Not all urethane is created equal. Feeling adventurous? Most hardware stores sell the chemicals needed to make simple polyurethane in a kit. This type of urethane mixture is much different than the urethane liners and custom wear point pieces used on concrete batch plants. Having the type of polyurethane required for a high demand and rough rugged environment at a concrete plant mixer, aggregate bins, turn heads and other high impact and wear points is a science.
Manufacturers of urethane and urethane liners are typically secretive about their formula and mixtures. Factors such as life expectancy, durometer, composition, and temperature ratings are all important factors when determine the appropriate polyurethane to use. Each of the factors mentioned can be manipulated through different chemical mixtures enabling properly manufactured urethane pieces to be customized to your specific application and hold the properties and characteristics most desired for the specific application.
Typically urethane is used in concrete mixers, aggregate bins, turn heads and other impact areas to solve wear issues that occur from material impacting or sliding across a specific area repetitively. Urethane may be installed as a solution to a developing wear problem or as a preventative measure in high risk areas to reduce wear related issues over time. The addition of urethane is quite common in both new and used equipment. Many concrete plant and mixer manufacturers offer urethane lining for concrete mixers, turn heads and aggregate bins as an option when they are sold new. Urethane can also be easily installed on existing equipment in the field. The plant may have to shut down for a couple of days, and will have to be thoroughly cleaned prior to installation, but urethane can be considered as a solution on any concrete plant or mixer regardless of age.
Polyurethane is available in a variety of styles with a variety of options. While shape, size and color are the most basic options, ceramic inserts are a more complex topic. Ceramic inserts are a common option for the highest impact areas such as a turn head, but one type, size and durometer of ceramic does not fit all applications. Some ceramic inserts are designed to absorb direct impact, while others are best for sliding. Using the wrong ceramic tiles for the wrong application could result in tiles breaking, cracking and popping out. This will cause premature wear and failure of the piece, so properly identifying how the materials will react at the specific location you are trying to protect is important if considering ceramic inserts.
The other common option available in urethane pieces and sheets is how they are attached, with bolts or welding. Depending on the type of piece and thickness ordered there may be a wire mesh embedded in the urethane, or specific attachment points may be embedded in predetermined locations. Both the bolt able and weld able look like a washer embedded in the urethane, but the weld able offers a larger ring for the welder to make contact between the urethane piece and the equipment to which it is being fixed, while the bolt able has a smaller opening to hold the head of the bolt being fixed. Generally speaking the weld able pieces are the easiest and most desirable to install because they do not require holes to be drilled in the equipment. The weld point or bolt is usually then covered by a plug. While most manufacturers advise using a specific adhesive to affix the plugs in place, the best urethane manufacturers use a design that will enable the plug to pop into place without the need for adhesive, although it is typically recommended that adhesive be used even with these types of plugs for best results.
FESCO Direct sells quality urethane products custom manufactured at the time of order for best results. We already have on file most typical concrete plant mixer measurements including Vince Hagan, Erie Strayer, Con-E-Co, Ross, Rex and others. Custom measurements can also be taken on any plant, mixer or equipment. More information on our urethane lines for concrete plants is available online. You can also contact our sales professionals for further assistance.