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Standard Performance Ratings for
Wood-Plastic Composites Under Way

ASTM Subcommittee D07.02, Lumber and Engineered Wood Products, welcomes participation as it develops a Standard Specification for Establishing Performance Ratings for Wood-Plastic Composite Deck Boards and Guardrail Systems.

“This specification is a roadmap for those who wish to obtain a code listing of their product in the U.S.,” says Robert Tichy, Ph.D., a senior research engineer in the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman. “All products must be recognized by a model code to be used in building construction,” he says. “Therefore, anyone in the business of manufacturing guardrails or deck boards must achieve building-code recognition.”

Users of the proposed standard can obtain a performance rating for any shape or thickness of solid or non-solid deck boards or guardrail systems (guards and handrails). They can establish the basis for code recognition of deckboard span ratings and guardrail system performance in exterior applications where combustible construction is allowed.

Because this is a performance-rating specification, users can evaluate any size, shape, or thickness (solid or non-solid) deck board or guardrail component, says Tichy, who is chairing the development of several standards in ASTM Committee D07 on Wood.

The subcommittee is developing the standard specifically for the evaluation of wood-plastic composites, however, the standard will define performance requirements that will be valid for any material or combination of materials used as deck boards or in guardrail systems.

Tichy says those contributing input to the proposed standard include materials, wood, and polymer scientists; structural and mechanical engineers; statisticians, product and market development specialists; testing laboratory personnel from both wood and polymer labs; and building code officials.

To participate in this activity or obtain further technical information, contact Robert Tichy, Ph.D., Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman (phone: 253/529-0900). Committee D07 meets Oct. 13-16 in Madison, Wis. For meeting or membership details, contact Maxine Topping, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9737). //

Copyright 2003, ASTM