Product Spotlight: Pile Driving Cushions

Redco IRG (impact-resistant grade) nylon pile driving cushions are one of our core products for the construction industry. These pads are hand-made to fit into each customer’s pile stacks and absorb the impact of the hammer, dissipating the energy as heat. Unlike regular grades of nylon, which are brittle to impact, IRG nylon is filled with plasticizers and heat-dissipation additives which allow it to absorb the huge impact involved. The cushions can be manufactured for any foreseeable size, typical tolerances are (+/-) 1/8″ or 1/16″ with the standard color blue. Typical manufacturing time is 5-6 weeks to ship an order.

For more information on our Redco Pile Driving Cushions click here to view our literature or contact us for a quote.



Nylon For Specialty Applications

Nylon is a family of plastics with several different additives that make them suitable for applications where natural-grade nylon isn’t optimal or won’t be successful. There are three grades of nylon specifically that should be highlighted for their properties in applications with unique demands.

Firstly Redco SL which offers a low coefficient of friction with excellent wear resistance. It was developed for applications where external lubrication is either very difficult or impossible. Redco SL performs better than other nylons and many plastic where the part is rarely accessed for maintenance.

Secondly, Redco glass-filled nylon serves very well for prototypes. The glass filling results in a very dimensionally stable part which can be held to tighter tolerances. This part also has the lowest “cold flow” of any nylon. If you’re looking for a “proof of concept” part than Redco glass filled nylon is an excellent choice.

Lastly, Redco blue is a grade of nylon for high-heat applications, able to withstand up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit ongoing in application. This alone isn’t especially unique, as several plastics such as PTFE handle temperatures just as high. However, Redco blue nylon is the best “bang for your buck” for a heat-tolerant plastic. The alternatives such as the aforementioned PTFE, PEEK, ULTEM, etc. are all much more expensive. If you’re having trouble finding a heat-tolerant plastic and you know your application is 250 degrees F or less, then Redco blue may be an excellent choice for your application.

To see if the Redco nylon products listed above or another plastic is optimal for your application, please contact us today. 

Redco Kiln Wheel Bushings

Redco Kiln Wheel bushings are an essential component to sawmills that have large dry kilns. These plastic bushings enable the carts to run freely through the mills and we supply the bushings in three grades:

Redco Blue kiln wheel bushings:

Standard Redco blue nylon kiln wheel bushings are a cost-effective and proven solution as a kiln wheel bushing. The nylon used in these bushings is head stabilized to handle long drying periods in the kiln. These bushings should not be used in sawmills where they will be exposed to very cold temperatures for a sustained period as nylon becomes brittle below -12 Celsius.

Redco Hi-Temp Yellow kiln wheel bushings:

A premium kiln wheel bushing we’ve been developing on at one of our western American branches the last couple of years. The yellow bushings in testing outlast and outwore the blue nylon bushings significantly and use a proprietary material we’ve developed to replace Redco blue kiln wheel bushings at a modest cost premium. The yellow bushings have more than paid for themselves in increased lifespan and, yes, they make the carts run smoother as well. These bushings are a direct substitution for Redco blue nylon kiln wheel bushings but are still not the correct choice in very cold weather environments and do not have increased load capacity over the regular blue.

Redco Phenolic kiln wheel bushings:

Phenolic kiln wheel bushings are used in high load (36,000lbs+) applications or where extreme cold is involved. Due to the properties of phenolic material (a fairly high coefficient of friction), it is recommended to put a grease groove in the bushing.

To work with a Redwood representative on your next kiln wheel bushing order please contact us.


Redco Pile Driving Cushions

Redco™ Pile Driving Cushions are a cost-effective, quality product too few customers know we have. Builders involved in pile driving know that part of the hammer apparatus are cushioning pads which are often made of “blue plastic” (cast nylon) or “Micarta” (phenolic/industrial laminate sandwich). The nylon pads come in a myriad of sizes and thicknesses but we usually see 1″ thick industrial laminate pads specified in varying diameters.

We have found doing some research that primarily these cushions come from overseas (Europe or Asia) and the associated freight and markups can be high. These pads are often sold through distributors who have to markup pads that have high costs in price, shipping and inventory. Redwood Plastics does not have this issue!

Redco™ Nylon Pile Driving Cushions are manufactured in North America at high-quality and with very competitive prices. Our lead times are only a couple of weeks and we can readily supply cushions in small quantities. Why would you not try to source these from a local supplier? We also supply the 1″ industrial laminate pads with similar lead times and at competitive prices.

To quote, we simply need to know the existing cushion type(s), diameter, and thickness you’re using now as well as the quantity required for the quotation as this can affect price and lead time. We have several satisfied customers already in both the U.S. and Canada. You can see our literature for this product here.

For inquiries on our pile driving cushions or other Redco™ products contact us today.


Tuffkast vs. Nylon

Redco™ Tuffkast and Nylon have similar applications in the world of plastics such as bushings, bearings, sheaves, pulleys and even outrigger pads. Some customers get confused between the differences in the material and still others are wary of Tuffkast because, as a Redwood Plastics proprietary plastic, it is not nearly as well known as nylon. Nylon is a plastic developed around the time of the Second World War, whereas Tuffkast is a co-polymer (made of different plastic types). Tuffkast is much newer and is slowly penetrating the plastic industry. Many of Tuffkast’s properties counter potential weaknesses of nylon material.

There are three major advantages of Tuffkast over nylon:

1.) Nylon has some of the highest moisture absorption among industrial plastics at 4% on average (after 24 hours saturation). Tuffkast on the other hand will only absorb up to 0.5% moisture in the same time frame.

2.) Nylon does not handle shock or impact well, but this is a strength of Tuffkast.

3.) Nylon gets brittle in cold temperatures while Tuffkast has much better low temperature properties.

As with any comparison there are tradeoffs in selecting Tuffkast. Tuffkast is too “soft” for some applications meaning nylon would still be the optimal material choice. Tuffkast is also more expensive: about 30-50% more than nylon by weight. Regardless, as a company we see applications every week that are better served by Tuffkast. Be sure to consider it for your next project.

For questions on our Tuffkast, nylon or other plastic materials contact us today.


Switching For Safety

North America is finally beginning to thaw after our brutal winter.  In areas in the Midwest, Central Canada and the East Coast – crane rental companies, concrete pumpers and even tree service crews are getting ready to take advantage of the upcoming 2014 work season. This is the time of year our customers consider new equipment purchases and Redco™ Outrigger Pads are an excellent investment. These pads are very popular in Europe where wooden pads are illegal in several countries. Wood – while cheap – is an organic material that will rot and could put people and equipment in danger. Unfortunately, North America lags in this simple safety solution that makes sense.

Redco™ Outrigger Pads, made of the engineering-grade plastics UHMW or cast nylon, will not rot, rust or supportRedco_PadRedco_Pad moldRedco-outrigger-pad growth. They are UV-stabilized and will provide many years of use. Unlike wood, plastic pads get stronger in cold weather. Money is saved over the long-term as wooden pads do not need to be purchased or made – all that time and/or money adds up. However, your crew also has piece of mind that the critical load of the crane rests not on crack-prone plywood but performance plastic instead.

The outrigger pads are available in a number of options*. Pads can be machined with an anti-slip surface or made out of our superior LUNS material using a non-toxic, integral, coal-slag surface. Pads can made square or round and we can manufacture them from 12″-48″ in diameter.

Contact us for a quote or email us at with any questions.


No Ordinary Nylon

In the breadth of Redco™ products, certain plastics stand out for different reasons. When it comes to “strength” and “resiliance” Redco™ Tuffkast certainly has a niche. Tuffkast is a co-polymer and improves on many of the inherent qualities in nylon. Excellent impact values, wear resistance and rigidity. But Tuffkast also improves on nylon’s major deficiency – water absorption. In comparison to regular cast nylon, Tuffkast absorbs moisture minimally. Also, in comparison to other nylons, Tuffkast’s properties in low temperatures have been improved.

Tuffkast currently comes in four grades:

 TUFFKAST 025 – Unfilled or natural grade of Tuffkast

TUFFKAST 020 – Carriage Wheel Material – Special formulation for sawmill carriage wheel applications.

TUFFKAST 015 – Oil Filled – Liquid lubricant impregnated. Offers excellent surface lubricity for wear resistance and reduced co-efficient of friction.

TUFFKAST 010 – Solid Lubricant – Typically used for dynamic friction applications that are subjected to extreme stress and impact.

Perhaps one of the best application case studies with Tuffkast are the dock fenders installed at the B.C. Ferries terminals in Tsawwassen, BC. In a massive storm in 2006 the ferries repeatedly crashed into the fenders over an almost 24 hour period. The result? The fenders held up needing no repairs – minus one tile of one fender that required replacing, due to damage from a protruding ferry part but not due to impact. A post-storm analysis revealed that were it not for the Tuffkast pads, the wooden docks would have likely been destroyed.


Certainly “no ordinary nylon”

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