COLUMBUS, OHIO - At least two building product manufacturers have commercialized the wood-and-plastic Strandex profiles made by custom extruder Crane Plastics Inc. Separately, Crane announced it has become a certified supplier to office furniture-maker Herman Miller Inc.
Since introducing the product in 1994, the Columbus firm has billed Strandex as a lower-cost, better-performing alternative to wood components. Strandex has a 70 percent wood content-sawdust that normally would go to a landfill. The wood is mixed with a proprietary compound that includes polyethylene. Using a traditional counter-rotating, twin-screw extruder, Crane extrudes the material through a patented die system, mixing wood and resins under heat and pressure. The dough-like mixture is cooled in a water bath, cured for two hours, then customized.
Crane announced the following two commercial applications:
*McPhillips Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Mobile, Ala., uses Strandex in its ToughTimber exterior doors. The firm wants to improve the durability of its wood doors, and reduce the cost of wood compared with steel doors. The door carries a five-year warranty. A patent is pending.
*Lincoln Wood Products Inc. of Merrill, Wis., uses Strandex profiles in its Lincoln Windows. The company wanted to add rot-proof components to the windows.
Crane licenses the process and die system from Strandex Corp. of Madison, Wis.
To get Herman Miller's certified-supplier status, Crane at-tained a part quality level of 99.98 percent. Crane extrudes a range of snap-fit plastic raceway covers for office partitions, among other parts for the office furniture maker in Zeeland, Mich. The designation allows parts made by Crane to be delivered, inspection-free, direct to the Herman Miller assembly line.