BRAXX Anti-Slip Surfacing

After decades research and design, several “anti-slip” plastic options are now available and BRAXX should not get lost in the shuffle. BRAXX is a standardized UHMW based anti-slip plastic which comes in 36″ x 108″ sheets that are 0.30″ thick. The material comes in two forms “BRAXX Sand” which has a base color of blue dotted, with a sand-impregnated surface and “BRAXX Luns” which has a high-visibility safety yellow colored base and is dotted with LUNS clean coal slag anti-slip grit. BRAXX serves as a heavy-duty replacement for anti-slip tapes and paints. Both types of BRAXX are comparable in price and effectiveness, it comes down to personal preference for color and grit.

Applications for the two materials have few limitations. At 0.30″ thick, BRAXX is non-load bearing and is meant to be placed on top of another surface, typically flooring, stairs, etc. As the plastic is UHMW nothing sticks to it and mechanical fixation is required: you will not to bolt or screw into the substrate. Advantages of BRAXX are that it will not rot, rust, absorb moisture, or otherwise corrode. It is impact resistant and easy-to-install on top of other substrates such as wood, aluminum, or steel. Originally developed for the U.S. military, BRAXX is now available to the general public.

For pricing or information on what BRAXX can bring to your application, please contact us today.

 

Product Spotlight: Redco ULTEM

High performance plastics face extra challenges other materials do not. Because of the prevalence of consumer grade plastic, unfortunately plastic with much of the public has become synonymous with “cheap” – low price and low quality. Unfortunately, this is a complete myth for the three grades of plastics (engineering/industrial, high performance, and imidized) that are above consumer grade plastics. In fact, at the higher tiers of quality plastics widely outperform metal and other traditional materials in most applications. And this does come with a subsequent increase in product cost (though usually a lower “lifecycle cost”). But for your money you get quality in a phenomenal material.

ULTEM (polyetherimide – “PEI”) in its virgin form has an interesting amber/translucent color. It handles hot water and air well, up to 332 Fahrenheit in continuous operation. Its resistance to repeated steam sterilization makes it a prized material for medical tools and devices. ULTEM is also very useful to the electronics industry due to its dielectric constant and arc resistance. It is also resistant to gamma radiation and does not absorb water. ULTEM is considered a dimensionally stable plastic with high strength and rigidity allowing it to be machined precisely to tighter tolerances than other plastics would allow. It is also available in 10, 20, and 30% glass filled grades to offer even higher dimensional stability.

If you have a high heat application requiring a precisely machined part ULTEM may be the optimal plastic for you. To discuss this or other plastics please contact us.

Application Spotlight: Redco HDPE “Play” As Outdoor Tabletops

Recently Terrapin Brewing Co (www.terrapinbeer.com) approached us with an interesting application. They wanted to create a plastic table surface for use at their brewery but this offered some unique challenges. For one, the tables were outside which meant that a UV-stable plastic was in order. Secondly, a variety of properties were important: wear, impact, anti-slip and non-fading color would be desirable. But most importantly the color had to be green and a green that was fairly close to the branding of Terrapin Brewing Co. This is difficult in the world of industrial plastics where custom colors can mean extra costs, long lead times, and minimum order sizes. In addition, an industrial plastic such as UHMW would be overkill for this application and would even have some undesirable characteristics, such as being very slick.

But our representative working on the application made an intuitive leap. We had access to a specialized HDPE material Redco “Play” board designed for playgrounds. In our world of sawmills, mines, and heavy construction this isn’t something we focus on! Nevertheless, Redco Play satisfied all the requirements of the application: it was green, UV-stable, impact-resistant, wear-resistant and had an “orange peel” textured surface so glasses wouldn’t slide around. They were supplied pre-cut into 24″ x 24″ x 1/2″ (thick) squares with a minimum order of 16. Terrapin quickly installed these and you can see a picture they sent us below. They have said they are very satisfied with the material and this application.

For assistance with your applications contact us today.

terrapin

 

 

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.

PET

Anti-Slip Multipurpose Plastic

Slipping is a major hazard. According to the National Safety Council injuries from falls account for 20% of workplace injuries. In many cases, if you’re an employer, you could be liable for damages that can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. Redwood Plastics offers three anti-slip plastic sheet materials which may help prevent injury. Redco “LUNS” is a UHMW based plastic sheet with a clean coal-slag surface. The surface is non-toxic and wears extremely well: the first application ever was as the floor of a US Navy tank carrier in 1989 – the floor is still in use and has not required replacement or significant maintenance!

Redco BRAXX is another, similar, product. Redco BRAXX is also UHMW based and is available in yellow with LUNS slag surface “buttons” and blue with sand buttons. Both products (BRAXX and LUNS) are available in just one size: 36″ x 108″ and 0.3″ thick. But what you can do with the product, besides using it in load bearing applications, is almost up to the imagination. Potential applications include:

-Subway/Bus stop curb top

-Stair treads

-Floor covering

-Boat deck surface

-Trailer bed cover

-Flooring top surface in wet environments

For answers to your questions on Redco LUNS or BRAXX’s anti-slip properties and suitability for your application, please contact us today.

We also can supply gritted, soft anti-slip interlocking matting for other applications. For details on that product click here.

BRAXX_LUNS

 

Recent Developments With Plastic Technology

We’ve written a lot about various plastics and applications but there is also exciting news on the horizon with new plastics and plastic technologies being developed. We try to share these on our social media whenever possible but we understand not everyone checks social media or, unfortunately, even knows where to find us! Some news over the past few months that is worth highlighting.

These links will open in a new window, and not close this page, if you click on them:

And who knows what will be discovered in 2016!

And if you haven’t already, follow us on Social Media for the latest plastic news:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/plastic.solutions/

Twitter: @redwoodplastics

Google+: Click here

Redco Performance Plastics