You Asked, We Answered! 10 Questions About Our Plastic Lumber Products:
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You Asked, We Answered! 10 Questions About Our Plastic Lumber Products:

By November 4, 2019 No Comments

Q: How do I clean plastic lumber?

A: Since other molecules don’t adhere to HDPE (like paint, chemicals, mold and fungus) like they do with traditional building materials, cleaning is a breeze. Most dirt and grime can be washed off simply with soapy water, and for tougher spots, we recommend using a power or spray washer.

 Q: Does the product become brittle in cold temperatures?

A: No, Bedford Technology products are engineered to withstand extreme temperatures and will not crack or splinter, even in cold temperatures. However, for best performance, we recommend our product is used in temperatures of -40°F and above. If using our product in temperatures below -50°F, our material can start to lose integrity and become brittle. If using our material in extremely cold ambient temperatures (-40°F and below), please contact our engineering department and we can help you determine if our product is a good fit for your application. 

Q: Is your product recyclable?

A: Absolutely. Bedford Technology products are manufactured from recycled plastic and are recyclable. Sourced from post-consumer and post-industrial recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE), our products can be recycled after product life-cycle. Bedford Technology even offers a buy-back program for our products, please contact our customer service team for more details. 

Q: Do you manufacture in-house?

A: Yes, we are proud to produce all of our products in the USA and have three manufacturing facilities; two located in Worthington, MN and one in Winchester, Virginia. We also manufacture our fiberglass rebar in-house.

Q: Do you have minimum quantities? 

A: For our furniture-grade,  continuously extruded products, we have a minimum order quantity of 2,000 lbs or about a pallet of material. However, we are proud to offer distribution that does not require a minimum order quantity and can ship our poly lumber in a variety of colors and profile sizes nationwide. To learn more, contact our customer service team.

Q: Will your product rot?

A: No! Bedford Technology products do not contain organic fillers (like wood fiber or sawdust) that can rot over time and affect the performance quality of the material. Recycled plastic lumber is structural and durable and will not rot, mold or degrade over time.

Q: I’m a homeowner, can I use this for my house??

A: Bedford Technology’s products are best suited for commercial applications due to the high-performance specifications. For most homeowners, the order minimums, price, and performance properties are higher than what they would need in their application, so we would recommend going with a brand developed for the residential market instead. 

Q: Can your board span the same distance as wood?

A: Plastic lumber is an extremely strong and structural material, but does have different properties than wood. It is slightly less rigid while being denser than traditional wood. For most applications, the same profile size of plastic lumber doesn’t span the same distance as the same profile of traditional wood. To achieve the same span length in plastic lumber, we typically recommend going one profile size up versus what you would use in traditional lumber. For specific span length questions, please refer to our product technical manuals. 

Q: How much does your product contract and expand compared to wood?

A: HDPE plastic lumber expands at a higher rate compared to traditional wood, so thermal expansion and gaping space in the installation is a consideration when using plastic lumber. 

For example, common lumber, such as pine, expands at 0.0000028 inches of length per degree (F) of temperature increase, and FiberForce® expands at 0.000033 inches of length per degree (F) of temperature increase. It is critical that this dimensional change is taken into account when using and installing plastic lumber building materials.

Q: Can I use plastic lumber in my design instead of wood?

A: When considering a wood alternative, a good place to start is with a comparable plastic board profile, then, move up one or two standard lumber sizes. It is common that a larger profile will be required for the plastic lumber board to match the span length of the wood profile. For longer lengths, weight and elastic modulus (flexibility) become important considerations. It is recommended that load calculations should always be performed by a qualified engineer in situations where high load or injury from failure is possible. 

When creating designs using plastic lumber, always refer to the technical specifications of the material, which can be found in the technical manual. For specific design questions regarding our material, please feel free to reach out to us and us engineering department can help answer your questions.