Marrying the look of wood with low maintenance has been the goal of Americhem Inc.'s nGrain simulated wood-grain effects for 15 years.
During that time, the Cuyahoga Falls-based color compounds and concentrates maker has seen nGrain sales shift from siding products to decking, said product development manager Brian Cur in a Feb. 4 phone interview.
Lately, the nGrain product line has moved in a new direction.
We have two kinds of products: one that really is geared toward PVC/styrenic [that we are] now marketing into olefin/capped wood composites; as well as the cellular PVC [to] the foam decking industry, he said. We're really excited about our olefin line of products.
Capped olefin products look to be the future of wood-plastic composite decking, Cur said in spite of the recent record lags in new U.S. housing production.
Over time, like any market, we've seen decreased sales. But really, the decking market and the luxury premium items in that market have really picked up. What we saw in siding from the past has been overshadowed by the new decking market. So sales have remained steady over the life of the product line, Cur said.
According to Americhem, nGrain's versatility is compatible with a range of monoextruded and coextruded resins, is cost efficient and allows for collaborations with on-site support from the company.
We have some customers that are going gangbusters in the market right now [and] that we feel will continue down that path. [NGrain] gives us an opportunity to get through to customers that we haven't been able to break ground with in other areas, Cur said.
NGrain products are primarily made at plants in Ohio and in Mansfield, Texas, he said. Americhem has shown the product in China and may in the future produce nGrain in Suzhou, or at its plant in Manchester, England, he added.