“You will not be able to sell us any more rollers now! ”, said the voice on the phone, as UW-ELAST’s salesman Jimmy Andersson answered. It was a representative of Gränges Finspång AB speaking. And even though there was some truth to the statement, it wasn’t actually bad news for UW-ELAST. Instead it confirmed the success of a collaborative project.
Gränges Finspång AB and UW-ELAST AB in Mariestad have found the perfect choice of material for polyurethane coating of large tension rollers. Gränges is a company that manufactures aluminum sheets with high precision and UW-ELAST is the leader in Scandinavia when it comes to polyurethane casting.
In one of Gränge’s production stages, where aluminum sheet is stretched to achieve flatness, the tension rollers are subjected to very heavy mechanical loads. In the last part of the process, a very high pressure is applied and the surface structure and the friction between the rollers and the aluminum plate are of the utmost importance for a good result.
Previously, the tension rollers were dismantled every three months for regrinding, as the surface structure became too slippery and the tension no longer met the requirements. This required the work of two men for 12 hours and meant large costs because of production losses.
After joint discussions about possible alternative solutions, UW-ELAST came up with the idea to use Slitan MX, an extremely durable material, for the purpose.
The material is an advanced polyurethane that fits perfectly where extreme wear resistance is a must.
After carefully controlled hot casting at the production facility in Mariestad, the rollers were installed at Gränge’s facilities.
How did it go then? To this date we do not have the complete result, but at least we know that the rollers with Slitan MX have been in use for 2 years and 1 month without being regrinded. It may seem like a strange corporate strategy for UW-ELAST, to willingly produce a product that lasts that long, but it is not.
This is completely in line with UW-ELAST’s environmental profiling where the best product for the environment is the one that never needs to be manufactured.
UW-ELAST’s sustainability strategy is mainly based on three main tracks to effectively reduce the company’s overall environmental and climate impact:
- To always offer the customer the right polyurethane of the highest possible quality
- To constantly work to reduce our climate footprint through active improvements throughout our value chain
- To compensate the climate for the greenhouse gas emissions that still occur, as an effect of our operations, both directly and indirectly.
The collaboration with Gränges highlights how the right choice of polyurethane can reduce the environmental impact. UW-ELAST offers a very large palette of polyurethanes with different material properties, which can be matched to an optimal combination. Since we always offer the right polyurethane of the best possible quality for the selected application, we can avoid unnecessary wear and tear with large cost savings for our customers as a result.
Sustainability is both a mechanical issue and an environmental issue that is linked to sustainability in its purest form – less manufactured articles!