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The Impact Of Plastics In Sawmills

Posted by on January 6, 2016

On this website we often focus on specific applications or plastics used in sawmill and planar mill applications. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture – why are we using plastics in the mill in the first place? Meaning, what are the benefits for you and your operation by switching to plastic?

Firstly, reduced maintenance downtime.¬†Plastics, believe it or not, outwear metal in most applications. You have less breakdowns and have to replace parts less often. We don’t need to tell you how damaging unexpected breakdowns or maintenance can cost your operation. Secondly, plastics reduce noise. They do this because, when you switch from a metal-on-metal application to mating with plastic, the noise gets reduced. Of course there are other benefits of eliminating metal-to-plastic in that you greatly reduce the wear on the metal component when you mate it to plastic. This synergy is seen when you replace metal sprockets with plastic or place channel insert between the metal chain and metal channel. Another benefit of plastics is in the reduction of shock and impact,¬†many plastics are good at absorbing impact, especially Redco polyurethane, which as an elastomeric plastic has many applications in shock and impact reduction. Not only Redco Deadplate but also our fabricated dissipater channels.

Those benefits indirectly save on costs and increase production but did you also know that plastics can also reduce the power consumption¬†of sawmill equipment directly? This is because plastics have a far smaller coefficient of friction chain slides easier and metal doesn’t pull so hard on the plastic. This means less horsepower is required to keep the lumber moving! Plastics are an exceptional addition to modern sawmills and if you have any questions on how plastics might provide benefits to your operations please contact us.

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