Report from the International Builders Show: Plastic continues to edge out slate, wood

Roofing shingles, siding, decking, and railing molded from virgin plastics, a combination of virgin and recycled plastics, and plastics and natural fillers are all popular options in the building and construction world. For example, InSpire Roofing Products, a Tapco Group company, introduced its next-generation premium roofing products that combine the natural beauty found in slate along with what it calls the most technologically advanced methods and materials.

InSpire Roofing products come in a variety of colors to match a home's exterior.

Multiple molds are used to create InSpire products with different edges and surface finishes, giving the product the look of authentic slate. Strength and durability are achieved using a proprietary blend of virgin resins and natural limestone that has been compression molded. InSpire Roofing products come in a wide variety of colors to match any exterior décor.

TechWood North America (Greenwood, SC) returned to the International Builders Show (held in this month in Orlando, FL) with its lineup of second-generation composite material technology. The company launched its Siding 2.0, a new siding material for the residential construction market in North America that TechWood says is stronger and lighter, and offers more color options, than fiber cement siding. Two new profiles of Siding 2.0 were unveiled at the 2011 IBS, which is the "first true innovation in siding in over 15 years," according to Skip Miller, VP of sales and marketing at TechWood, and which offer a "cost-effective alternative siding from start to finish for the homebuilder/homeowner."

TechWood Siding is made from Wood 2.0, a patented material technology that is guaranteed for 50 years-a combination of 75% long strand pine-wood fibers and 25% virgin polypropylene, making it superior to traditional plastic composite profiles, Miller said. Siding 2.0 has the mechanical properties of real wood and can be cut, routed, drilled, nailed, and sanded like wood and requires no special tools or delicate handling, unlike fiber cement siding.

Tech Wood Siding features four engineered shapes with a distinctive wood-grain look that offer high-dimensional strength yet are lightweight. It is preservative- and chemical-free, impervious to termites and carpenter bees, easy to install, and DIY-friendly with 16-ft lengths that can be handled by a single person. 

Patent issued, license agreement signed

In other IBS news, Railing Dynamics Inc. (RDI), a national manufacturer of low-maintenance exterior railing systems, has been awarded a new patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in conjunction with aspects of its Novaline railing system. The invention is listed with the patent office as "Railing Assembly with Detachable and Upgradable Components." It was the second patent within a month received by the company. Novaline, RDI's second major railing line, is a low-maintenance cellular PVC railing reinforced with aluminum that offers customization of several of its components.

Inteplast decking
Using its own proprietary cellular PVC manufacturing process, Inteplast is now manufacturing and marketing CEVN decking.

IBS was also a spot for Inteplast Group Ltd. (HQ in Livingston, NJ; manufacturing in Lolita, TX) to share with attendees that it has executed a license agreement with CEVN Corp. for the exclusive rights to manufacture and market the CEVN brand and patented deck board design using Inteplast's proprietary cellular PVC manufacturing process. Inteplast announced the launch of the industry's first dual-color, dual-sided cellular PVC deck board that will change the way distributors, dealers, contractors, and homeowners think about decking, according to the the company.

This core is surfaced with a specially formulated durable, highly weatherable layer that resists stains, fading, and scratching, and is more abrasion-resistant than wood-plastic composites. CEVN's new deck product combines high performance, ultralow maintenance, and ease of installation, making it ideal for a variety of applications, said Inteplast.

In addition, CEVN's proprietary process uses the blend of light and dark hues to create the natural variation found in real wood with a photo-etched surface pattern that creates one of the most attractive and realistic wood looks on the market.-Clare Goldsberry

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