SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. (Jan. 5)— Reacting to widespread demand in the belting, hose and rubber profile industries, DeWAL Industries Inc. has doubled capacity for its ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene film, which is used both as a structural support layer in belts and to reduce wear and friction in hoses.
The expansion was sparked principally by the belting industry, which wanted to make six-foot wide belts with a continuous layer of UHMW film bonded in place, said Warren DiClemente, who runs DeWAL´s UHMW operations.
In addition, rubber profile and hose makers use UHMW PE film for internal and external wear and friction applications throughout their products, DiClemente said. Hoses that normally would wear out from abrasion last longer because of the thin layer of UHMW on the outside, DeWAL claims, because the material´s abrasion resistance has almost eliminated the need for high-cost abrasion-resistant rubber compounds.
Rubber hose and belt makers use the material because it requires no special treatment for bonding to EPDM and because it is made in extremely thin (down to .002 of an inch thick), according to Chris Brooks, director of sales & marketing, thereby offering both cost and weight savings.
Saunderstown-based DeWAL did not disclose the plant´s capacity nor the value of the expansion.