Demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber in the United States is projected to advance more than 13 percent per year to $5.4 billion in 2015, creating a market for 2.6 billion pounds of plastic, according to Wood-Plastic Composite & Plastic Lumber, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. The study says advances will be driven by a rebound in construction expenditures from a depressed 2010 base and growth will be further boosted by increasing consumer demand for building products made from composite and plastic lumber, instead of more traditional materials, such as natural wood.

According to the study, decking, which was the leading application for composite and plastic lumber in 2010, will experience the most rapid demand advances through 2015. Among other applications, molding and trim, and doors and windows are expected to post the most rapid demand gains through 2015. Homeowners are expected to install doors and windows made from cellular PVC and composite lumber because of their resistance to rotting and resemblance to natural wood. Demand for composite and plastic lumber in landscape and outdoor products, fencing and other applications will also be promoted by increasing consumer recognition of the performance properties of these materials, according to the announcement.

In addition, demand for wood-plastic composite lumber is expected to post more rapid gains than that for plastic lumber through 2015, advancing more than 16 percent annually to $2.5 billion. Gains will be driven by ongoing consumer interest in composite lumber as a substitute for natural wood products in such applications as decking and fencing, according to the announcement.

Likewise, the study reports that plastic lumber demand is expected to rise nearly 11 percent per year to $2.8 billion in 2015, with gains spurred by rising consumer interest in the material because of its low maintenance properties. The efforts of manufacturers to create plastic lumber with more realistic woodgrain textures and surfaces will also support demand, says the report.

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