The first of its kind: WPC made of acacia wood

From the savannahs of Namibia to German terraces: Thanks to a technology transfer between Germany and Namibia, WPC made from acacia wood has been produced for the first time.

The German WPC specialist NATURinFORM is cooperating with the Namibian WPC manufacturer Acacia-Composites. The northern Bavarian company has played a key role in setting up a new production facility for products made of wood fibre composite material, a new type of high-performance material that is enjoying growing popularity worldwide. Production of the first prototypes of the next-generation decking boards started near Windhoek in November 2023. Horst Walther, Managing Partner of NATURinFORM GmbH, confirms: “Both companies benefit from this cooperation. We were happy to provide our technological expertise and support our partners in the selection of production technology, among other things. At the same time, this allowed us to test the properties of a new raw material. We are always on the lookout for alternatives to wood, which we currently use in the form of upcycled wood fibres for our decking boards and façade profiles, as well as for products with other outdoor applications. Although wood is a renewable natural resource, the market for this resource is highly competitive. This is because we are competing with many other industries for this raw material, including pellet manufacturers.” Heinrich Unland, Managing Director of Acacia-Composites, is delighted: “We are very grateful to our German partner company NATURinFORM for the transfer of knowledge on production technology and product properties. This allowed us to succeed in setting up a production facility for wood fibre composite material in Namibia that meets German production standards in just a few months. At the same time, however, the added value remains entirely in the country.”

Primary sales market South Africa

The primary sales market for decking boards made of acacia wood in combination with a thermoplastic polymer has so far been South Africa. However, due to the high quality, Germany is also an exciting sales market. The WPC specialist NATURinFORM has developed its own surface for this and added it to its range under the product name NATURAL ACACIA in the brown shades savanna and kalahari. These decking boards can be purchased from all of NATURinFORM’s specialist retail partners and complement the range of the company committed to sustainability, which works with its own recycling system and takes the material back at the end of its useful life to make new products. The decking boards are available in lengths of 5 and 6 metres, and all NATURinFORM accessories are available for installation.

Namibia’s wildlife benefits

Instead of vast, open savannahs, dense acacia shrubland has spread in the course of colonisation and the resulting changes in land management, particularly in the northern half of Namibia, which is around 2.5 times the size of Germany, leading to shrub encroachment in the landscape. “In the past, the original wildlife of the African country ensured that these plants were naturally contained. Now, farmers and landowners are trying to clear the invasive bush at great expense wherever financially possible. The hardwood of the plants, however, is very suitable for use as a wood composite material, commonly known as WPC,” explains Heinrich Unland, who is delighted with the double effect: “By cutting back the shrubland, we are also ensuring that Namibia’s traditional wildlife can reclaim its habitat bit by bit. This also includes the elegant cheetahs, which, as savannah animals, need open savannahs for hunting but are slowed down by the sprawling acacia bushes, as they are unable to utilise their speed.

Download: Press release
Images for download available at: NATURAL Acacia
All images, unless labelled otherwise: NATURinFORM, Acacia-Composites Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd.

Press contact:
Sabine Heinrich-Renz
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