The below section contains answers to frequently asked questions about Lavaplastic® usage and the recycled plastic products we manufacture.

Should you have a question that is not answered here or believe that a certain topic should be dealt with in this section, please feel free to use our online contact form to tell us? This will assist us to expand & maintain the FAQ section.

By purchasing Lavaplastic® products you are directly supporting the South African plastic recycling industry and possibly even utilising some of your own material collected for recycling! Thank you for your contribution.

It is no use just separating recyclables at your home and saying “you are committed to recycling” if you are not committed to supporting the downstream recyclers by buying their products! Recycled plastic material does not just disappear once you have passed them on to a recycling depot, they have to go somewhere…..

In 60yrs+ your grandchildren can again recycle our products back into something new – so write your latest purchase from us into your will now!

How long will Lavaplastic® products last?

Lavaplastic® products are extremely durable, and have a minimum expected lifespan of at least 60 years with little wear. (We recently replaced a recycled plastic walkway that was severely damaged by vandals that was over 30ys old and still going strong)

Will Lavaplastic® planks bend?

Caution, our products will flex and expand as temperatures rise – this is plastic!

Can I paint Lavaplastic® products?

Yes. Polyolefins (the family of plastics that we use to make our planks) has a closed cell structure. This means it will not absorb liquids (which is why it is used in most packaging) but also means that a paint or stain will not adhere to it. The best way to colour our products is to have Lavaplastic produce it that way! Our manufacturing process ensures the colour is throughout the entire profile, and is therefore better than a surface coating, which could scratch or flake off – No painting or surface treatment is ever required.

Should you wish to paint our planks, Enamel Paint is the best option. Remember, painting defeats the object of no maintenance and does not stick well to Polyolefin plastic at all!

Does Lavaplastic® rot?

Plastic will not rot like wood, termites and wood borers also do not like eating plastic (much like most humans)!

Is Lavaplastic® slippery when wet?

Polyolefins have a low coefficient of friction and as such may appear “slippery”, more so when wet. Should you be concerned about a potential slipping hazard, we have a solution in the form of an anti-slip tape for high risk areas. Manage the risk, just as you would your ceramic floor tiled areas at home…

Does Lavaplastic® crack or split?

Lavaplastic® recycled plastic products will not crack and splinter like wood. Great for your sit upon bottom and your children’s playground.

Is there any maintenance to be done on Lavaplastic® plastic planks?

You may want to occasionally wash off the dust & bird droppings with a hosepipe & broom or alternately just use a high pressure sprayer.

Will your fixtures rust?

No, we only utilise A2 Stainless steel fixtures in all our products. Whilst these may possibly ‘tea stain’ the surrounding plastic over time, they do not corrode like conventional mild steel or galvanised mild steel fixtures.

Will chemicals spilt on the Lavaplastic® be harmful or damage the planks in some way?

Polyolefin plastics are impervious to most chemicals, oils, fuel, salts and acids.

What can I use to fasten Lavaplastic® planks?

Chipboard screws, Coach Screws or Bolts – Ideally all in A2 stainless steel.
Galvanised or typical Hardware store yellow zinc plating will not last. It will push through the plastic as it corrodes and expands in time, damaging the structure and leaving rust stain marks down your plank!

What examples of products are recycled to manufacture Lavaplastic® products?

Shopping bags, 25L drums, shopping trollies & baskets, plastic bread bags, yoghurt tubs, car bumpers, children’s toys, 2L milk bottles, Coke bottle caps, coat hangers, plastic pipes, chip packets, drinking straws, cleaned engine oil containers.

Can we use nails in the assembly of Lavaplastic® products?

No, they will pull out of the plastic eventually.

Can static electricity be generated when walking across Lavaplastic® planks?

Yes. The static electricity created, is similar to static electricity being created when walking on carpeting.

Is Lavaplastic® more expensive than wood?

Yes, slightly. Achieving value for money is a priority in any purchasing decision. Our Lavaplastic® products will have a greater upfront cost when compared to a wooden plank of similar dimensions BUT over the lifetime of your purchase, you will save greatly due to no maintenance cost. Who wants to spend their weekends sanding and painting wood, knowing you will never win against nature? Try costing a tin of wood preservative, sandpaper, paintbrush & roller and the time it will take you to apply it PROPERLY…..

Will the surface colour fade after a period of time?

Yes, there will be a little fading after some years due to oxidization which can be brushed off and the colour restored by exposing the plastic below. Recycled plastic planks in general will slowly fade to a lighter/greyish shade of the original colour much like untreated aged wood.

How can I remove light scratched from my Lavaplastic® planks?

You can use the gentle heat from a hairdryer or blow torch to remove any small scratches in the plastic surface. Try it, this trick also brings up the colour again….

Can algae grow on Lavaplastic®?

Algae and lichens may grow on the surface of our planks if left untouched in the shade for years. Any such growth is easily removed with household cleaners and a high pressure sprayer (Although please don’t try this on any wood or mild steel)

Does Lavaplastic® burn?

Much like trying to burn a wood log with a cigarette lighter – good luck, it will not start to burn readily. If you get our plastic products hot enough, they will burn very well. After all plastic is manufactured from crude oil!

Why are there air bubbles or air pockets in the centre of Lavaplastic® planks?

During the recycling process, there are usually some contaminants mixed up in the plastic that we buy e.g. moisture, old paint, residual oils, pieces of paper, other types of plastics etc.
When we melt the plastic through our extruders at ±165°C, these materials decompose due to the high temperatures and this decomposition process produces gasses. These gasses have nowhere to go as they are encapsulated in the plastic and get pushed to the centre of the plastic profile as it is filled into the mould and cools down. These gas bubbles form these air voids as the plank cools. The concentration of contamination and resultant air bubbles varies from batch to batch.

Will the Lavaplastic® planks be too hot to walk on after being in the sun?

Plastic is a good thermal insulator but when it gets hot, it will retain the heat for a prolonged period. Due to polyolefins absorbing latent energy from the sun and its closed cell structure, it will be hotter than wood.

Can Lavaplastic® profiles be used structurally?

Yes, they are used extensively in the sub-structure for large decked areas, flooring, jungle gyms and frameworks. However, the modulus of flexibility may limit the application of planks for suspended structures, dependent on the span. Please consult with us to confirm our products suitability to your proposed application.

Is Lavaplastic® toxic to wildlife?

No, Plastic is the ideal wood replacement product for use in wildlife areas and is more suitable than treated wood in most instances. It never requires painting or varnishing and is much more environmentally friendly than CCA or creosoted poles or planks. Our products are especially suited for use in moist areas.

Can I paint Lavaplastic® products?

Yes, Enamel Paint is the best option but not ideal. Painting defeats the object of no maintenance.

Compared to a similar sized SA pine plank, are Lavaplastic® planks heavier or lighter?

They are heavier as the plastic is denser than wood.

Do Lavaplastic® planks float in water?

Yes, only just above the surface.

Can Lavaplastic® profiles be used structurally?

Yes. They are used extensively in the sub-structure for large decked areas, jungle gyms, flooring and frameworks. However, the modulus of flexibility may limit the application of planks for suspended structures, dependent on the span. Please consult with us to confirm our products suitability to your proposed application.