Chain channel insert is one of the most common plastic applications in sawmills. With good reason: the channel insert extends the life of chain, reduces the horsepower required to pull the chain and thus reduces maintenance downtime. Plus, compared to other plastic maintenance solutions, it’s quite inexpensive. But did you know Redwood Plastics can supply custom channel insert? In fact, we do so quite often as our standard extruded profiles do not meet all of our customer’s needs. The reason for a custom profile could be for one of two reasons:
1.) Existing profiles do not work for the customer’s chain or needs.
2.) The customer wants a better grade of UHMW than reprocessed but the needs are too low for a custom run of extruded Redco Titanium channel insert.
The process our branches will use is called “dado” cutting where a number of blades are placed in a bit side-by-side to shave down the channel. While this works fine for channel insert it does mean the channel will have a different finish and not be as smooth as the extruded profiles. However, it does work well and is an economical solution usually adding about 25% to the cost of the channel insert based on equivalent material. So a custom reprocessed channel insert will tend to end up around 25% more than an extruded profile off the shelf.
Where the pricing (and performance) really changes is when you do custom channel out of products like Redco Tivar 88 or Titanium. The materials’ performance is comparable, but availability may offer significant savings on price and lead time as some of our branches will stock some Titanium and others choose to stock Tivar 88. In these cases, the channel insert can cost 4-5x as much as the reprocessed; however, the performance benefits are great with additional savings on horsepower and both longer chain life and less replacement of the channel insert itself.
For more information on our standard or custom channel insert profiles please contact us.
Picture below is of a dado cut custom channel insert.