Greenwood, S.C.-based Tech-Wood North America plans to use the upcoming International Builders' Show as its stateside coming-out party to introduce the masses to its unique polymer-reinforced wood products that company officials are calling an entirely new building material.
This is like when vinyl was introduced to North America. It was a new material, Peter Kotiadis, Tech-Wood's president and CEO, said in a Dec. 3 telephone interview. We're not just a new extrusion company. It really is a new material technology. What you can make from it is anything you feel like. Pick a shape, cut a die, and off you go.
All of the company's products are made of Wood 2.0, a blend of about 75 percent oriented long-strand pinewood fibers and 25 percent virgin polypropylene. Tech-Wood extrudes exterior cladding, decking, railing and retaining-wall systems at its 120,000-square-foot plant in Greenwood.
Tech-Wood has spent the past year developing the 65-acre site's infrastructure, including new rail access, roads, water and sanitary sewers, and converting the building from an old warehouse into an extrusion facility.
The company plans to introduce a complete siding system, including corners, soffit and fascia boards, by the end of the first quarter. Tech-Wood is also in product development on window and door profiles.
The siding product, Tech-Plank, has a mixture of features company officials believe can gain them some market share.
It has the simple installation of vinyl, the strength and mass of fiber cement, and the beauty and high-end finish of wood, but without the maintenance, Kotiadis said.
Tech-Wood officials intend to leave an impression at the International Builders' Show, scheduled for Jan. 19-22 in Las Vegas.
It could be a cold winter, but in 2010, we may have some glimpses of normalcy, Kotiadis said. We think it's the right time. We're going to be making some noise.
The Wood 2.0 technology was developed by Tech-Wood International BV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tech-Wood USA is its own legal entity and not a subsidiary of the European firm.
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