Plastic Angle

Out of the many parts and plastic profiles requested of Redwood Plastics and Rubber, plastic angle keeps coming up. This is typically plastic bent at a 90 degree angle halfway. This is primarily used for protection of a surface or object if machined out of UHMW or nylon plastic. However, much stronger (more rigid) fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) angle is available and stocked by our supplier. A common example of a FRP angle application would be to bolt it in on the edge of a platform at a train station. FRP angle is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses with 1/4″ and 3/8″ thick being the most common. It is available in all three primary EXTREN resin types (general purpose polyester, fire-retardant polyester, and vinyl ester). These angle profiles are more expensive than steel or aluminum angle; however, for certain applications such as those that demand electric or radio non-conductivity, plastic angle may be your only choice.

To get a quote on an angle profile is easy. Firstly, we need to know the width of each side of the angle, they are not always the same! We then need to know both the thickness and the material required. If you need assistance selecting a material, just ask, but me sure to be ready to answer questions about your application such as what the angle is doing, if there is any chemical or high heat exposure, etc. Angle profiles of all plastic types are typically sold by the 10 foot length; however, there are cases where we can supply shorter or longer profiles.

For a quote on your plastic angle needs, please contact us today.

 

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Space Shuttle Challenger and Rubber: A Cautionary Case Study

The space shuttle “Challenger” explosion in 1986 was a seminal moment for many Americans. The launch was shown on live TV and there was a high amount of interest in teacher Christa McAullife being on the flight. The shuttle exploded 73 seconds into the flight resulting in the deaths of the entire crew. An immediate investigation was launched and it was determined that a failed rubber o-ring system used as seals on the solid rocket boosters led to the explosion. The launch was on an unusually cold day – the o-ring seals were qualified for use at no less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit but the temperature got as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit the night before.

Prior to launch several engineers attempted to warn against launching due to this reason. The engineers believed that the cold temperatures would weaken the rubber and also lead to a poor seal, which would allow hot exhaust gases to potentially escape the boosters and cause catastrophic damage. It had already been determined that the o-rings were being damaged even on successful flights. The engineers were forced by NASA management to try to prove that the application would fail at low temperature, something the engineers could not do because of a lack of testing data.

Your application with rubber will likely not be as critical as the space shuttle o-ring seals; however, even with our applications there is much to learn.

Firstly, is you need to pick a rubber that will work within the parameters of your application. You need to know what chemical exposure and temperature range the part will need to operate in.

Secondly, once you get the parts you need to use them within the parameters that you have specified because if you introduce, for example, new chemicals or operate the part outside of the prescribed temperature range, it may fail!

The third and final thing we can learn is to listen to the product experts who helped recommend a rubber solution to you. If they strongly believe a certain material is required and can give you concrete reasons, you should consider this thoroughly before going in another direction. This is particularly a concern where a desired price may be a determining factor for a purchasing decision, rather than if the rubber is actually suitable or not.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber has rubber experts standing by to help recommend the best product for your application so contact us today.

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.

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.

Redco 90A Polyurethane Forklift Socks

Redco Forklift socks are an upgrade over traditional low-grade cold bonded rubber socks. A “forklift sock” is an elastomer solution that provides a covering to forklift forks, this makes them less likely to damage sensitive equipment being lifted. The problem is that the rubber sock covers easily delaminate from the forks and can also crack. This creates a situation where the loose sock causes an unsafe lift.

Unlike the cold bonded rubber, our solution uses a proprietary 90A polyurethane in a “hot bond” to the metal socks. This is a superior way of applying a sock solution and will vastly outwear rubber socks. In addition, our material is colored “safety yellow” for high visibility. The product reduces the risk of driver error and material damage while greatly improving grip when lifting. Redwood Plastics and Rubber can provide this service in two ways. Firstly, you can ship your existing steel forklift socks to our Langley, BC, Canada facility and we can re-coat the socks in-house. Alternatively, we can machine the complete new steel socks, coat them, and send them to your facility.

For a quotation on your forklift sock needs please contact us today.

24″ Diameter Tivar 88 Pipe Lining

The pictures below are of an application completed at our Langley, BC facility. This involved lining a steel pipe with an internal diameter of 24″ inches and is a job we’ve done several times before. It’s innovative work and we wanted to share some details and pictures in case the application might be of interest to other companies. The customer ships their pipe segments to our facility where the lining is done on site. We have fabricated 3/4″ thick Tivar 88 sheet that comes pre-scored to permit bending. This is important since Tivar 88 is not available in pipe format, so the solution must be made from sheet stock.

As you can see in the second picture there are not too many fixation points. There is a middle strip of plastic serves as a wedge, and the pressure alone holds the lining solution in place (though the strips on either side of the wedge also have fixation hardware, to help secure the wedge). Tivar 88 is a premium grade of UHMW polyethylene and its blue color is readily identifiable. It provides additional strength and slickness that virgin or reprocessed grades of UHMW do not. Tivar 88’s primary benefit is increased material flow and less material hangups. Secondarily, Tivar 88 provides a wear surface that protects the steel from wearing out.

Tivar 88’s lifespan will vary in applications but it is sacrificial, meaning that it will need to be replaced at some point. The performance benefits and increased life of the pipe do make up for the cost of the lining. While not important in this application, Tivar 88 does include UV stabilizer in its chemistry and is suitable for long-term outdoor use. The product also has a long history of success in hopper lining applications

For assistance with your application please contact us.

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