Case Studies

Merritt extrudes the smart alternative to timber fencing

Eco Fencing, the composite fencing product manufactured by Merritt Plastics for Atkinson Fencing, provides an attractive, maintenance-free alternative to timber fencing. Manufactured from Wood-Grain, a composite material comprising 75% recycled product, Eco Fencing offers the look and feel of timber without the hassle, and the durability of concrete without the weight and health and safety issues.

Wood-Grain consists mainly of recycled PVC-U, with a premium wood plastic composite (WPC) surface, and is guaranteed for 20 years against rotting. Merritt Plastics fuses the WPC composite to the recycled PVC-U board during production, so there is an identical matt wood finish on both sides of the panel – and so the neighbours do not have to tolerate an inferior finish on their side of the fence!

Merritt manufactures Eco Fencing under licence for Atkinson Fencing, which comments: “The company’s quality control is second to none and every product is 100%. The fact the material is recycled is a big plus for consumers as they’re very happy that the material will have spent 20 or 30 years in a house and then will spend another 20 years and more as fencing.”

Simple and easy to install, Eco Fencing consists of panels that are slotted into place and stacked to the required height. Replacing wooden panels in an existing fence is simplicity itself: just remove old panels and slot into the existing concrete posts. The ease of handling is even more apparent when the panel to be replaced is concrete – Composite Fencing panels weigh just 4.8kg when an equivalent concrete panel weighs 56kg and is weaker.

Independent tests have shown that the Eco Fencing components have greater tensile strength than concrete. The posts are flexible and so absorb and dissipate the energy from strong winds, whereas concrete posts will not flex and so can break in high winds and severe storms.

In one case, an Eco-Fencing post supported 56 stones in weight – three burly men standing on it lengthways – without breaking. Wood-Grain fence posts are also very easy to install as, like the panels, they can be sawn to measure and fixed using the system’s ‘SupaSpike’ – whereby the spike is driven into the ground and the post fitted over the top.

Merritt Plastics recycles 17,000 tonnes of PVC-U per year – the equivalent of 1.5 million windows as the average window weighs 11kg – from obsolete doors and windows collected from installers and manufacturing waste from fabricators to produce 12,000 tonnes of recycled PVC-U.

This recycled material is identical in physical performance to virgin PVC-U as Merritt Plastics’ quality control checks that its impact resistance and dimensional stability is unaffected and that all contaminants, such as steel, aluminium and polymers, have been removed.

The British Board of Agrément regularly audits the Ilkeston facility for quality control, which is also accredited under the ISO 9001 quality management standard.

“This is an excellent product that has a great deal of potential and we’re very pleased to have established such a strong relationship with Atkinson Fencing. We’ve worked hard to ensure that our quality control systems meet their needs and we’re sure that, working together, we can develop more products for the gardening and landscaping market that are attractive, tough and durable.”

Simon ReadmanGeneral Manager at Merritt Plastics
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