The high-impact Makrolon GP polycarbonate snow-plow moldboards can take a 30° glancing blow that would dent or bend one made from steel. The chemically resistant PC also won't rust when exposed to caustic de-icing agents and is UV stabilized. PC-equipped plows have been in service for over 15 years.
A snow-plow blade made from polycarbonate (PC) sheet reportedly took on a tree at 60 mph and didn't break, says Dwayne Shaufler, vice president of Sno-Way International Inc., Hartford, Wis. (www.sno-way.com). "The truck and plow frame were seriously damaged, but the Makrolon (general-purpose) PC sheet popped back into shape after it was removed from the plow's mangled frame. A steel blade would have been completely destroyed by a similar accident."
Smooth, clear Makrolon GP sheets are manufactured by Sheffield Plastics Inc., a Bayer Co., Sheffield, Mass. (www.sheffieldplastics.com). They provide a slippery, low-friction surface. Snow rolls off more quickly and easily compared to steel blades. This reduces wear and tear on both equipment and vehicles, according to Shaufler. "PC also resists de-icing salts and chloride concoctions that rust or pit steel plows."
PC plow blades range in length from 6 ft for the Predator ST model designed for small trucks and SUVs to about 9 ft for HTv91 on 3/4 and one-ton heavy-duty 4X4 trucks. The PC sheets can be shipped folded and will rebound flat. But they take a contoured curve once they are attached to the retainer on the plow's steel frame.
Makrolon GP is a UV-stabilized PC that is UL 94 VO rated for gauges 0.220-in. thicknesses and greater in clear, and 0.236-in. thicknesses and greater for colored. Other applications include containers, doors, and see-through walls as well as electrical components and enclosures, machine guards, and security glazing.
-- Jean M. Hoffman