Go to section: General | Fabrication | Residential | Structural


We are exclusively a manufacturer of recycled plastic lumber materials for residential, commercial and structural applications. We do not wholesale, carry general inventory or sell directly to the general public.

Tangent manufactures non-structural and structural grades of recycled plastic lumber which can be customized to meet a variety of residential, commercial and structural applications.

Available in dimensional lumber sizes and high density sheet, our residential and commercial materials are primarily used by our OEM business customers to fabricate a variety of end products such as outdoor casual furniture, playground equipment and other similar products where high quality color, finish, uniform cell structure is critical to fabricate and build components of end products with high value fit & finish.

Our structural materials are used in a wide variety of applications by OEMs and government agencies, including marine decking, fencing, dunnage, and marine fender systems. These materials are available in a wide range of cross-sections, colors and technical specifications which can be customized to meet the end use strength requirements unique to its targeted application.

Our residential and commercial materials are offered in over 170 different sizes and over 100 different colors and can be manufactured to any transportable length.

We also offer our structural materials in a wide variety of cross-sections and colors. Please visit our material pages for our standard product offerings.

Tangent has in-house tool making capability and can create a new tool and cross section to quickly meet customers’ needs if the tool or shape is not in inventor. Through our pantone matching technology, we can also match and create any color.

Yes, we are proud to produce all of our products in the USA and have 9 manufacturing facilities; five in Aurora, Il, two located in Worthington, MN, one in Winchester, VA, and one in Brantford, CA. We also manufacture our fiberglass rebar in-house.

Absolutely. Tangent materials are recyclable and manufactured from recycled plastic. Sourced from post-consumer and post-industrial recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE), all products can be recycled after project life-cycle. We’re proud to be a certified closed loop manufacturer and even offer a buy-back program for our products – please contact our customer service team for more details.

Tangent welcomes new product ideas and concepts on how to expand sales of our plastic lumber products regardless if we have the tool or color in house. If you are a manufacturer considering using recycled plastic lumber to build upon existing or developing new products with call us right away to collaborate and confirm the suitability of using our product brands in your application. Once we understand suitability and qualify the opportunity, we will do what it takes to get your product to protoype with – regardless of quantity.

If you are inquiring to look for a very small quantity for a one time project around the house we are not your best fit. For these projects, please contact our distributor Vinyl Tech (Sales@TangentVinylTech.com) and they will be able to help you get what you’re looking for.

No, all Tangent recycled plastic lumber products have Ultra-Violet (UV) stabilizers compounded into them to help protect the color and integrity of the base resin for years to come. Because Tangent products are wood free and contain no organic fibers you will not observe a rapid color shift or fade to grey due to exposed wood / organic fibers at the surface, as is commonly experienced with some wood composite decking and other shapes. Persistent and aggressive UV exposure to sun and heat cycles does affect polymer-based product’s surface finish and color stability over long term life cycle as with most all materials.

The color of most materials fades to some degree over time, from exposure to ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Plastic lumber is no exception to this, with brighter colors generally being more susceptible to fading than darker colors. To help reduce fading to an insignificant amount, Tangent adds UV inhibitors to our plastic lumber to ensure our boards will last for years to come.

Tangent materials are designed to stay within 5∆E* from the initial color manufactured for a period of 5 years. This is not detectable to most customers and is in line with industry standards, representing a relatively small change over a long lifetime.

*∆E (DeltaE) is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives color difference and describes the measure of change in visual perception of two given colors. Delta, a mathematical term, describes the change in a variable or function.

Recycled plastic lumber made from HDPE plastic, offers a long-lasting solution. Studies show that products made from HDPE last in excess of 50 years. Examples of Tangent Materials in applications like bridge protection, fender piles and shoreline stabilization have been in service in rugged environmental conditions for over 20 years with no apparent reduction in physical properties.

No! Tangent Materials 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 extremely durable and will not rot, mold or degrade over time.

Since other molecules don’t adhere to HDPE (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. For tougher spots, we recommend using a power or spray washer.

Yes, given a perfectly dry or extremely low humid environmental conditions static electricity is a naturally occurring phenomenon. The potential to occur is no different than walking across your brand-new carpet inside your house in the same conditions. Tangent adds an anti-stat additive which greatly reduces this. Please contact your sales rep for applications where this may be a concern.

Tangent plastic lumber products are not any more slippery than painted or sealed wood. For high traffic applications we do have a wood grain or knurled embossed finish that will improve the COF or coefficient of friction to assist in meeting the appropriate standards set for the application intended. For coefficient of friction rating, please see the material’s technical data sheet.

Tangent materials are engineered to withstand extreme environments and temperatures to help prevent cracking or splintering. Since our plastic lumber is made from HDPE, it performs better than most plastics in low temperatures. HDPE plastic lumber maintains its integrity to below -40 degrees in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. However, by -50 degrees Fahrenheit, it may become significantly embrittled and could crack if struck. We recommend the use of our material in temperatures above -40 degrees Fahrenheit

Absolutely! All Tangent plastic lumber materials have established warranties. Please refer to our resources page for product warranties.

This is subject to production backlog at the time of order, however, with a wide array of extrusion lines, we are typically able to comfortably support most construction schedules and we are willing to produce ahead and carry in our inventory to alleviate concerns about meeting delivery dates.

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.

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.

For published specifications to help determine suitability for your design, please visit our Technical Information page.

At Tangent we wanted to keep our environmental marketing claims honest and transparent. Our customers in turn build their environmental marketing claims based upon what Tangent represents. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated their “Green Guides” in 2012 which set rules for the industry to follow and to put companies on notice who make invalid claims (greenwashing). We determined the time was right to demonstrate leadership in our recycled plastic lumber industry and be the first to reach out and engage an independent third party firm to certify our recycled content claims and to ensure we do our own due diligence to comply with the existing FTC published guidelines. For more detailed information go to the Certified Recycled Content section.


No, standard woodworking tools can be used with our products. Our materials can be cut, drilled and milled in the same manner as wood. As always, use tools according to their manufacturer’s instructions; wear protective clothing, including safety glasses and follow all shop safety guidelines. Refer to our install guidelines for more detail regarding handling and safety. Tools used vary depending on the project, however here are some commonly used:

  • Compound Miter Saw/Circular saw – carbide tipped blade
  • Variable speed drill – carbide tipped blade
  • Impact driver
  • Router
  • Chainsaw – carbide tipped blade

No, stain and paint will not adhere well to our products. The stability of color and finish on the surface and in our core through the addition of UV stabilizers reduce and mitigate the need for typical recurring maintenance as is needed for wood and wood based composite products.

We highly recommend stainless steel screws and fasteners – why invest in a beautiful and long lasting product and then see rust emanating from a metal fastener susceptible to corrosion or oxidation?

Pre-drilling may required, particularly in professionally installed projects where “fit & finish” is highly desirable. We suggest you review all viewable documents associated with Tangent plastic lumber materials to ensure you are fully informed before designing and working with our products. Our staff is always available to assist.

Tangent is the best in our industry at controlling lot to lot color in our process. Our customers could not build products from several shapes of the same color if we were not consistent in our manufacturing process. However we do utilize post-consumer and post-industrial recycled HDPE in our prodcuts. As a result, we do manufacture to a standard allowable variance acceptable to our customers which may result in very slight differences. No one else in the industry internally controls their recycling process and bulk blends feedstocks like Tangent.

Yes, thermal expansion and contraction is a fact of life for all materials and is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Resin based products, such as our recycled plastic lumber materials, will exhibit predictable thermal expansion and contraction. The key is to quantify and understand it to accommodate in the design and implementation of your end use. Our Technical Data sheets are available for each product which document the amount of thermal expansion and contraction to expect according to ASTM standard test methods. We will be happy to discuss options and the best custom grade for your application and technical needs.

HDPE plastic lumber expands at a higher rate than traditional wood, so thermal expansion is an important 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, our Structural Molded Fiber material 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 plastic lumber building materials. Please contact your sales rep with additional questions.

The answer is a qualified – yes. We do not recommend you saw cut inward to notch at a sharp 90 degree angle with overlapping cross cuts. This method produces a sharp concentrated stress point and over time will propagate a stress crack emanating from it regardless if the material is wood or polymer based.

You should always plan your notch by drilling a hole and saw cutting from each side towards the drilled hole to allow the radius at the intersection to be your notched corner. This technique should leave space for any expected thermal expansion & contraction, particularly if you are notching to go around a stationary post or other immovable obstacle. Keep in mind when you drill holes and notch out a cross sections of our product you will affect the overall physical properties of the product cross like any other product.

Absolutely! Our materials can be used together to take advantage of the unique properties of each material in an overall system, application or product. We are happy to collaborate and make recommendations to be sure that the design and use is appropriate for each material.

A number of variables affect the recommended spans. Please contact us, or have your engineer contact us, so that we may provide technical data to support their design.

With similar carbide tipped tooling used to cut and drill wood. Please refer to our Field Installation Guide.

In general, no. HDPE lumber does not absorb outside elements, therefore glue generally does not perform well with the lumber. Tangent materials have superior durability that enable them to stand up against all weather and elements, including any attempt to alter its surface or refinish it. We do not recommend sanding or refinishing. Contact us to discuss the appearance you want to achieve in your finished product and we can offer design and tooling to created custom textures and finishes as needed.

We do not recommend welding or gluing with conventional tools. Please see our installation guidelines for more information on how to fasten our product.


No, Tangent supplies original equipment manufacturers with materials to build and sell these types of outdoor products.

Tangent’s dimensional lumber is the superior wood alternative for OEMs who create products for residential and commercial markets. For Original Equipment Manufacturers and fabricators who want unmatched performance and unrivaled beauty, look no further. Tangent’s dimensional lumber is the product of choice for hundreds of outdoor residential, public, and commercial applications. From chairs and tables to park benches and patio furniture, Tangent’s dimensional lumber is the superior wood alternative for all of your non-structural outdoor needs. For more weight bearing applications, we recommend using our structural materials. Your specific needs will inform which product is best used and we are always available to guide you through this design process.

Fabricated products utilizing recycled plastic lumber can be made to suit a wide variety of outdoor living applications both for residential and commercial uses. Casual furniture, golf course accessories, urban site amenities (public parks, state lands, etc), playground systems, transportation, industrial settings, agricultural settings, and more evolving each day!

There are over 170 different sizes and profiles of Dimensional Lumber. Visit our materials page for more information. If you don’t see what you need, we’ll make it for you. Our on-site tool creation can quickly meet your needs and match any color necessary

During the manufacturing process we build in UV stabilizers to help protect color and integrity of the base resin for decades. Because Tangent’s Dimensional Lumber is wood-free and contains no organic fibers, you will not observe a rapid color shift or fade. Persistent and aggressive UV exposure to sun and heat cycles does affect polymer-based products and may slightly alter the product’s surface finish and color stability in the long term as is true with most materials.

No, Tangent’s dimensional lumber is a non-structural, recycled plastic lumber product that should never be considered for structural end uses. For structural applications, we offer a wide variety of reinforced HDPE products designed specifically for structural applications. Please contact our customer service with inquiries regarding structural plastic lumber needs

Yes, Tangent materials maintain their color and appearance inside and out. Our specialty Woodgrain colors highlight a natural grain gradation throughout the board. No other HDPE lumber on the market can produce this organic wood-like color and finish through the core like we can.

Scratches are difficult to remove, however our material is very difficult to scratch in the first place, so this should be a very rare issue. We have developed a ‘distressed finish’ that maintains its beauty even after any small scratching may occur.


Our Marine Decking (formerly, TanDeck™) is our marine dock board made from recycled plastic lumber. This product is available in 2×6 and 1×6 cross-sections and sold exclusively through Tangent approved Marine Dealers for the residential boat dock and public/private marina markets.