UHMW Sled Tracks

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Cool Projects, UHMW
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At first glance an article on a Friday in mid-July regarding sled tracks might seem a little strange. However, readers up North know that the time to prepare for an early winter is now. Engineering plastics have valuable applications even in the hostile arctic.

Polyethylene, particularly UHMW-PE, has earned some press in recent years used as synthetic ice for skate training purposes. Both materials have a low coefficient of friction and are desirable for many sliding UHMW sledapplications.

Truth is UHMW has been used for years by resourceful individuals as sled tracks because when the sled contacts ice via an extremely slick substance, like UHMW, friction is decreased and the sled moves better with less energy applied. As a bonus UHMW is commonly available in white, which meshes well with the ice or snow it runs on.

Every one of these projects is a custom-build. There are no real set guidelines to using UHMW for a sled beside the following:

1.) It is the UHMW that must be in contact with the ground. Do not have some wood and some UHMW in contact at the same time – this defeats the purpose.

2.) UHMW must be mechanically fastened to the sled. Although some companies recommend various substances to bond or “glue” UHMW, as plastic experts we want you to know this is very difficult and we always recommend mechanical fastening for UHMW.

3.) 1/4″ thick material seems to be the thickness material most people are using.

Although this is an application for true “do-it-yourselfers” and we cannot engineer a sled for you, our seven branches always carry UHMW sheet and would be happy to cut rails or tracks to your specifications from material you purchase. If that interests you please do not hesitate in dropping us a line:

E-MAIL: sales@redwoodplastics.com
CDN: 1 800 667 0999
USA: 1 866 733 2684


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