The #1 Myth About FRP Wall Panel

FRP wall panels are used everywhere: from gas stations, to food processing facilities, to mud rooms at home. Customers are curious about the accessories, colors, and installation methods but one “speed bump” usually comes up that gives the project a pause. Customers who are looking into an FRP wall panel project tend to request smooth panels because they believe the smooth panels will maintain a cleaner, longer lasting, vandalism-resistant surface. This is a myth!

In reality, the textured FRP panels are superior. They are designed so that dirt, grime, mud, liquids, marker, etc cannot imprint. The smooth panels, while they might look a bit more attractive for the first few months, will eventually become permanently stained or defaced. The smooth surface allows filth, marker, biological waste and other contaminants to stick and gather on the surface. The textured panels on the other hand were specifically designed to resist all these contaminants. The pearly, asymmetrical surface compels grime and liquids to drain off or at least bead for easy cleaning. The bumpy surface doesn’t allow for vandalism such as graffiti as those liquid-based contaminants will also bead.

There is no catch. As the textured surface was designed to be the new ‘standard’ in FRP wall panels it is more available, and less expensive, than the smooth panels. While there are many variables to consider in your FRP wall panel project, do not waste time or money on smooth panels unless this is absolutely necessary (and you know the consequences!). For a quotation* on our Redco FRP wall panels and accessories please contact us today.

*FRP wall panel from Redwood Plastics is only available for sale and shipping within Canada.

Product Spotlight: Redco VHMW

While we’ve been able to supply VHMW for a few months now, only recently have we updated our website with a separate Redco VHMW section that can be found by clicking here. VHMW holds a new “middle ground” in the polyethylene family between HDPE and UHMWPE. Redco VHMW, which stands for “very high molecular weight”, can be substituted in applications where UHMW is considered to be “overkill”. The price on VHMW will be less than equivalent UHMW; however, only if you require several sheets of material. We do not currently stock VHMW and therefore freight costs, minimum orders, and small order fees may apply.

Compared to UHMW, VHMW has similar wear properties at a less expensive cost. It also has a better surface finish and is smoother than the typically skived UHMW sheet. Like UHMW, Redco VHMW performs very well in cold applications and is quite durable. It is also FDA and USDA approved for applications with food contact. Typical manufacturing tolerances on UHMW permit a (+-) 10% variance on sheet thickness; however, VHMW is manufactured with a variance of only 5%. The standard sheet size is 4′ x 8′ in 1/8″-1″ thick but custom sheet sizes are available on request.

For more information on Redco VHMW please contact us.

5 Tips To Ensure The Success Of Your New Plastic Application

When selecting a plastic for an application its very important that you do not get “tunnel vision” with your selection. For example, focusing on the properties of UHMW in cold temperatures (which are excellent) while ignoring the fact that your application is outdoors and the UHMW natural material you selected has poor UV resistance. Asking the right questions about your application, and knowing your budget and timeline, before you approach us will speed up both the quotation process and help to ensure that your applications matches your goals. The following are our five best tips to help you along this process with a new plastic application:

1.) Understand Your Operational Environment

The best way to ensure you are going to use the optimal material is to know everything about the environment the plastic will be subjected to. What is the operational temperature range? What chemicals may it come in contact with? How much sunlight exposure does it have? Is it a wear application? What is wearing against the plastic? How fast is it moving? What pressure is being put on the plastic? We could go on and on but the point is that a fundamental understanding of the operational environment your plastic is going to be in is critical to that application’s success – and knowing the environment will help guide your search, or help us select, the best plastic for your application.

2.) Have Your Firm Budget In Mind

Our most disappointed customers are those that do not have much experience with industrial plastic materials and fabricated parts and come to us solely with the expectation that plastic will be cheaper than metal – because it is cheaper for the most part with cheap consumer products. That is not true when it comes to industrial grade plastics! But we also get disappointment from customers who don’t have a firm budget, yet it somehow needs to be low-cost, yet want something very high performance. Obviously, this is often impossible to deliver! But the problem is the customer is demoralized as several materials are quoted repeatedly and the price seems to be “too high” – even though there isn’t a set amount for what “too high” is. We often find ourselves having spent hours to discover that the application simply isn’t feasible for the customer.

We care for two reasons. First of all, as your distributor we can add value with our honesty: setting you up with the best available material, on the first quote. We can also be honest with the drawbacks, if any, compared to the optimal material for your application. It also saves both of us time as we are not re-quoting different materials to try to go lower and lower on price to fit a budget that never existed in the first place. So come up with a budget with a firm range, and let us know.

3.) Be Willing To Test

We’ve been in business since 1971 and so you might think we’ve seen everything – not true! New applications are brought to us daily, if not weekly, that surprise us with their creativity and goals. That means that often it’s unreasonable to suggest that we can supply a “turnkey” solution guaranteed to work the first time. Our preference in many cases is to have you purchase a small amount of material or parts and test it, perhaps against a couple other plastics. While this is the best way to figure out what is the optimal material in most cases, too often the expectations are too high for a solution right out of the gate or not enough time is given to permit a test and this is to the customer’s detriment.

4.) Be Willing To Take Advice

The counterpoint to tip #3 is that when we do have experience with an application, let us make suggestions. One of the best examples of this are custom UHMW extrusions. Customers with small quantity needs may think they need an extrusion (with long leads and expensive tooling fees) where often we can supply a machined solution. Is the per piece price more expensive? Yes. Is it less expensive for your quantities since you will save on tooling and very long delivery times? Yes also! There are a wide variety of applications in many industries we are confidant with so be willing to check your preconceptions if we believe we can offer value in our suggestions.

5.) Plan Ahead For Delivery

If the potential of a new application falls apart due to customer dissatisfaction with price than the second most common cause for disappointment is delivery time. To be frank, we’re a busy company, and you will find that with most distributors or fabrication shops. It is unrealistic to expect fabricated products to be manufactured within a day or two. In fact, fabricated parts can often exceed 3 weeks delivery and that is just to ship from the point of origin. Rush orders add cost and can’t be done often anyways, so the best idea is to get your application moving as soon as possible but expect that it may take several weeks to get the the parts into your hands. If delivery is critical, know in exact terms “I need it by this friday” orĀ  “I need it within two weeks” and we’ll be honest and upfront on our ability to deliver.

If you need help with your new plastic application contact us today.

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PET – The “Forgotten” Plastic

In the world of mechanical/industrial grade plastics PET-P commonly known simply as “PET” is the underappreciated soldier. PET performs every day in harsh environments: farming machinery, food processing, and medical industries in particular. It’s constantly dirtied, steamed, soaked and coated with all sorts of substances every day – but it doesn’t get any respect!

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a crystalline, high-molecular weight plastic that is notable for its balanced properties. It is most similar to acetal and is an excellent substitute for it in many applications. In particular vs. acetal, PET can handle a higher operating temperature – 230 degrees Fahrenheit constant – and is not affected by chlorine cleaners or wash downs (unlike acetal). In addtion, PET is very dimensionally stable – a significant advantage it holds over more popular plastics such as UHMW and nylon.

Another important note is that PET is FDA approved for direct food contact. It serves as a “bridge” between plastics with a lower temperature threshold such as UHMW and acetal and more expensive heat-tolerant plastics such as your virgin and filled PTFEs.

Redwood Plastics can quote PET parts complete or material alone; however, none of our branches stock PET so please be very specific about your requirements as minimums may apply.

If you have interest in this product or other Redwood Plastics products contact us today.

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Maximizing Your Plastics’ Value

Industrial plastics are pricey. But the cost is much more if you select an inferior material that is not optimal for your application. The results could be anything from wasting power, to increased maintenance, to having a part that needs replacement prematurely. All of these cause headaches and worst of all – cost money. And the worst part is, you might not even know it! We’ve had many customers who did not know the optimal material for their application and spent years throwing money away in maintenance and prematurely failing parts.

The first steps are to know the right questions to ask about your application:

-Is there UV or chemical exposure?

-How much load will the part take?

-How much wear will the part take?

-What is the maximum and minimum operating temperature?

-Do you have any critical tolerances?

The two things you should not be focused on are color and price. In regards to color, unlike cheaper commodity grade plastics often used in consumer products, industrial plastics are not available in a range of colors. Usually white and black grades are available (with differing properties) and if an industrial plastic is colored it often is to separate a premium grade from the standard. For example blue Tivar 88 for liners or yellow Redco 430 urethane.

Price is the other factor you cannot get hung up on. While it’s true that budgets are a concern, realistically with plastic you get what you pay for. So while a part may cost you $50 rather than $100 for the optimal grade, you do not save money if the $100 part lasts a year and the $50 part needs to be replaced every two months!

For assistance in maximizing the value of plastic in your application contact an expert today.

 

Redco Outrigger Pads: Accept No Substitutes

As spring continues we move into the busiest time of the construction season. Along with other equipment purchases for concrete pumping trucks, mobile cranes, bucket lifts, or even RVs, Redco Outrigger pads need to be considered as an essential piece of safety equipment. The engineered polyethylene material we use is extremely strong and holds up much better to the ASTM D256 impact test than metal, wood, or any other solid plastic. All plastics are not created equal! Outrigger pads are sometimes sold using HDPE which is a lower grade of polyethylene. Our plastic is much stronger than HDPE, can take more load, more PSI, and will last longer in the field.

But how do the other main substitute materials for Redco outrigger pads stand up?:

Wood:

Wood is one of the most common outrigger pad materials. It is cheap and you can jury-rig wooden cribbing out of almost anything. Wood; however, is a very poor outrigger pad material. Wood is organic: it will rot, get moldy, soak up water, and decay. In fact, wood is considered so dangerous as an outrigger pad material that it’s outlawed in some European countries for use as outrigger pads. Redco outrigger pads will not have any of those drawbacks. In fact, the only “advantage” wood has over Redco outrigger pads is price, but what price do you put on preserving your equipment and safeguarding your crews?

Metal:

Metal is not user friendly, it’s very heavy and good luck getting it out once stuck in the mud! Metal will also rust and corrode. A Redco outrigger pad is 1/7th the weight of equivalent steel and doesn’t stick in soft soils. It will last longer, and perform better, than a metal outrigger pad.

For questions, or a quotation, on our Redco Outrigger Pads send us an RFQ today.

First Responders Chocking Kits

With our new line of Redco cribbing and blocking the choices of various wedges, crib options and chocks can be overwhelming. It can be tough to figure out: what do you really need to be equipped to respond to that next call? Fortunately we have the Redco First Responders kits. These kits are designed to provide the tools you need as a first responder to stabilize a vehicle in those first critical moments of a call. Most kits are a combination of wedges, step chocks and lock blocks and are suited to different budgets and needs. The step chock component is probably the most recognizable as a large wedge with flat tiers on the top, and has a “staircase” look to it. The wedges are simply just that, wedges, and function where the step chock may not work due to its bulk. The lock blocks are the most versatile tool in the kit as they can be stacked to provide a stable cribbing surface, combined with the chock blocks to create a larger surface area, or even used on their own as a brace – for example, to place on a car seat where you may place a jack to expand a collapsed roof. There are several first responder kits but these three are likely to be the most popular:

QR-2:

(2) step chocks

(2) 3″ wedges

(1) 1B Lock Block

(1) 2B Lock Block

(1) yellow double wheel chock

(1) Carrying Bag 25″ x 15″ x 6″

 

COG step chock kit A:

(2) COG step chocks

(2) Lock block kits

(1) yellow lock block kit

(2) carrying bags

 

B.A.S.K. 2:

(4) SC1 black step chocks

(4) 4″ x 4″ x 20″ yellow wedges

(1) yellow double wheel chock

(2) BASK carrying bags

For a quotation on these first responder kits, or more information on the larger kits, please contact us today.

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