Recycling Case Study – Spacer

Posted on: 5th Jul 2016

The company wanted a product that would protect the metal fabrication, optimise performance and reduce machine downtime. The PolyGlobal team underwent a detailed research and development process that allowed for the best possible component to be produced.

SummaryDSC03089

PolyGlobal were recently contacted by an established, global recycling company, looking for a new spacer component that would advance their options in their range of recycling machines. The company wanted a product that would protect the metal fabrication, optimise performance and reduce machine downtime. The PolyGlobal team underwent a detailed research and development process that allowed for the best possible component to be produced.

Project Development

PolyGlobal were sent a basic concept drawing, with little information on the product, such as desired size and preferred material. The experienced team at PolyGlobal discussed with the buyer the exact functions and conditions that this component would be exposed to and used for, allowing us to create dimensions, but also giving us the opportunity to develop the most successful and suited material for the recycling company.

After discussing the desired outcome for the component with the company, we were made aware of how the product had to be abrasion resistant, durable and strong. During our research and development process, we decided to pursue with the material of Polyurethane, due to the fact it provided the desired characteristics wanted by the company. We considered the likes of Polypropylene and Nylon, DSC03090with Nylon being the sturdiest of materials tested, yet it did not have the abrasive features that Polyurethane possessed – something fundamental to the success of this component. The grade used was 68 D, meaning that the Polyurethane we used was one of the highest grades possible for the material, meaning that the strength of the product was extremely high, whilst also being abrasive resistant.

Solution Advantages

As mentioned above, using Polyurethane for this component was crucial due to the fact it combined the durability, abrasion resistance and strength required by the recycling company. In addition to this, the Polyurethane material was coated in Molybdenum Disulphide, adding to the value of the component, due to the fact it possesses the property of being self-lubricating. Therefore, this increased the performance of the spacer, due to the fact it reduced friction and as a result added to the longevity of the component.  DSC03091

The buyer also considered using metal as the material, however polyurethanes are in most cases more durable than metals, usually due to their lower density and higher flexibility.  The lower density of the material results in a lighter product that has greater impact absorption than metals. This has multiple advantages for the component, including higher abrasion resistance as they compress easily, and retain their original moulded shape once the stimulus is removed.

The use of polyurethane can often be a more affordable alternative to metal. Due to their properties, polyurethane components will eventually wear down in line with regular maintenance periods, which allows for the parts to be replaced when they start to become ineffective. With metals, components are often only replaced with complete or catastrophic failure of the part. At the end of the component’s lifespan, metal parts are brittle and will simplify break/ snap, possibly causing damage to other areas of machinery.

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