11th February, 2022

Plastic Beams vs. the Elements: Does Plastic Lumber Hold Up?

As high-density polyethylene becomes more popular in construction and other industries, it’s important to know more about its structural integrity. Many people understand it’s a great cost-efficient alternative to traditional wood and other materials, but one question remains: how does plastic lumber hold up against the elements? This guide has the answers.

It’s Moisture-Resistant

High-density polyethylene is naturally resistant to moisture and wetness given its thermoplastic polymers. Resultingly, there’s no risk of mold, wood-rot, or insect infestation found that would occur with traditional wood. No further chemical agents are required. HDPE plastic lumber also has slip-proof protection that’s perfect for marine or outdoor purposes, like marinas or outdoor decking. HDPE is also chemical resistant. Dilute acids, oils, and grease do not absorb into the material.

Can Uphold a Wide Temperature Range

Given HDPE wood’s weatherability, there are many reasons to choose it over other materials. HDPE plastic sheets can withstand all types of weather conditions. Snow, sleet, ice, summer heat, rain, and high winds pose no risk to the durability and lifespan of HDPE lumber. The high density to strength ratio proves efficient in a broad thermodynamic range. HDPE has a melting point of about 248 to 284 degrees Fahrenheit. This means only extreme temperatures can alter the structural foundation of these sheets or boards.

Perfect for Outdoor Applications

When thinking about plastic beams versus the elements and whether plastic lumber holds up, the answer is a resounding yes. The high tensile strength of high-density polyethylene allows great resistance under tension, making plastic boards a viable material for outdoor applications. HDPE plastic boards are used for residential, commercial, industrial, marine, and agricultural purposes. The lightweight yet strong nature make it perfect for outdoor decking, construction mats, livestock enclosures, dunnage, and boardwalks. Each of these applications face elemental exposure on a continual basis, yet HDPE proves time and again to be an effective material that lasts up to 25 years without degradation. 

Tangent Materials offers the best HDPE plastic boards for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. Our plastic beamsare designed with practicality, purpose, and aesthetics in mind. As a low-maintenance, easy to clean, sustainable solution with exceptional strength and durability, there’s no reason to stick to traditional wood. HDPE plastic lumber is the perfect material for any job in mind!