Is Wood the Better Plastic?

50 years ago, the unique wood material Werzalit was developed in Oberstenfeld
07.09.2005 | 

The material Werzalit is weather-resistant, durable and can be supplied in an unbelievable range of shapes and colors. It is particularly suitable for the manufacture and design of balconies, facades and window ledges. It is produced by Werzalit AG in Oberstenfeld near Ludwigsburg in the Stuttgart region. Since its inception in the year 1923, the Werzalit company has been involved with the manufacture of wood materials.

Werzalit consists of a precisely defined mixture of the wood of deciduous and coniferous trees and is pressed into shape with duroplastic resins under the action of heat. This gives rise to an extremely resistant, compound material with a bio-degradable material structure that is uniform throughout. The process was patented in 1956, and since then, more than 600 patents all over the world secure the know-how and the world-wide licensing. With five production facilities of its own, among them Werzalit of America Inc. in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and twelve licensed manufacturing works, Werzalit AG achieved a turnover of 73 million Euros in the year 2003.

Anyone who holds a Werzalit product in his or her hand the first time will hardly believe that it is not a plastic. But it’s not plastic: it is robust on the outside, wood on the inside. Particularly in America and in the Netherlands, Werzalit is establishing itself very strongly.

Werzalit AG enjoyed its latest success with the terrace flooring Terraza. It looks like wood, but is made of WPC - Wood Plastic Composite, which is the umbrella term for Werzalit materials. The flooring is absolutely water resistant, can withstand steam jets, is nonskid, light-resistant and does not become too hot in summer.

Apart from the uniformly highly compressed and homogeneous material structure, exactly defined formulas as well as the special surface refinement ensure its outstanding properties: in the raw material part, at temperatures of 160 ºC, the adhesion forces of the resins in the core and surface material are activated, so that an inseparable material joint is created. A table top becomes extremely resistant to heat, moisture and mechanical strain; nonetheless, the material is recyclable and CO2-neutral. To add to that, the evaporation-treated foils contain neither toxins, nor harmful pigments nor heavy metals. And of course, nobody has yet been able to copy the material or to achieve quality with a similar product.

The Stuttgart Region
The Stuttgart Region has long been known as the center of Europe’s automotive and industrial machinery industry. More recently, Eurostat, the European Statistical Office, has labeled it "the high-tech capital of Europe". It is the home of global companies including DaimlerChrysler, Porsche and Bosch and also leading universities and private research institutes. It is a region of 2.6 million people and has Germany’s lowest unemployment rate, highest export ratio and the highest number of patents per capita.

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The Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation works to provide favorable business conditions and assist all companies, large and small, whether located in or considering moving to the region. Additional information is available from Arndt Siepmann at the agency’s U.S. office,
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