Injection Molded UHMW Rollers for Car Wash Equipment

Injection Molded UHMW Rollers for Car Wash Equipment

Injection Molded UHMW Rollers for Car Wash Equipment

The Project:

Optimizing Part Performance and Supply Chain Efficiency  

When evaluating options for plastic rollers used in their roller assemblies, one of the nation’s largest car wash equipment manufacturers turned to DPI for material recommendations and creative engineering expertise. To explore the best solutions, a field study of injection molded UHMW rollers from DPI was conducted in a working, real-world car wash and data was collected over a period of nearly 80,000 vehicles washed with the test rollers in place. 

The Challenge:

Putting DPI’s Proprietary Injection Molded UHMW Rollers to the Test

Are DPI’s injection molded UHMW-PE (Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) rollers a suitable option for roller assemblies used in harsh, wet conditions? How do DPI’s injection molded rollers compare to the machined rollers being used in the current production model? 

These are some of the questions the car wash equipment manufacturer wanted to explore as they were looking to bring new ideas for efficiency, timely delivery, and cost savings to their rollers supply chain.

For the field study, the car wash equipment manufacturer’s engineers built their 4-wheel roller assemblies using DPI’s UHMW rollers in multiple configurations, along with a control configuration. The roller assemblies were then installed in an active working front-wheel-pull car wash system for testing. Testing was conducted over nearly 80,000 car washes, subjecting DPI’s UHMW rollers to a harsh environment of water and cleaning solutions as well as the need to endure vehicle weight and tire impact.

5 tested configurations, including a control, for car wash roller assemblies.

Following the test period, measurements and evaluations were made of both the injection molded sample (test) and the machined sample (control).

In their performance evaluation, the company’s engineers focused on three key areas of the both the machined and injection molded test roller parts for measurements: the outside diameter, the inside bore diameter, and the overall length of the roller. To further understand the physical characteristics and behavior of the injection molded and machined rollers, the engineers also conducted a close visual examination of the test components, looking at any wear patterns and variables.

The Results:

DPI’s UHMW Parts are Always a Winning Solution

In the engineer’s evaluation report conclusion, DPI’s proprietary injection molded UHMW rollers were approved for use in the company’s roller assemblies. Results showed that in each test configuration, DPI’s injection molded rollers were found to be well within the company’s tolerance demands of expected wear. 

Injection molded UHMW rollers for car wash equipment from DPI

Thanks to a highly automated production process for the only injection moldable UHMW-PE on the market, partnering with DPI brings the car wash equipment manufacturer the added benefits of high production rate capabilities and cost savings over machined parts.   

As a result of the testing and approvals, the car wash equipment manufacturer has added DPI as a supplier of injection molded rollers for its production inventory. So, while their equipment is put to work throughout America’s car washes, DPI is helping keep the roller assemblies’ durability, and availability, on track.

Injection Molded Rollers - Preliminary Testing Data & Approval report

Download the full report