The importance of UHMW chain guides in sawmills

    Being in constant evolution, the wood industry, such as sawmills or forest operations, is constantly seeking ways to improve the quality of its products, in addition to increasing the efficiency of its processes and reducing production costs. One often underestimated but essential aspect of this quest for improvement is the choice of materials and components used in machines and equipment. Plastic chain guides have proven to be one of the key elements in achieving these goals.


    In what context are chain guides used?

    In sawmills, it is primarily the chain conveyors on steel conveyor chains that are at the core of daily operations. They allow for the transportation of materials along a production line, ensuring a continuous and efficient flow. These conveyors play an essential role in the process of transforming raw wood into finished products. They are indeed crucial for connecting all the elements of the production line.

    Within this production line, you can find various equipment such as band saws, barkers, planers, slicers, planers, and grinders. These pieces of equipment are essential for carrying out the different wood processing stages. Among these pieces of equipment, several of them are equipped with metal chain guides, which could be replaced by UHMW chain guides for all the advantages mentioned below.


    Challenges Encountered

    The machinery used plays a crucial role in the process of transforming raw wood into high-quality finished products. Among these machines, there are equipment such as barkers and belt conveyors, which require a significant number of components to ensure their proper operation. Plastic chain guides stand out among these components for various reasons.

    Plastic chain guides are known for their exceptional resistance to wear. Sawmills and forest operations are extremely demanding environments where machines are subjected to harsh conditions, such as exposure to wood debris, high temperatures, and constant vibrations. Plastic chain guides can withstand these extreme conditions, reducing maintenance costs and extending the lifespan of the machines.

    Furthermore, UHMW chain guides offer excellent corrosion resistance. The forest environment is often exposed to moisture or chemicals used for maintenance, which can lead to the corrosion of metal components. By replacing metal chain guides with plastic ones, the risk of corrosion is reduced, avoiding costly breakdowns and maintenance downtime.

    Another advantage of plastic chain guides is their ability to reduce noise and vibrations. Sawmills and forest operations are noisy environments where machines often run at full capacity. Excessive noise exposure can be detrimental to the health and safety of workers, an issue that the CNESST pays particular attention to. Opting for plastic guides significantly reduces noise and vibrations, improving working conditions for operators and preventing noise-related injuries.iStock-1291223964

    Finally, plastic chain guides are easy to install and maintain. Unlike metal chain guides that may require frequent adjustments and complex lubrication operations, plastic guides require little to no maintenance due to their low friction coefficient. This significantly reduces downtime and optimizes machine productivity.


    In short... 

    Plastic chain guides offer numerous advantages in the wood industry. Their wear resistance, corrosion resistance, noise and vibration reduction, as well as their ease of installation and maintenance, make them essential components to ensure the proper operation of the machinery used. The use of these chain guides allows for optimizing productivity, reducing maintenance costs, and extending the equipment's lifespan.

    Bannière-téléchargement-catalogue-UHMW---EN-1To learn more about plastics used in industrial contexts, please refer to the articles below:

    1. 5 advantages of using TIVAR® 88, a high-performance UHWM

    2. FRP: An Alternative to Steel for More Durable Structures

    3. 5 Plastics with low coefficient of friction

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