs, temporary installations, terraces, bridges, paths and ornamental garden products. Structures made from WPC don’t crack, warp or fade, and they don’t need any special protective products applied to them. Dirt doesn’t stick to them, and to get them back to top condition, all you need to do is wash them with water. A WPC floor is safe when it comes to splinters or slipping over.

Decking made out of this material has another advantage – you can lay it or pull it up quickly and easily. You can dismantle pretty much any WPC structure to clean or move it, and then lay and build it again easily.


Who will this product interest the most?                                                                             

It means business owners can save money on maintenance – restaurant doors, summer terrace cafés, verandas, or fencing. In house building, WPC has become the number one material for a range of flooring, verandas and fencing. You can make excellent garden structures from it – gazebos, terraces or paths.


A lot of companies are selling WPC now. What should a customer keep in mind when making their choice?

Manufacturers sometimes try to bring their prices down by using cheaper raw materials: using chalk instead of sawdust for filler, or old polymers that have been re-used multiple times. This makes the quality of the material much worse, and has a negative effect on its lifespan.

But you can spot a fake. Take a look at a cross-section of the WPC. If you see numerous coloured blotches (blue, green or grey) or streaks, this indicates poor quality. Price also has an effect on quality. Because of the special technologies and expensive raw materials you need to make it, the retail price of WPC should be no less than 1,400 roubles per square metre. If it’s cheaper than that, then the producer has scrimped on raw materials. Consumers should buy from trusted manufacturers and suppliers who give guarantees for their products and who won’t disappear from the market in a year.


What’s the most interesting use of WPC you’ve heard of?

The only limits to where WPC can be used is the imagination of designers! Staedtler make pencils out of it, and Gucci makes its Eco Pump heels using composites. In Indonesia the build WPC decking across swamps for oil tankers to pass, and I myself have seen a lamppost and railway sleepers made from it at an exhibition in Europe.


The sales figures speak for themselves…

WPC structures can last up to 25 years – two to three times longer than products made from natural wood. Even though the initial outlay on WPC decking is expensive for the customer,  it only takes a few years to make the costs back as there is no need to look after it or work on it further. This combination of price, quality and lifespan have led to a 20-30% increase in sales of WPC.

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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