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Hopper liners

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:14 am
by Sweeperthane
Hello everyone.

For those of you who aren't familiar with me, my name is Gregg Blair and I work with Superior Engineered Elastomers. We make several rubber and polyurethane wear parts for the street sweeping industry, and I enjoy working with the contractors to identify areas needing improved wear performance.

Recently I've been asked to look at the possibility of lining hoppers. what I'd like your input on is if you as a contractor, or manufacturer, or wholesaler, would consider sheets of polyurethane that could be somehow applied to the hopper. I envision either my company making sheets and cutting them to size, or offering sheets that you could cut to fit your particular equipment.

Any input would be appreciated and if you are currently facing a severe hopper wear problem and would like to test this potential solution, please contact me.

Thanks in advance

Gregg Blair
Product Line Manager
Superior Engineered Elastomers

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:44 am
by Ben K
I had looked into doing this before. My local truck equipment supplier sells dump truck bed liners that are premade to fit your dump truck. They also sell sheets of the same material that you can use for repairs.

My questions:
1. How do you prepare the hopper before installing? You cant just put it in over rusted metal - or can you?
2. How do you attach it to the hopper? Would it be better to drill a bunch of holes and bolt it in or just use some knid of glue?

If you made a kit that could easily be installed - I would definately buy it. Hoppers cost ALOT of money and its hard to keep them from falling apart.

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:33 pm
by Karl Stauty
If you installed a liner the metal would have to treated before installing the product or it would act like a bed liner in the rear of a pickup truck, holding dirt and moisture thus creating rust.

Based upon my experience most hoppers rust out from not being cleaned out properly or frequent enough. And in most cases it is in the coners and around the dust seperator the hardest areas to clean.

You may make sheets that could be used for wear areas inside the hopper and bolt into place. Could the material be formed to fit the contour of the hopper? And if we have joints that connect together what type of caulking material would bond to the plastic?

The most ideal product would be a primmer, liner, caulk and fastners that could be applied to all the different styles of units. This system could be cut with standard wood cutting tools.

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:16 am
by Sweeperthane
Thank you so much for your feedback.

My thought was polyurethane sheets. These sheets could be cut to size and peiced into the hopper. To attach them you'd need to bolt them in, but you should be able to just put the in place and not worry about patching current rust spots, as long as you can attach them. You could use silicone to caulk seems.

Getting further into it, I could see us getting the dimensions of the hoppers and offering pre-cut kits.

For new hoppers I could see using a spray on Rhino liner type product, something my company doesn't offer.

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:27 pm
by Karl Stauty
What is the thickness that your going to use for these sheets?

And what size sheets were you thinking of providing if not a pre-cut kit?

Personaly I think this is a great concept, and would benifit the lifes of many sweepers!

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:18 am
by Sweeperthane
Thanks Karl.

I was considering 1/8", maybe 1/4". What are your thoughts?

As for size, I'm still looking at what seems feasible. For one thing, you need to be able to handle it and move it around inside the hopper. The material I'm considering would be pliable and you'd be able to bend it, but some of these hoppers are pretty confined. But if we go too small, your looking at a lot of drilling.

Give me a call at your convenience Karl. We can discuss it and if you're interested we can do some testing.

800-289-1456 Ext. 129

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:09 am
by Ben K
1/8 would be fine for low impact areas of the hopper, but 1/4 would be needed on the floor and any areas that the debris hits directly while entering the hopper.

Have you done any testing to see if this will help the debris slide out of the hopper better? I know we spend alot of time cleaning the bottom of our hoppers. If it does - it will not only prolong the life of the steel, it will save labor costs associated with keeping the trucks clean.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:24 am
by Sweeperthane
We have not tested in this application. However, in regards to the transition sleeve we've produced, and a urethane spinner used in a salt spreader application, we've found that the media does not stick to this material like it does steel. I am interested in performing trials in the near future. The problem I foresee is that anyone who agrees to test this concept will need to drill holes in their hopper so that the material can be bolted in place.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:36 am
by Ben K
I dont have a problem with drilling holes in the hopper. The holes that will be made by the hopper wearing/rotting away without the liner are a much bigger problem.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:08 am
by Dwan
I would concider using a stud gun that spot welds studs on the steel instead of holes and bolts.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:18 am
by Sweeperthane
I'm not overly familiar with what you're saying Dwan, but any high heat contacting the polyurethane, which could lead to melting, could cause dangerous fumes. If I guy is inside a hopper perfoming this operation, it could be dangerous to breath these fumes.

I'm a urethane guy, not a mechanic, so you guys may know better than me.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:38 pm
by Dwan
Studs work by cleaning a spot inside the hopper. weld a stud on it. Do this in several places then dril holes in the poly to match the location of the studs, insert the poly put washers over the studs and then a nut to secure everything in place. This avoids driling holes in a hopper.

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:55 am
by Sweeperthane
Sounds like a good idea to me.


Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:25 pm
by Tom_in_CA
I've heard of guys putting "rhino-lining" into their Tymco 600 hoppers. Rhino Lining is the stuff that people pay to have put on their pickup truck beds, if I'm not mistaken. A sort of painted-in plastic type coating?

But it's not cheap, and you have to do extensive preparation (you can't just apply it over the top of rust). Has anyone heard how effective that stuff is?

Seems that with the moving parts for the dump mechanism it might just wear off in the movement and the high-blast areas? For the life-span of the average Tymco, is it worth it? You'd have to be reeaalll neglectful, and leave lots of rotting water and sludge for loonngg periods, to get a hopper to rot all the way through, with rust, anyhow. At least in my area of the country, as we do not have salted roads, snow, etc....

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:30 pm
by Sweeperthane
I've never heard how this spray on urethane works in a street sweeper. Elgin actually now offers a coated hopper. I think it would extend the life, but it wouldn't make it last forever. My thought to put sheets in the hopper would allow you to replace the sheets as they wear instead of replacing the hopper or welding and patching.