03 January 2019
As the colder nights draw in, we can expect to see gritters and snow ploughs appearing on the roads, making sure that the dual carriageways and suburban streets alike are safe for drivers.
However, not many people realise that snow plough blades – though primarily made of metal – also feature rubber components to help clear snow away from the centre of the road. There are a number of reasons why this is necessary, and several good materials options depending on the snow plough in question and where it’s going to be used.
How do snow ploughs work?
Snow ploughs are devices that – once mounted to a vehicle – use a large blade to remove compacted snow and ice from a surface (typically a road or street). The very first snow ploughs were horse-drawn wedges made of wood.
However, the invention of the motor vehicle quickly gave innovators the opportunity to develop and increase the functionality of snow ploughs, which developed until they were made of metal and far more effective.
In many countries; especially those that see snowfall year round or for the majority of the year; snowploughs are a permanent fixture of the locomotive industry. This means that tracks are constantly being cleared, which minimises the risk of disruptions and low line adhesion.
Why are some rubbers better than others in cold weather?
Not all rubber is optimised to be used in cold conditions – especially if it has to come into contact with snow, ice, and other debris that may be hidden on the surface that the plough is clearing.
Snow plough rubber needs to be able to withstand these adverse weather conditions, as well as last for a respectable length of time – after all, it’s going to be far too expensive to replace worn rubbers every single season.
This is why natural rubber is not suitable for use in snow plough applications – it can become too brittle when exposed to constant cold temperatures, water, and does not offer a long enough lifespan to be an economical choice.
Which rubber is best for snow plough blades?
Aquaseal uses styrene-butadiene rubber for our snow plough fabrications as it offers a number of qualities that make it perfect for use in cold weather. Features of snow plough rubber include:
- The ability to withstand temperature extremes from –20°C to 70°C
- Shock absorption and noise reduction
- Minimal strain on the plough itself
- Rust-free and won’t absorb water (smooth plough surface)
- Safer and more efficient road clearing
- Abrasion resistance against the wear and tear of potholes, rocks, etc
Snow plough rubber from Aquaseal
Aquaseal understands that not all snow ploughs are created equal, and neither are their rubber blades, We work individually with each client to offer them a bespoke solution that will last for years to come.
Interested? Get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss run quantities, different material options, colours, and to request a copy of our specification. We look forward to working with you.