Tuesday, 5 May 2009

When fake is better than the real thing.

Fake. The word usually implies ‘not as good as’ but the true definition is not as derogatory as you may think: fake means not genuine but not necessarily poor quality. There are fake handbags that are inferior to the original but still used and loved by the owner and fake watches that keep very good time. There was one instance where a counterfeiter was producing fake computers with a popular brand name on the machines and boxes and there was even a working support telephone line! There are also lookalikes that are produced with a similar name. A hand held games console that looked very familiar was called a POP console and a shop sold trainers with a familiar leaping logo bearing the name Pama. In most cases though, fake products are not made to the same standards as the original.

There is, however, a selection of ‘fake’ products that have many advantages over the real thing. The products in question this time are plant containers. Advances in technology now allow high tech materials such as carbon fibre to be added to a resin to make moulded shapes that imitate ceramics, timber, stone and even metals. The advantages are weight, and water tightness when compared to ceramic and in addition durability when compared to timber. In many cases there is a cost saving to be had.

GRP ( Glass reinforced Plastic ) and AC (Advanced Composite) plant containers are available in a wide range of styles and sizes.

There are even artificial rocks made in the same way although these tend to be more expensive than the real thing and the only real advantage is weight. The containers are produced in almost any colours and they will not fade with time. The GRP containers contain chopped strand matting made of glass fibres and the AC planters are made with a woven mesh. AC materials are used in space and undersea applications and also in medical equipment.

Ceramic style AC plant container

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