Chelsea triumph for Woodlink UK Lyptus® decking
As Cyril Williams of Woodlink UK explained, however, ‘Green credentials are of little value if it cannot perform. We have put our heart and soul into the product and wanted to prove, through testing by TRADA Technology, that its performance is as good as its looks.'
Dimensional stability is one of the most important aspects of timber used as decking, as any warping can cause a trip hazard, as well as looking unsightly. Timber is a hygroscopic material, which means that its moisture content will change in response to the temperature and humidity of its surroundings, resulting in movement as the timber either shrinks or expands as it loses or gains moisture.
There are, however, no British Standards giving limits on distortion of decking, or guidance on test procedures, so TRADA Technology designed a test protocol, using two test rigs, and applied its own considerable experience to assess the performance of a sample of 145mm wide boards. Initial outdoor and indoor tests indicated that, ‘when appropriately fixed to TRADA Technology's recommendations to the substrate, little distortion of the boards in service occurred'.
Interestingly, the testing also demonstrated that because of the high tannin content of the timber, Lyptus was susceptible to iron staining, but this problem can be avoided if stainless steel fixings are used. TRADA Technology's Dr Andrew Pitman said, ‘Our long experience with timber decking enabled us to recognise the problem and find a solution.'