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Remolding, Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line

June 9, 2015 By: Bill deMink

Remolding, Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line

We’ve all seen the ubiquitous three-arrow graphic that is stamped on materials that are recyclable. And, as a nation, we have become quite efficient at squeezing new life out of renewable materials – today, we recover nearly 35 percent of all waste for recycling purposes, according to the EPA.

Despite being among the most easily recycled materials, components made from iron, steel and other metals are often tossed into landfills, instead of finding new life through renewal.

Greening Forward, a recycling advocacy organization, reports that 70 percent of all metal is used just once and then simply thrown away. However, the 30 percent that is recycled saves the equivalent energy to electrically power about 18 million households for a year.

In particular, cast iron is among the most recyclable metals available – its inherent properties allow for easy melting and re-forging (hence the name “cast” iron).
Of course, it takes a fire of about 2,800°F to return iron to its molten state, so the process does require care and expertise, as well as a melting furnace that can generate the necessary heat for the job. The resulting forged components are extremely hard and durable, and are indistinguishable from components made from virgin iron ore.

Though the process doesn’t generate harmful fumes, the greatest risks from handling molten metal’s include splashing metals (due to impure or moist scrap) and electromagnetic radiation – namely, UV and infrared radiation. Protective, heat-resistant clothing; face shields and masks; and UV/infrared eyewear are generally sufficient to protect the handler from the inherent risks.

Remolding
Polyurethane wheels can offer a durable, ergonomic and efficient tread to any heavy-duty caster – but the rigors of daily use can eventually take its toll. Heavy loads, long runs, high speeds and debris can all break down the polyurethane compound.

Through our affiliate, Reaction Industries, we are able to cost-effectively remold a new tire onto an existing core, and it is all done in house. Advantages of remolding include:

• Extending use life of “added value” cores, such as specially machined or extra heavy duty
• Cost effective method for changing/improving tread material when needed
• Promotes a “Green” mindset to help save our environment
• Quality equivalent of OEM
The process is simple. We heat the existing polyurethane to 800°F to strip it from the wheels – a final blast removes any remaining remnants. After inspection of the core to ensure it still meets the original specifications, a new tire is applied using the same process used for factory-fresh cores.

If you’d like to get started with a recycling program of your own, please feel free to contact us at customercental@casterconcepts.com or by phone at 517-680-7950.

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