08th September, 2022

What Material Is Commonly Used To Produce Plastic Lumber?

Plastic lumber is one innovation that has transformed a myriad of industries, from construction to manufacturing. One of the biggest reasons for this is the lumber itself. Its durability has made it incredibly useful for outdoor and indoor uses. And the most significant contributing factor to that durability is the materials used to make plastic lumber.

Recycled Plastic

The ideal structural material used to produce plastic lumber boards is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is the same style of plastic found in household products like milk jugs, single-use water bottles, and laundry detergent bottles.

It’s a material not often considered for its durability since a bottle can be crushed with little effort. However, when plastic is built densely, it can take a hit without breaking and—as those of us conscious of its environmental impact know—is slow to break down. This makes it an ideal building material.

Premium plastic lumber from Tangent Materials is made with recycled plastic that comes from community recycling programs and leftovers from manufacturing processes. Post-industrial and post-consumer plastics now take on new life as a patio lawn chair or community boardwalk.


Durable plastic lumber is a good choice for simple uses like home lawn chairs or benches. Looking for structural lumber for larger projects, such as marine piling or building a backyard deck? You need something with a little more structural integrity. In these scenarios, you may need structural plastic lumber reinforced by fiberglass.

Essentially, fiberglass is silica sand that has been melted down and pulled out until it is made into a fiber-like substance that has the strength of glass. This substance is combined with resin to make a sturdy, durable substance that we find in many products, including septic tanks, roofing, and bulletproof vests. This allows plastic lumber to be durable enough for home siding, decks, and other large structures.

How Plastic Lumber Is Made

To make plastic lumber, manufacturers first put post-consumer plastics through a washing process. They then put them through machinery that grinds them into small pellets, which are washed again.

From here, the plastics are mixed with other items, such as coloring, foaming agents, UV-protectants and reinforcement materials like fiberglass, if necessary. The manufacturing plant will then heat the mixture and place it into a mold or use an extrusion process to give the manufacturer the desired shape and texture for their plastic lumber.

Whatever your next project is, Tangent Material is the recycled plastic lumber supplier you can rely on to get the job done right. Contact us today to get samples for your next project.