Why Use Composite Panels Instead of Timber

Wood panels enhance the look of interior spaces, adding elegance, warmth and natural beauty to homes and offices. The demand for construction timber, however, has led to indiscriminate logging activities that contribute to global warming, cause the extinction of wood species and wreak irreparable damage to the environment. Innovative solutions such as composite panels are ideal ways of incorporating the aesthetics of timber without the harmful consequences on the environment.

Eco Wood panel made from composite material

About composite wood panels

Composite panels containing wood, also known as engineered wood composites, are typically made of wood fibres or sawdust obtained from real hardwood which may be shredded or ground to a fine pulp. The extracted fibres are then dried and mixed with epoxy or other binding agent and formed into sheets under high levels of heat and pressure. The resulting products may be known in the market as particle board or hardboard.

Advantages over timber

Less timber used: The engineering process behind composite wood panels uses smaller dimensions of timber as raw material, yet it can be manufactured to create larger dimension composite decorative wall panels.

Lighter than timber: The dried wood fibres that are found in the composite material carry less moisture and weigh less than ordinary wood materials. With their lighter weight, shipping and installation costs are lower, and many homeowners are able to work with composites using ordinary tools at home.

Stronger than timber: Its lighter weight, however, does not make it a weak material. Without the breaks in the natural fibre of ordinary timber, composite wood panels tend to be stronger and are suitable for standing walls, furniture frames and other heavy duty interior purposes.

Eco friendly: Composites use only smaller dimensions of ordinary wood, allowing manufacturers to obtain raw materials from smaller trees which are easily replanted for sustainability.

Resistant to warping: The manufacturing process involves heat and pressure which leave the composite products with low moisture content, making them resistant to warping, twisting and distortion. The finished product ordinarily retains its shape and size.

Depending on the manufacturing process used, composite wood panels may possess high density core resin material with proprietary acrylic coverings for a wide range of durability, strength and design options. High quality composite wood panel systems are ideal for indoor use although more high quality panel systems may be engineered for exterior use as well. Composite wall panels are readily available in the market and may be sourced online.

From What Materials Are Decorative Wall Panels Made?

Decorative wall panels can be made from many different materials, including wood, stone, fibreboard, polymers, and last but not least, bagasse, which is made from crushed sugarcane stalks.

Fibreboard wall panels
Usually moisture resistant, fibreboard has a raw face and white melamine back. The raw face can be finished in many different patterns, depending on the 3D finishing technology the provider offers, and on the needs of the customer. This material is durable and resistant. The fibre sources come from Australian forests, mostly softwood. Fibreboard is one of the greenest materials used for decorative wall panels, meeting GECA standards.

Polymer wall panels
18mm polymer board is often used for outdoor decorative wall panels because of its durability and remarkable properties. Besides being light, strong, and flexible, it is also self- extinguishing, pest-resistant, non-corrosive, and waterproof. Moreover, it can be installed in multiple ways, including through drilling and screwing.

Stone wall panels
Granite, slate, onyx, and sometimes even marble are all used for decorative wall panels. These are usually mounted on a support base, to make them easier to handle and install. The base is always concealed though, so in terms of appearance, these panels look just like the authentic stone. Decorative wall panels can have a face that mimics castle stone, field stone, garden stone, cut granite, stone wall, and even coral block.

Wood wall panels
There are many varieties of decorative wall panels made of wood. Both softwoods and hardwoods are used. Many companies have developed their own technologies for copying realistically the appearance of wood, without actually using wood but recyclable materials, thus minimising the negative impact of their products on the environment.

Bamboo wall panels
Some Australian manufacturers offer bamboo decorative panels, often 100% handmade. Bamboo wall panels can be used both inside and outside, as bamboo is durable and long lasting, and if subjected to the right treatment, weather resistant even in bad weather. Bamboo wall panels typically maintain the original appearance of bamboo.

Bagasse wall panels
3D decorative wall panels made from bagasse are increasingly popular in Australia. They are green products, made from a 100% biodegradable material obtained from sugarcane stalks. Bagasse panels are also pleasing visually, being typically milky white, decorated with 3D patterns.

These are the basic materials used by Australian manufacturers for decorative wall panels. But you have to keep in mind that many companies constantly develop new wall panel manufacturing technologies and improving existing processes, often by using new raw materials. Things are constantly changing in this field.

Continue reading From What Materials Are Decorative Wall Panels Made?