02nd July, 2018

5 Misconceptions about Recycled Plastic Lumber

New inventions hit the market every day. As younger generations continue to grow and develop, so do the ideas and inventions. There is no doubt that innovation and creativity are all around us. However, not every new product is like the “fidget spinner” where you don’t need an instruction manual to figure it out.

One of the biggest challenges with new products is proper use. Many times it’s difficult to fully understand the functionality and characteristics of the new product, and misconceptions can occur. While recycled plastic lumber isn’t a “new” product in the construction arena, plenty of misunderstandings about its use, functionality and performance exist.

As the leading manufacturer of structural recycled plastic lumber, Tangent would like to set the record straight and clarify some of these misinterpretations to help you find the best solution for your building projects.

5 Common Misconceptions about Recycled Plastic Lumber Products

Below are five common misconceptions about Tangent. Explaining these misinterpretations will help you to understand our products and answer some common questions related to plastic lumber.

Plastic Lumber is Bad Quality

Oftentimes, plastic gets a bad reputation as a building material. This is because there are many types of plastic, and in the construction arena, it’s crucial that you find the best material that meets all of the project requirements.

Composites are a commonly used building material, and with so many types of composites, understanding the performance characteristics will help determine which product is best-suited for your project. HDPE (high-density polyethylene), is a strong and durable material that is manufactured to make plastic lumber mainly from post-consumer and post-industrial plastics like milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles. At Tangent, our product lines are re-purposed into an extremely sturdy and resilient building material that won’t rot, degrade or mold and installs like traditional wood.

To ensure that our products are high-quality, Tangent tests their products against many ASTM Standards. Some of these standards include ASTM D6109 (flexural testing), ASTM D6108 (compression) and ASTM D638 (tension) which ensure that our products can bear heavy loads and deflect energy when large objects bump up against it.

Tangent’s Plastic Lumber is Ideal for Residential Applications

As mentioned earlier, there are many types of plastic building materials that are best-suited for different types of applications. Many well known composite materials (like Wood Plastic Composite) are commonly used for residential applications like decking, but our composite HDPE plastic lumber is different. Recycled plastic lumber by Tangent is engineered for performance where wider spans, dimensional stability, increased flexural strength or higher rigidity are required; our product is ideal for commercial projects.

Tangent’s products are high-quality and have structural integrity, which are most often seen in commercial project requirements. While homeowners want a durable solution, our products are a commercial-grade, industrial-strength product that provides more robust performance attributes than is needed for most residential projects.

Tangent’s Products Contain Fillers

Another misconception about Tangent plastic lumber products is that it contains fillers. Fillers, like wood flour or mineral fillers, are particles that are often added to lower the consumption of more expensive material, in this case plastic. Fillers can decrease density, strength and durability of the material. Our molded SelectForce product is engineered using 95% post-consumer and industrial recycled HDPE. Additives, like UV stabilizers, are included to decrease color fading over time. Fiberglass strand and fiberglass polymer rebar can be added for increased strength and rigidity, but these materials enhance the performance of the recycled plastic lumber and are not considered fillers.

Tangent Products Won’t Last

Tangent products are manufactured to survive extreme weather conditions like snow, rain, extreme heat and cold and high winds. Recycled plastic lumber by Tangent doesn’t rot, splinter or corrode. There is no need to paint, stain or worry about color fade from sun exposure. For projects near or in water, plastic lumber is resistant to marine borers and mold, and with a 50-year warranty, our products are built to last for future generations. Our five product lines provide a durable, long-lasting solution in commercial markets including marine, industrial, parks and recreation, large animal and equine, landscaping and more.

Tangent Plastic Lumber Cannot be Special-Ordered

What you see isn’t everything that you can get. While our products are available in standard colors and profile sizes, all of our products can be custom-ordered to suit your specific project needs. Our molded boards come in a natural stone finish, that is great is for boardwalks, but can also have embossing or knurling added. Adding texture to boardwalks and decking or a bright color could enhance the aesthetics of your project and make it pop. If you’d like to see a sample before you place your order, we can ship it directly to, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Ready to Take the Next Step with Tangent?

Now that you have a better understanding of our products, contact us today to get started on your commercial project!