Behind the Wheel is a blog created by Stellana for the wheel industry. Whether you are new to polyurethane wheels or have been in the business for a long time, this blog is a great tool for polyurethane education, industry safety, company news and updates, and much more.
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Beyond the Forklift: 7 Surprising Applications for Polyurethane Wheels
What application comes
to mind when you think of polyurethane wheels and tires? I would bet forklifts
do for many of you. While a countless number of our polyurethane wheels and
tires are used on forklifts, our materials excel within a variety of other applications.
Our engineering expertise and manufacturing experience allow us to produce
high-quality polyurethane for a variety of industries that you may not have
Stellana is one of the
world’s largest manufacturers of molded polyurethane products. Our engineering
team consists of mechanical and chemical engineers who have a unique
understanding of polymer formation. This department is equipped to tackle
product design, tooling, material selection and carry out a variety of
performance analytics. Whether it is a new design or one in need of
improvement, our engineers find a way to offer the best solution.
At Stellana, we think of
ourselves as application specialists because of our ability to provide unique
solutions tailored to each individual application. Our design, engineering and
manufacturing expertise is being used in a variety of industries beyond
forklifts that include:
1.Overhead Conveyor Systems
many things, overhead conveyors often use wheels to move things. These wheels
travel along the tracks of overhead conveyors and in conjunction with different
carrying mechanisms that transport product. These tracks often have joints in
their assembly, like a floor’s expansion joints, they can cause chunking and tearing.
Stellana’s material can support a variety of load requirements and resist wear,
chunking and tearing. Wheels can also experience uneven wear due to wobbling.
Our wheels are engineered to be perfectly round and smooth reducing the unwanted
wear and wobbling.
Overhead Conveyor System
Carts come in a range of
sizes and strengths for differing applications. Our polyurethane wheels are
used for the equipment carts that transport the parts and pieces that are made
on automotive assembly lines. The carts and the wheels must handle a high load
capacity for the heavy goods they move.
Our wheels can also be
used in railroad applications. Stellana’s polyurethane wheels are used within
tugger systems to move boxcars along the train tracks. This material is able to
run directly on the tracks and provide traction along a very narrow surface.
4.Industrial Washer Systems
Inside large industrial
dryers, there are a few components that work together to dry the clothing. We
manufacture the drive and idler wheels that are used to rotate the drum. These
components tumble the load as it dries.
is the preferred material for the elevator guide wheels used by elevator
contractors. Along the elevator shaft, there are guide rails in place to move
the cars during normal operation and enable back-up safety features. In the
event the cable would snap, elevators have many safeties in place to quickly
stop the car where it is on the rail. The guide wheels are small wheels that
are used to help the elevator car smoothly travel up and down the rail bars
during everyday operation.
Hyperloop is a
proposed, high-speed transportation method being brought to life by Tesla and
SpaceX. A series of Hyperloop Pod Competitions have been held to test
functional prototypes, with the next being held July 21, 2019. In past years
and this year, competing teams have sought out Stellana wheels for their
If the Hyperloop system
ever lost pressure, disrupting the vacuum created, Stellana’s wheels would
create stabilization while slowing down the vehicle from high speeds. Even
though the vehicle is created with the intention of never touching the ground,
Stellana plays an integral role as a safety feature. This is an application
that genuinely pushes polyurethane to its limits!
Stellana wheel on Hyperloop prototype
Stellana’s expertise is
recognized within the material handling industry, but we offer high-quality
polyurethane solutions for many sectors beyond what we are known for. Our
processes and commitment to providing the best quality materials allow us to
come up with application-specific solutions that will succeed in a variety of
environments. To learn if we can unlock the answer to your needs,contact us today! Kerry Stilling Marketing Coordinator
By now, we are all aware there is a PPE shortage for many of
the workers who need protective equipment the most. One of the most talked-about
items are masks.
We are also hearing how many companies are experiencing an
extreme decline in business. A local company, PFI Fashions Inc., took what
could be a negative situation and used their open capacity to make a very
positive impact on their local community. Jodie and Billy Joe Todd, owners of PFI, took it upon themselves
to begin manufacturing masks for those in need. Located in Genoa City, WI the full-service company specializes in screen printing, promotional products, and embroidery.
Within the course of a week,
they have completely shifted their production focus to making washable, cotton
face masks. They have been generously donating them to Aurora Hospital, local
EMTs, and the other essential workers who need them the most.
Because of their hard work, we were able to purchase masks
to keep our employees safer at Stellana. We want…
How long will a polyurethane tire last? This is a hard question to answer, and the best answer would be "it depends" because the life is not the same for any two products. Our engineers can calculate estimates for how long they should last, but the material, tire size, load, speed, floor, and environmental conditions all play a factor.
The pictured tire may be an outlier, but its life span is pretty impressive. Bill Rohan, Parts Manager at Trupar America, sent us this photo of a diamond grooved Gmax™ tire that was just shy of turning four years old while on the job. After being placed on the equipment October 15, 2015, this tire just retired July 2, 2019, with total usage of 9190.40 hours.
This tire's life in hours equates to 1 year and 18 days of use, but it was not running continuously. Impressively though, it was working around the clock approximately 47 hours a week over the last 193 weeks. This number, 9190.40, is over double a 4,000.00-hour life – which would be c…