Technical Editor, Bruce Meechan talks to Coillte Panel Products’ Peter Clifton about the extended life and performance benefits of Medite Tricoya Extreme.
Sexagenarian sheet material
The irony seems to have escaped most private house purchasers, but the fact is that the period of many mortgages now far exceeds the design life of the components from which the properties are constructed; and could well survive the design life of the buildings as a whole.
Housing associations, however, have always been far more switched on about durability and whole life cost: which is probably why specifiers in the sector have been quick to see the benefits of Medite Tricoya Extreme.
Many readers will be familiar with the Accoya brand of timber products which have been enhanced by Accsys Technologies’ structural modification process – known as acetylation - employed in locations as diverse as marine works and fenestration for the most exposed of high-rise blocks.
Now the same process has been applied to the raw wood chips which go into Coillte’s new generation MDF panels: with game-changing results.
Peter Clifton is Coillte’s Product Manager for Medite Tricoya Extreme and comments: “For the social housing sector parameters such as thermal efficiency, weathering and durability have always been of a very high importance; which is why they are taking a keen interest in Medite Tricoya Extreme.
“As a company we have been involved in the manufacture of exterior grade MDF for over 20 years, and began looking at the potential for evolving this into the next generation of products back in 2005. It was subsequently through our partnership with Accsys Technologies that we secured the licence to carry out the proprietary method for the modification of the wood. Essentially the wood cells themselves are no longer affected in the same manner by moisture; completely changing the material’s performance characteristics.”
Treated and converted into Medite Tricoya Extreme, the metamorphosed wood strands suddenly present themselves as the ultimate material from which to manufacture cladding and roofline products; as well as other building components which need to stand the test of time. Which is why Medite can now number such high profile specialists as Masterdor, SAM Trimax and Decorative Panels amongst its client list. All are benefitting from the premier league panels’ performance attributes and seeking to pass on extended life expectancy and far longer warranty periods to their own clients.
Peter Clifton continues saying: “The acetylation process still allows the wood to breathe, but it no longer causes it to rot which is why MediteR TricoyaR Extreme is so dimensionally stable in respect of both exposure to rain or high humidity, and extremes of temperature. The material does not move so paint finishes won’t delaminate. In fact after ten years a housing association would only need to have its maintenance team give the surface a light sanding prior to retreatment. The long term savings are huge and more than justify the higher cost of the product. It can also be machined or routed into complex profiles or overlaid the same as a PVC extrusion. ”
He concludes: “We want architects and other specifiers to view Medite Tricoya Extreme as an ultra high end engineered wood panel which is environmentally sustainable, low weight with an unrivalled life expectancy of 60 years.”
It is worth reflecting also that the acetylation process is completely non-toxic so there is no detrimental effect on the environment while workers installing the roofline or cladding products only require normal PPG workwear.
Not only are companies like Masterdor phasing Medite Tricoya Extreme into their own production processes to improve quality and reap the benefit of reduced call-backs, but Coillte is engaged with its customers on offering further size variations and other enhancements; while the material itself is already in use across a number of RSL projects.