PVC Synthetic Teak Decking Characteristics - Truth and Myths
Synthetic teak decking is a comparatively new marine product to the market and the appearance has improved over the years. There are a number of quality brands on the market to choose from and we have seen a number of comparative tests of material brands. The material strips are welded into a panel shape before being adhered onto a typically fibreglass deck. However, do these material tests actually amount to much?
Typical Comparisons - Useful or Not?
1) Texture and Grip. Why compare the materials texture and grip when it can be altered in a jiffy simply by sanding the surface? It is the sanding that gives the PVC material its texture and grip and the customer may choose the texture during fabrication.
2) Temperatures. Comparisons show that the materials surface temperature is principally governed by the colour so cooler colours have the most dramatic effect on keeping the deck cool. The arguement as to which synthetic teak is the coolest amounts to which material cools the quickest after the sun recedes This can bring in many factors. Is it worth all the arguing?
3) Weight. Many boats are designed or have an option of having a teak deck which is much heavier than synthetic teak decking. So a typical 28ft sportsboat cockpit is around 5 sq m and has a difference of 6kg in the synthetic teak decking brands. This compared to the typical weight of such a boat being 2500 kg. Is the typical extra weight really considered a significant factor of choice compared to other factors of choice?
Suggested Comparative Tests - Useful or Not?
Here are some other suggested comparisons that might be more useful
1) Durability. Decking Panels could be stress tested at the welds to see which are the strongest panels. Each brand tends to have different methods of construction. Welding from the back is generally considered stronger than welding from the top and it is often the welds that will wear first,
2) Staining. Some Synthetic Teak Decking is more prone to staining than others. Brands with additives in the PVC compound will stain differently to those without additives. Comparative tests on staining dont seem to go into much detail or cover the subject thoroughly but experience and customer feedback suggests significant differences.
3) Adhesion. Which Panels adhere the best with the recommended adhesives?. The underside of each of the Synthetic Teak brands tend to vary. Ridges give more surface area to bond compared to smooth and dovetails are supposed to give some extra mechanical bond.