Transportation
Transportation & Heavy Equipment

Getting out of a sticky situation

Metal seems like the natural choice for snowplow moldboards, but it suffers from a few key problems — it rusts, it’s heavy and, worst of all, snow sticks to it. When Western Products approached us, we knew we had the solution.

transportation

A plastic snowplow? Sounds like wishful thinking. Sure, it’s lightweight, doesn’t rust and snow won’t stick to it, but, but, but it’s plastic! Come on, there’s no way it could stand up to the impacts, pressures and temperature extremes. Well, the challenge we faced in this project might not be what you’d expect.

Years before Western approached us, during the testing and development of our Calf-Tel product line, we put a prototype into a freezer, took it down to -40ºF and then dropped a 55-gallon oil drum on it from 50-feet in the air. The Calf-Tel unit was crushed instantly, but it didn’t crack, and within 48 hours it had reformed itself to its original shape. So yeah, durability wasn’t going to be a problem.

The real challenge came in achieving a consistent, uniform material thickness over the entire surface of the moldboard. The solution was to eliminate the vacuum from the process and simply drape the heated sheet over a form. Of course, there was a little more to it than that, but at the end of the day we were able to meet our customer’s unique needs through innovative, outside-the-box thinking.

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