In recent years building products are more and more enhanced by sustainable ingredients. A representative of novel materials is Wood-Plastics-Composites (WPC) which consists of up to 80% cellulose fibers and a petroleum-based plastics matrix. They are so far used as cladding in the façade-segment. Further research aims to replace the petrochemical matrix by adding also polymeric natural products from lignin or vegetable starch which leads to a bio-based and compostable "green-composite".
The creation of a “Green-Composite-Façade” (GCF) constitutes a challenge for the WPC industry. Previous research on WPC wall cladding has shown that, in terms of material properties and life-cycle management, current WPC cladding products are far less application-oriented and plausible concepts and quantified data particularly about their sustainability are still missing.
This current research about WPCs and Green-Composites aims to investigate the feasibility of a durable and compostable building skin made from bio-plastics which are strengthened by agricultural waste fibers. The development concept follows eco-innovations and sustainable design. Therefore it first assess the life expectancy relative to current plastics-containing façade materials by the application of multi-sampling under simulated weathering. Findings can subsequently serve as data for life-cycle assessments. The goal of this research is to find the optimum between material strength which just meets the façade application and the maximal resulting sustainability of the product system. It so intends to support current WPC cladding applications and to inspire manufacturers to invest in the development of GCF.