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Wood Composite Fencing
Now a number of composite materials alternatives


The choice for fencing at the St. Vincent Behavioral Health Facility at SSM Health DePaul Hospital in St Louis, Mo., was Trex 'Seclusions' composite fencing, chosen for its security (10' height) and durability. It also features interlocking pickets provided added strength. The fence installer was Collins & Hermann.

Wood composites have been around for quite a while, plywood being the most prominent. Those thin sheets of cross-laminated veneers bonded under heat, pressure and strong adhesives are quit utilitarian and used for everything imaginable, from rooftops to fencing to ping pong tables.

Of course there are now a number of composite materials alternatives. Vinyl fencing has become quite popular, particularly for residential properties. Vinyl fencing is relatively inexpensive and maintenance free. It is, however, not the most "green" product, as it is derived from polyvinyl chloride and uses plasticizers to improve performance. Plasticzers are derivatives of phthalic acid.

The composite materials of wood and plastic made popular by the Trex Co., is another choice. Trex is known for its decking, but wants specifiers to know it is also quite practical, good looking and durable for fencing. Trex is made of over 50 percent recycled wood (derived from furniture mills), which is combined with recycled plastic bags. The company asserts its advantages over vinyl:

Its fence posts are 4 times thicker than vinyl posts, meaning they don't need to be sleeved over metal or wood fence posts for added strength. The fence pickets are solid; vinyl panels are hollow. Trex also has a 25-year residential warranty.

"The biggest advantage of modern composite materials is that they are light as well as strong," says the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Derek Premac, vice president of national sales for SRF Fence & Supply Co., which distributes wood composite fencing, notes the fencing is wind certification up to 110 mph and can withstand gusts up to 130 mph.

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December 7, 2019, 3:43 am PDT

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