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Rubber Bumpers for the Alex Fraser Bridge

Redwood Plastics and Rubber recently worked with a local engineering firm to find a solution for an issue with the cable-stays on a suspension bridge. In Vancouver, B.C. the weather can’t get cold and icing in a hurry and this was causing a massive issue for one of the many bridges in the area. The Alex Fraser bridge was having to be closed due to treacherous ice and snow falling onto the vehicles below and causing significant accidents and a lot of close calls!

A deicing system was developed that releases chains from a battery at the top, sending chains at the top of the cable stays down to clear the ice off the cables.

For this project, Redwood Plastics and Rubber will be supplying the rubber impact bumpers, that take the impact of the chains. Have an issue with impact? Call us, we’ve manufactured and engineered solutions for impact in a wide variety of projects and applications.

See the cable stays in action:



Product Spotlight: Redco Tuffkast

Nylon applications are very common and alongside UHMW-PE, cast nylon is probably the most well-known industrial plastic. The issue is with nylon, as most plastics, is that it’s ideal in some applications but performs poorly in others. No plastic is a complete panacea: they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, in most applications where nylon has problems, Tuffkast can solve them.

Where is nylon not ideal?

That’s the question you have to ask and there are three areas. Firstly, nylon does poorly in submerged or “wet” applications. Unlike most plastics, nylon readily absorbs water and will swell about 4% of its size in 24 hour saturation. This makes it a poor choice for marine applications unless tolerances are taken into account. Secondly, nylon is brittle especially in the cold. While nylon can take lots of pressure (4000 PSI) it is poor in taking impact. Nylon should not be used in impact applications. The final area of concern with nylon is what was just hinted at – cold. Nylon’s properties get worse in cold exposure, about -12 degrees Celsius is the lowest you can comfortably go.

How does Tuffkast solve these problems?

Tuffkast is a “copolymer” meaning it’s a mix of different plastics. While it is “nylon-like” is performs much better in areas nylon is deficient. It has significant benefits to impact resistance and in fact is an excellent impact and shock absorbing plastic. In addition, Tuffkast absorbs much less water (about half) as much as nylon does. In addition, it does not weaken in the cold like nylon does. Customers rightly wonder what the “catch” is with this material as it would seem to be easiest to just use Tuffkast in every nylon application but that isn’t so. The main difference is cost, depending on the grade Tuffkast can be 50-80% more expensive than nylon. The other potential drawback of Tuffkast is that it is softer than nylon, this can lead to increased wear or susceptibility to wear. An example would be use of Tuffkast as a wheel on a railed track. Tuffkast will deform more quickly due to imperfections in the rail and will wear more quickly in general.

If you have more questions about how Redco Tuffkast or nylon might be ideal in your application please contact us today.

Tolerances And Surface Finish

When we here at Redwood Plastics and Rubber get our estimators to work on a project we are required to fill out an internal form that, among other properties, specifies surface finish of the part and tolerances. Assumptions in these matters can occasionally result in customer disappointment but equally important the customer may be paying for tight tolerances or a surface finish that isn’t required for proper performance of the part. To reiterate: requiring tighter tolerances and a smoother surface finish than is required for a part means you are wasting money!

One of the biggest barriers to figuring out what tolerances and surface finish are required is that technical drawings rarely provide accurate information. Most commonly, drawings are supplied with metal tolerances – these are tolerances that are difficult or impossible to hold with plastics. Certain plastics such as acetal can be held to fairly tight tolerances but other commonly specified plastics such as UHMW-PE cannot. Questioning about how critical tolerances are at the very least can delay a quotation until we figure out what is required and doable.

A similar issue is that drawings often come with parts that have 90 degree square corners. This is also very difficult to supply and definitely adds cost. Our standard edge radius would be .125″ and knowing how critical the edge is or not will potentially save you, the customer, money and time.

Surface finish is a little bit of a tougher issue to tackle. Many customers do not know that a variety of surface finishes are available. Our standard is a “125 end mill” but do you know what that actually looks like? The tough part here is the customer may be expecting a “smooth” (very smooth!) part but if that isn’t specified we’d default to the end mill, which has small, but noticeable, grooving. Likewise, a rougher surface finish like a “500 shape turn” will potentially save the customer money.

At the end of the day we rely on you, the customer, to give us as precise information as is possible. It helps us not only supply a quicker quote but also a more competitive quote and that helps you as much as it helps us!

4 Tips For Your Fabricated Plastic Application

Have an idea for an application requiring machined, molded, or fabricated plastic and now you’re ready for some pricing? Having your requirements organized and prepared will not only lead to a quicker quotation but could also lead to a more successful application and quite possibly – save some money. If you’re ready for that quote these tips will help make it the smoothest possible process:

1.) Have some sort of drawing or sketch to send

We don’t expect everyone to have a technical drawing but we at least need a sketch to get started. Sometimes applications that seem simple (a bearing or a pulley) are more involved than you would think. Take a bearing for example, if you just give us the outer diameter/inner diameter/length that doesn’t answer all we need to know. We’d want to know what the tolerances are, specifically in relation to a press fit or running clearance. Does it have a grease groove? Any flanges? A simple sketch can answer many of those questions.

2.) Have quantity and budget in mind

Truth is there isn’t always just one plastic that works in an application. Often there are multiple options that are “good, better, best” and your budget determines where the ideal material lies. Quantity is important too, as quantity can (but not always) lead to price breaks. However, narrow it down to 2-3 quantities at most for quotation. There are not price breaks at all quantities and putting too many tiers will delay your quote.

3.) Know the operational environment and inform us proactively

Often our reps will ask you questions about your application. Basic, yet important parts of the operational environment often get overlooked when choosing a plastic, so think of this in advance and, better yet, inform us at the outset. For example: is the application outside and therefore needs UV-protection? Is it exposed to any chemicals, acids, or bases? Does it take impact or is immersed in water? All of those are critical to the success of an application.

4.) Ask questions

We can’t answer absolutely everything, but we do know our plastics. So if you’re unsure if a plastic is best for your application then ask. Even if we’re not familiar with the application itself, we can at least discuss how other plastics compare to the one you’re considering and that may lead to more success and satisfaction with the end result.

For help with your plastic applications please contact us.

Budgetary Expectations And Lifecycle Cost

One of the most important topics that comes up in a plastic application are issues of cost, budget, and expectations. Most commonly the request we get is to provide a better better performing plastic at less cost. In the vast majority of situations, frankly, this is unreasonable. Plastics, like any quality product, generally follow the old cliche “you get what you pay for” and a better performing, longer-lasting, plastic will almost always cost more money. There are rare exceptions, for example everything being equal, reprocessed (“repro”) UHMW will actually outperform the slightly more expensive natural grade in wear applications specifically. However, these are very rare exceptions to the rule.

It is important to know your budget up front. If there is no ability to fund a higher priced solution you may simply need to make due. However, if you have room in your budget then we have some room to work. Most commonly, a premium grade of the same material would be suggested. For example, switching from reprocessed UHMW to Redco Titanium or Tivar 88. This is generally the first step to take as the premium product provides all of the properties of the lower grade, just much improved. For example, slicker, better wear properties, and UV resistance or weathering.

At times, the application may require a jump to a new plastic. For example, if a nylon part is failing due to being brittle in cold temperatures or moisture swell, then a switch to Redco Tuffkast may be in order. Similarly, most plastics cannot hold tight tolerances; however, acetal is perhaps the best at doing so and bears a similar load to nylon. Were a nylon part to fall out or be unable to retain tolerances, acetal would be an excellent substitute in most applications.

However, the most important point of all is this: selection of the optimal material for an application will almost always result in a lower lifecycle cost and therefore cost-savings. Reduced maintenance costs, replacement, and downtime, will all save the customer money in the long run. It is this critical factor which is often overlooked in the decision to switch to a premium grade of plastic or a more expensive, but ideal, plastic for an application!

For assistance in choosing the best grade or plastic for your application please contact us.



Redco Outrigger Pads: 10 FAQs

Redco Outrigger Pads are perhaps our most popular product we manufacture ourselves and they have a proven track record of success for customers in various industries all over North America. From construction, to power utilities, tree service firms, green energy installers, and others. Frequently asked questions often come up regarding this product and today we’ll answer some of them.

1.) Are custom sizes available?

Yes! Our literature only provides sizes and loading for the most popular sizes. But we can fabricate them in any size from 12″ x 12″ to 48″ x 60″.

2.) Is an anti-slip option available?

Yes! But actually two options of anti-slip are offered. There is the ‘scuffed’ version, which is done in our shops at each branch and uses sanding equipment to rough up the smooth surface. There is also a premium-grade of anti-slip pad using an embedded clean coal slag surface. However, minimum orders and longer lead times do apply to the clean slag surface variant so please inquire.

3.) Can I customize the pads to have extra handles or corners left on?

Yes again, as we make them this can all be customized. Extra handles (beyond two) will add a nominal cost of $5.00/pad. Corners are regularly removed as standard for square pads, but leaving them on if you prefer, obviously has no cost.

4.) Is there a price difference between square and round pads?

Yes, round pads are substantially more difficult to manufacture and require much more labor.

5.) Do you carry stock?

No, due to the wide range of profiles and thickness for the outrigger pads that are requested from us, we do not carry any stock. All pads are made to-order.

7.) What is your lead time to ship an order?

That depends on both stock levels of the base plastic at our branch and the current branch’s overall lead time to ship an order. In general it’s about 3 weeks.

8.) Are your outrigger pads guaranteed?

No, they are not. We understand that a guarantee puts some customer’s minds at ease but this is a high-load product that will take abuse in operational environments we have no control over. It’s unfair to offer a standing guarantee as the customer may incorrectly use the pads (such as not using them on a level surface) or may wear them out by using them on abrasive substrates for a few years and then asking for a replacement. In addition, issues with too much flex are often due to a customer purchasing pads that are not thick enough as a cost-saving measure and we cannot be liable for that. There is not a single case we’ve ever had where a pad has broken, however.

9.) Can you quote with a shipping cost?

Of course, but to do so we require your full address (if in Canada) or zip code (if in the U.S.). Often customers will simply give a city name and state (or province) and unfortunately that is not enough for the freight companies we work with to provide an accurate quotation. We also need a firm quantity of pads to quote, as the shipping cost is based on weight.

10.) Can I get our name or logo engraved on the pad?

Not for a nominal fee. Most of our branches do not have the capability to provide engraved outrigger pads. This engraving can be done by our Canadian and U.S.-based central machine shops, but the costs of transporting the pads to and from those facilities, the cost of the engraving itself, and the additional delivery adds so much expense that it’s not worth it to the customer who isn’t absolutely insistent of this requirement.

For a quote on your outrigger pad needs contact Redwood Plastics.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber Purchases Plastic Fabrication Company in Western Canada

Redwood Plastics and Rubber Acquires Pacific Western Plastics

Redwood Plastics Corporation has purchased the assets of Pacific Western Plastics.

Pacific Western Plastics was in business for over 30 years and operated in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. They carried an extensive inventory of sheet, rod & tube in a variety of materials including UHMW, Nylon, Acetal, Teflon, Phenolics, Nylon, Urethane, Acrylics, Lexan, PVC, HDPE & Exotics like Noryl, PEEK, Vespel, Kynar, Ultem and Nylon/Kevlar Composites. They also offered complete fabrication services including finished cast parts, custom finished parts and machined parts which will all continue to be available from Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Redwood will no longer be maintaining the Pacific Western Plastics Kelowna warehouse location and will be moving all assets and services to their branch in Langley, B.C.


Pacific Western Plastics


New Product: Redco Woodgrain HDPE

Redwood Plastics and Rubber is happy to announce a new product offering* under our HDPE line: Redco Woodgrain HDPE. This attractive product is durable, UV-stable, tough, and easy to work with saws, drills, lathes, and other tools that would regularly be used for wood products. This product is optimized for outdoor use and will never require repainting. Highly weather-resistant, with fade resistant colorant (impregnated throughout the entire sheet), this product can take the impact of everyday life and will outlast wood.

Redco Woodgrain is currently available in a single sheet size and a single thickness: 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ thick. Available colors are espresso brown, tan, and black. Custom thicknesses are available but only with a 5,000 lbs or greater minimum order. The attractive faux wood surface makes the product excellent for applications such as outdoor kitchens, tables, marine furniture, playground equipment, decking, or anything else you feel would be suited to a strong, weather-resistant, attractive replacement to wood.

This is a premium product and it will not be competitive on price alone when compared to the cost of wood. However, for the individual or organization that is looking for a product with a low life-cycle cost requiring very little maintenance, repainting, cleaning, or other labor, and wants a premium product then Redco Woodgrain HDPE offers an excellent solution.

To inquire about pricing or if you have questions on this product please contact us. 

*Please note the product is not currently stocked at our locations and will need to be brought in as required for orders. Typical lead time to land the product is 2 weeks. The minimum order is a single full sheet, it is not sold in smaller sizes or partials.

Snowfall Warning!

Ready for Winter?

Keep your fleet of winter maintenance equipment running longer and with less down-time under the harshest conditions. Engineered to exceed rigorous winter conditions, Redco™ Gladiator™ Snow Plow Blades are the right choice.



  • Outlasts Steel by up to 400%.
  • Resilient Rubber* compound adjusts easily to road surface irregularities. Will not gouge asphalt, concrete or tar-gravel surfaces. Rubber blades won’t damage pavement markers.
  • Provide quick, clean removal of heavy snow and slush.
  • Safer at High-Speed runs. Clearing highways and airport runways in the shortest possible time
  • Reduced Impact Shock. Rubber plow blades absorb impact, shock & vibration. Less stress is transmitted to the plow and vehicle resulting in longer life for your fleet.
  • Lowered Maintenance Costs. Rubber blades require replacing less frequently than steel blades, resulting in fewer man-hours and less downtime.

**Also available in Redco™ Reprocessed UHMW


PDF Brochure


redco-snowplow-blades  snowplow blades rubber

Redwood Plastics and Epic Polymer Amalgamate to Become Redwood Plastics and Rubber


Vancouver, BC, Canada, October 1, 2017 — Redwood Plastics Corporation has merged with Epic Polymer Systems Corporation, a leader in polyurethane and rubber engineered solutions on October 1, 2017. On that date, the combined company began conducting business as Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber began in 1971 and now offers plastic and rubber materials in a variety of stock shapes as well as design services to machine, mold and fabricate finished parts. Their 7 facilities across North America stock a wide variety of plastic materials and the largest inventory of cured rubber sheet. Many materials are ready to ship as full-size or cut-to-size on request.

This merger, along with an investment in equipment and technology, will provide their customers with a wider array of products and services, engineering support, improved customer service and enhanced expertise. Their employees will also benefit from even more and stronger career opportunities.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber will be providing many new products and services in the future and has already expanded their product offering with innovative new products such as FDA Approved rubber (Neptune™ Rubber) – more information is available on the company’s website at


About Redwood Plastics and Rubber

Redwood Plastics and Rubber works directly with customers to find solutions for a variety of problems including; shock, abrasion, noise, wear & friction. Redwood Plastics and Rubber molds, machines, fabricates, and distributes a wide-range of high quality, custom components.

With their technical expertise and experience, they strive to bring new, innovative developments and products to numerous industries and communities with 100% customer satisfaction.

Make. Create. Innovate.





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