If You’re Experiencing These Problems, Plastics Can Help

This article is non-specific in that it doesn’t discuss a single plastic or application. It is geared towards those involved in maintenance at sawmills, planar mills, and OSB plants when something is wrong and a solution isn’t self-evident. In what type of situations should you consult with a knowledgeable plastics distributor, such as Redwood Plastics and Rubber? While there are countless maintenance issues you can run into, plastics tend to do their best work when the following problems are encountered:

1.) Wear & Abrasion

Premature wear is an issue with many metallic sawmill components over too many machines to describe. This could be anything from various bushings, to chain wear, sprocket wear, sheaves, etc. Plastics that would be used in wood manufacturing applications tend to be very slick and by mating them with the metal components you have, or in cases outright replacing those metal components, your reduce wear and extend part life.

2.) Noise

As we just mentioned, mating a plastic to a metal component reduces wear but it also reduces noise. Many jurisdictions require noise to not exceed a certain level and with all the banging, scraping, and machinery running at a mill it is not uncommon for the noise level to be found to be in violation of code. By swapping out metal mating parts for performance plastic parts you will greatly reduce noise – an excellent example is replacing metal sprockets with Redco 750 polyurethane sprockets.

3.) Shock/Impact (finding broken welds?)

Impact is a major maintenance concern at mills – with logs and lumber constantly being conveyed and hitting things, machinery can be damaged and welds broken. Elastomeric products, particularly rubber and polyurethane, perform very well as bumpers and shock absorbers…Redco Deadplate is an absolute standout for this application. If you have broken welds or other impact damage in your mill definitely get in touch.

Plastics can assist in other ways such as reducing power requirements for equipment, if you have questions please contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber today.

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Trimmer Lug Spec Sheet

White or black UHMW polyethylene trimmer lugs are ubiquitous at most sawmills. Unlike metal lugs, the softer UHMW takes impact while being gentle and non-marking with the lumber. These are also an easy to manufacture part that Redwood Plastics and Rubber has decades of experience machining.

Need a quote on some lugs and not sure where to start? We’ll make it easy for you with another one of our “oldie but goodie” spec sheets from the 1980s…Merged with the sharing ability of modern technology! Download the picture file below, print it, fill in your required dimensions, scan it, and email it to sales@redwoodplastics.com

Please also tell us the quantity required and if you’d prefer white or black?


Roller Trimmer Lug Blank

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Redco Titanium Liner – VIDEO

Seeing is believing! We’ve posted a new video on YouTube of a “before and after” involving our Redco Titanium liner. At issue was a conveyor at a sawmill with a metal on metal flights -> conveyor connection. This was causing slip stick and wear issues which would result in premature wear and increased power costs to pull the sticking chain along.

We supply this liner typically at 1/2″-3/4″ thick with plug holes and weld washers to affix to the conveyor. The result is a dramatic improvement in how the conveyor works. You can view the video here:

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Custom Redco 750 SN Bearing Inserts

Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers a series of six molded polyurethane inserts for SN bearing systems. Part numbers R-1150 to R-1155 cover bores 1-15/16″ to 3-15/16″ but what if you have a larger bearing? The news is good as we can absolutely manufacture larger sizes! We just need a part number for the original bearing system. Fair warning that these are custom machined solutions vs. molded solutions meaning the per-piece cost will be substantial. If you think you would be using the inserts more often then you can discuss the creation of a tooling fee and what that would cost.

If you need more information about this solution, contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber today.


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Why Are You Still Using Metal Sprockets?

Recently we took part in a large expansion of one of our customer’s facilities and Redco plastic solutions were in all of the new machinery; however, for a new sorter our plastic sprockets had been declined in favor of a less expensive steel option. This is, of course, the customer’s choice but there were already clear signs of wear on the sprocket and they were noisy making the use of earplugs compulsory. It was a reminder that sometimes we don’t communicate well enough the advantages and benefits of mating a plastic sprocket to metal chain.

The most important advantage is less wear. When you mate metal to metal the abrasion will prematurely wear the chain and the sprocket’s teeth. Anytime you need to shut down for maintenance or replace parts costs your mill money! The reduced noise is the second benefit. Noise is a hazard and noise reduction should be a priority; however, while plastic-to-metal connections reduce noise, metal on metal increases it.

Many metal sprockets are also solid; however, Redco polyurethane sprockets have a detachable A-plate from the hub. This means when the sprocket’s teeth eventually do wear you only need to purchase new A-plates but not a full sprocket and this saves you money.

Lastly, polyurethane is an elastomer. This means it takes a measure of impact and then rebounds where metal will simply dent. Have you had impact issues affecting your metal sprockets? Polyurethane would make an ideal solution.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers a wide variety of split and solid polyurethane sprockets for 81X/H78 chain. Check them out here.


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Oregon Bend Spec Sheet

Our popular “Oregon Bends” are plastic chain channel we form into semicircles for when sawmill chain wraps around a bend. These are not a “standard” solution as the channel used, infeed and outfeed are different depending on the mill. To that end we’ve prepared a spec sheet that gives the customer everything they’d need to get a quote. You can download the drawing below, print it, fill it out and email it to Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Oregon Bend Blank Drawing

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Differences Between Redco SPS-2000 and Synsteel

Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers two “pulp safe” plastics and while they might appear to be interchangeable or similar, they’re really not, and have both different properties and applications. In fact, it’s critically important to know where each should be used. SPS-2000 is meant to dissolve in the kraft mill chemical process and should be the only of the two plastics used in kraft mills! This is because Synsteel will not dissolve under the same process! Conversely, SPS-2000 is not suitable for pulp mills that do not use the kraft process. Those mills use metal detectors and that is where Synsteel, with its embedded metal component, must be used instead. The easiest way to think about it is to use SPS-2000 in kraft mills and Synsteel everywhere else. At this point lets break down the materials.

SPS-2000 Polyurethane:

Besides being kraft mill safe, SPS-2000 offers some other excellent properties. It is the slickest polyurethane product we offer with the lowest coefficient of friction. Its fillers also provide high wear and abrasion resistance combined with both load and impact strength. It is able to bear 2500 PSI load in application. SPS-2000 is quite dimensionally stable and resists most oils, greases, and solvents.



Redco Synsteel has a specific gravity > 2 meaning it will sink (unlike virgin UHMW, which floats). Also, the metal filling makes it attracted to magnets and will trip metal detectors (though that depends on the size of the piece). We’d be happy to mail you a free piece of Synsteel offcut to trial in your mill, cut into various pieces, and see how it detects. The steel filling also provides other benefits such as twice the compressive strength of virgin UHMW, improved abrasion resistance and reduced thermal expansion. All UHMW can take a beating but Redco Synsteel especially with these properties. This makes it an especially good product to use on the log deck (of any mill, not just pulp mills).

For more information or a quotation on Redco Synsteel or SPS-2000, please contact us today.



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Sawmill Application Solutions Video

“Seeing is believing” goes the old cliche and while we can talk about using plastics in sawmills, OSB, or planar mills, nothing beats seeing these solutions in action! Fortunately, Redwood Plastics and Rubber has created a short minute and a half video on YouTube showing a few of these applications in use.

Highlighted in the video is workhorse Redco 430 polyurethane in bumper applications as well as various profiles of UHMW polyethylene in either wear strip or chain channel applications. If you have any interest in these products or similar solutions, contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber today.

Enough talk and see it for yourself!

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Redco 750 L- Channel For OSB Mills

One of our recent solutions has been replacing UHMW L-shaped channel for chain runs in OSB mills with Redwood Plastics and Rubber Redco 750 polyurethane. The issue is that the chain creates too much heat on the UHMW plastic warping it and causing it to bubble. Redco 750 bears more load and its properties appear to dissipate the heat better resulting in a solution to the problem.

These channels can be manufactured in virtually every desired profile, though a one-time set up fee would be required for a profile with new dimensions. Once the tooling is done, shipments can be made in the reasonable time frame of typically 3 weeks. The material is flexible, yet strong, and resilient to abrasion and wear as well as carrying up to 2500 PSI of load.

See below for details. If you have interest in this product, please contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber.



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Trimmer Lug Design Template

Our estimators and sales people at Redwood Plastics and Rubber often receive request for quotes on UHMW trimmer or roller lugs. The issue is that customers often think the lugs they are using are ‘standard’ when this is not the case. In fact, our inventory holds hundreds of part numbers for different trimmer/roller lugs of all different thicknesses, lengths, and profiles. Thus when a RFQ comes in we treat it as a new custom part. Yet, these lugs are so common that we wanted an easy way for customers to specify their requirements.

Below you will find a blank drawing for a trimmer/roller lug. Simply print it, measure your existing lugs, fill in the measurements and email your request to sales@redwoodplastics.com

Please be sure to include the quantity of lugs you require!

Roller Trimmer Lug Blank

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