Why Choose Silicone Rubber?

Silicone is a remarkable variety of rubber that offers some outstanding properties that can make it the clear choice among competing solutions. Firstly, silicone can handle very high temperatures in operation, up to 230°C (446°F). This allows it to maintain its properties at elevated temperatures that many other rubbers will not be able to handle! In addition, it has excellent resistance to UV and weathering, making it outstanding in outdoor applications. This includes heat, cold, freezing, direct sunlight, etc.

Silicone also has a low compression set – this means it can be compressed for a long period of time and will bounce back to close to its original profile when the weight has been removed. Think of this in a sealing application such as a door which is open and closed many times. The silicone will maintain the seal when compressed and will then return to its original form once the door is reopened. Also, the product is food safe and Redwood Plastics and Rubber can supply it in a new FDA blue variety.

There is a silicone rubber shortage currently in North America but not here! Redwood Plastics and Rubber carries significant levels of silicone stock in our central warehouse including FDA blue. For a discussion on how silicone rubber can benefit your application or for a quotation please contact us today.

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Rubber: It’s Not Just Tires!

When you think of “rubber” what is the first thing that comes to mind? It’s probably car tires, perhaps tires on your bike, but the point is “just tires” for many people. However, rubber is so much more than just tires. Rubber is used across a wide variety of industries performing in countless applications. Some are interesting, such as in prosthetics or medical devices. Others such as belt skirting on an ore conveyor are perhaps less interesting to the casual eye. Used in everything from mining, to sawmills, to even space – rubber should not be discounted as a simple material for tires! Gaskets, rollers, flanges, molded parts, wear parts, anti-vibration applications, electrical insulators – rubber has a place in all of those applications.

The short video below will display more applications that this versatile material can be used in. Maybe it will jump start your mind for a rubber application you might have?

Industry Spotlight: Aggregate

The aggregate industry is defined by the processing and movement of extremely abrasive wet or dry materials, usually by a network of conveyors. This process may also include equipment to pulverize, shape, clean, or otherwise sort the aggregates. Due to the abrasive nature of these materials, wear is a major concern on expensive equipment. Redco products have supplied viable, downtime-reducing, solutions for this industry over many decades. The primary workhorse is Redco polyurethane. This elastomer has extremely high wearing properties and can thrive in abrasive environments involving virtually any wet or dry aggregates.

The applications are too many to name but conveyor and hopper lining are two of the largest. When used as a liner, urethane protects the metal equipment and handles the wear of being in direct contact with the aggregate. However, polyurethane can essentially be used anywhere this wear occurs, including the area the aggregate first contacts the conveyor to any discharge chutes. Contact us with details of your application in order to get a recommendation of the optimal grade of urethane. Some polyurethane products actually exist specifically for aggregate including the innovative Redco Switchblade belt scraper with its replaceable and Redco Green Screens.

A few more notes. Rubber has significant applications in this industry as well, primarily as belt skirting and in areas where constant vibration is a concern. For slurry applications specifically, the Redco VYPUR series of pipe sections and elbows provide exceptional service life above and beyond metal in abrasive or corrosive applications. It’s best if customers reach out directly to us for a consultation, so if you’re involved in the aggregate industry and are looking for some solutions to maintenance costs and downtime, please contact us today.

You can see pictures and read more about our aggregate solutions here: https://www.redwoodplastics.com/industry-solutions/aggregate/

Not Sure What Rubber You Need? Start Here

Ordering rubber products is easy enough when you know exactly what you need and a defined spec is available. However, what if that information has been lost? The answer is to start at “square one” and work your way up to an optimal solution. To that end you need to know five pieces of information:

  • Application – What are you doing with it?
  • Contact with – What aggregates or other materials will contact the rubber?
  • Exposed to – which chemicals?
  • Operating Temp – Lowest and highest?
  • Durometer – What is the hardness (example, 60A)?

The first four pieces of information on the list must be supplied by the customer and should be easy to put together. “Durometer” is a little trickier if not known as that requires a specialized piece of equipment. In that case, a sample of material can be mailed to us and we can test it here. Having this information will help us, help you maximize success in your application.

For assistance with your rubber needs please contact us today.

Weathering and Exposure Concerns

There is unfortunately some misinformation in the plastics world regarding weathering, exposure, and UV-resistance. In some cases where applications go wrong, customers simply did not consider how a certain plastic might handle being exposed to certain environmental factors. One of the largest pieces of misinformation is that reprocessed-black UHMW often called “UHMW black” is UV-stable. It is not; however, and has only some limited UV-resistance due to the addition of carbon black in the resin. The following are examples of weathering and exposure concerns for some popular plastics and options to mitigate these issues.

Nylon:

-Brittle in cold temperatures (below -15 degrees C)

-Absorbs water

Solution:

-Switch to acetal or Tuffkast

UHMW/Polyethylene:

-Poor UV-resistance makes it prone to cracking with UV-exposure

Solution:

-Procure a fully UV-stable grade

Polyurethane:

-Certain varieties weaken and break down in wet environments (hydrolysis)

Solution:

-Work with a plastics expert to select a polyurethane variety not weakened by hydrolysis

Polycarbonate:

-Poor weathering resistance, will yellow and crack with exposure

-Poor scratch resistance and tends to become cloudy with small marks when used in outdoor applications

Solution:

-Request sheets with UV stable and/or scratch-resistant masking. These will be typically unstocked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry Spotlight: Construction

The construction industry is a cornerstone customer for Redwood Plastics and Rubber. We supply a vast array of stock shapes and fabricated parts to construction firms across the world. However, there are a few applications that are worth special attention.

  • Dynamex() elastomeric bearing pads: We offer a wide line of rubber elastomeric bearing pads to meet a variety of specifications. We can also meet testing requirements.
  • Redco MD sheaves: Our sheaves using wear-resistant moly-filled (MD) nylon are popular for use by cranes.
  • FRP grating, handrails, and ladders: Fiberglass reinforced plastic offers substantial weight savings and other benefits over similar metal alternatives.
  • Outrigger pads: UHMW or nylon outrigger pads offer a long-lasting, weight-saving proven alternative to metal or wood pads.
  • Pile driving cushions: Redco IRG nylon pile driving cushions can be provided in any required size and come with heat-dissipative additives. No minimum order on cushions.
  • Rise-It Paver Pedestal System: Our premium support system for hardscape pavers.
  • Switchblade Belt Scrapers: Polyurethane belt scrapers with replaceable blades.

We can assist with many other construction related applications, for details on these or for help with your application please contact us today.

Dura CRIB vs. Dura STAT

The two most popular products of our cribbing and blocking line are Redco “Dura Stat” and “Dura Crib”. Customers often request quotations on both, or confuse each product, but the differences are distinct and important enough to create a write up. The “Stat” is Dura stands for “static” it is designed solely for cribbed storage of equipment that is not dynamic, IE. no movement. An example of a Dura Stat application would be lowering an engine onto the cribbing for storage. The Dura Stat set up should not be moved after the load is placed.

It is very important for Dura Stat that what is being cribbed is loaded vertically. The product is not resilient to sheer pressure and could break. Also, as a non-interlocking product, there could be slipping issues as well. Dura Crib on the other hand, is meant to be stacked and is commonly available in interlocking forms it is designed to handle applications where there may be a little dynamic movement. An example of this application would have Dura Crib providing cribbing for a railway maintenance vehicle’s outrigger feet. The stack of cribbing will endure vibration and oscillation as the load shifts on the feet while the vehicle works.

For more information on our cribbing products please check out our First Responders literature available here.

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