Plastic sprockets primarily made of Redco 750 have widespread use in the sawmill industry. Metal sprockets have been available long before plastic and some mills still hold out on switching to plastic. The question gets brought up “why would I want to switch to plastic?” First of all, plastic sprockets will reduce wear on the chain. When your chain has a longer lifespan you will need to spend less money on chain. Secondly, plastic sprockets cut down on noise which is important where noise limits may be in place. The sprockets are designed to be very quick to install and the old sprocket can be removed, with the new sprocket installed and ready to go, over a coffee break. Made of engineering plastic, the sprockets will not rot, rust or corrode.
These sprockets can come in severals forms. They can be supplied solid or split for idler applications; however, existing metal drive sprockets can be coated with polyurethane to supply the same wear and noise saving benefits of the fully urethane sprockets, yet have the strength needed for a drive sprocket. Redwood Plastics also offers a “Snap-It” sprocket which is the easiest to install, literally just snapping onto the A-plate (click here for a demonstration). Redwood Plastics has an entire page of their website dedicated to plastic sprockets and you can view it here.