Polyurethane vs. polyethylene skids - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-13-2014, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Polyurethane vs. polyethylene skids

I'm kicking around the idea of going to plastic skids (to reduce the amount of jumping on rough surface with Ariens auto-turn).

Got to looking around and I see where Ariens offers Polyurethane skids and Steins offers polyethylene skids. (They're both about the same price).

What little I know (or have been able to find out) of the two materials is, polyethylene is a thermoplastic resin, and polyurethane, is a thermoset resin, (meaning that it has two parts mixed together to form a chemical chain. Once polyurethane is cured, the process canít be undone.)

Polyurethane is used when you need something that is flexible and resistant to kinks, and polyethylene is used when you need extra strength.

Does anyone know what the differences are between the two materials (in the form of snowblower skids)? What do you think, OEM or aftermarket?

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post #2 of 3 Old 03-13-2014, 10:25 PM
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I can't give you an official answer. But I'll offer what I can.

Thermosets don't have to be something like a 2-part liquid. They can come as solid pellets like other plastics, but when you melt them and let them cool, they cross-link, and will stay in that shape. If you heat them again, they won't melt, they'll just burn. But that really doesn't matter much.

Polyurethanes are sometimes soft, flexible materials. But they can also be hard, like in this case. I don't know much about its wear properties.

Polyethylene can have very good wear properties. It is quite slippery, and certain types are sometimes used for wear surfaces, sometimes as replaceable inserts. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) can be suited to this, and there are other versions, like Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), which are better. UHMW is used in the base surfaces of skis, for instance, sold as P-tex.

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They haven't told us much about either material. And I don't doubt Ariens' choice. But PE can be a good material, assuming they used a suitable type (Low Density, or LDPE, would not be as good a candidate).

Realistically, it likely doesn't make a huge difference one way or the other

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-13-2014, 11:28 PM
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There are a few threads here where some members made their own.
Here is one for example
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