DALLAS — Its well-known durability has had processors chasing ABS in all directions for many years. Now, Reynolds Building Products has found a new avenue to explore with ABS: An ABS composite siding. The new siding was introduced at parent company Owens Corning's national meeting last month. It debuted at the International Builders' Show, held Jan. 14-17 in Dallas, but will not be available to the public until April.
While the material is thicker than traditional vinyl siding, it also is more flexible, making it easier to use in cold climates, said Doug Price, vice president of marketing for siding and accessories for Norandex/Reynolds Distribution Co.
"Everybody else in the market uses PVC and adds calcium fillers, which makes it thicker but also more brittle." The calcium fillers have been eliminated from the composite, he said.
Reynolds also manufactures its own line of vinyl siding. Price said the company had not received any complaints about that product chipping or cracking in northern states.
However, the Macedonia, Ohio-based firm expects ABS to be more popular than vinyl in northern and coastal states, Price said.
The composite siding has an acrylic polymer finish that will allow it to better endure salt water and harsh temperatures. It also makes the siding fade resistant, Price said.
Though ABS siding will be more expensive than PVC it still is designed as a "whole-house application," and will compete with cedar shake, he said.
It also can be used to accent traditional sidings.
While ABS is making an appearance in many more applications and building products these days, Price does not believe it will become a staple in the building industry, nor will it pass PVC in sales.
"It's substantially more expensive," he added.
Norandex/Reynolds is a subsidiary of Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning. O/C had estimated 1998 profile extrusion sales of $317 million and ranked No. 7 in Plastics News' survey of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders.