Bay City, MI—Eovations, an affiliate of Universal Forest Products, has announced the introduction of Eovations extruded oriented technology. The new technology is a patented process of producing a fully fiberized thermoplastic-mineral composite that replicates the fibrous structure of wood and creates a unique combination of strength, durability, aesthetic and workability properties.
The company says the composite material is a strong candidate to replace wood, wood-plastic composite, plastic and metal in a wide range of structural and nonstructural applications.
Eovations will license the technology to others for use in the commercialization of products and components in applications where the composite’s properties provide significant performance and competitive advantages. Examples include building products, outdoor and landscape structures and furnishings, marine products and structures, park and recreation installations, and industrial and commercial installations.
Eovations technology uses a proprietary extrusion/drawing process to combine mineral particles with a thermoplastic matrix, creating a fully fibrous and molecularly oriented lineal composite system. Claude Brown, Eovations vice president of technology and innovation, said the resulting material equals and in some cases improves upon the physical strength, dimensional stability, environmental durability, aesthetics and workability properties of wood while overcoming the strength and other limitations of wood-plastic composites.
“The possibilities created by Eovations technology extend significantly beyond traditional applications for wood and wood-plastic composites,” said Dick McBride, Universal Forest Products general manager of operations. “This remarkable material can be used almost anywhere a lighter, stronger, longer-lasting material is needed. Product designers, architects and engineers can use Eovations to overcome the limitations of other materials, creating differentiated new products in the factory and solving difficult application challenges in the field.”
Processes based on Eovations technology can employ a variety of polymer and mineral raw materials. A wide processing window enables finished composite properties such as density to be customized for specific applications. The appearance of the finished material can also be tailored, with a variety of surface textures and a range of colors incorporated during processing.
Brown said fabrication with the composite is almost identical to traditional carpentry. “The material can be machined, milled, cut and drilled using basic carpentry skills and common woodworking tools,” he said. “Fastener acceptance and hold is excellent using conventional nails, screws and staples. Variations of the composite readily accept common paints, allowing durable, attractive finishes to be applied during product manufacturing or in the field.”
Eovations offers this technology under flexible application and production licensing models. Licensees choosing the application model obtain the use of composite material produced by Eovations, LLC. The production licensing model enables licensees to utilize Eovations process technology in their own operations to produce composite material independently. Licensing under both models is for pre-defined applications.