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Low cost urethane belts typically contain recycled scrap and waste called “regrind” that breaks down long chain molecules. Costs can be reduced considerably by blending regrind into virgin urethane. It is the best way to lower belt prices.
Long Chain Urethane (also called Polyurethane) Molecules:
Our belts often cost more because we use 100% pure virgin urethane (no regrind). The long chain molecules are not broken. The soft parts (black) are coiled like springs, providing greater elasticity. The hard parts (red and blue) are virtually cross-linked, increasing tensile strength and lifespan.Urethane molecules contaminated with regrind,
dust, and degraded by multiple heat cycles.
Grinding scrap into extraditable pellets breaks long chain urethane molecules, so they slip by each other faster, reducing belt life. Blending the scrap adds a second heat cycle that also weakens the molecules. During this process the scrap invariably picks up dust and other impurities, which are blended into the urethane, so belt strength and lifespan are further reduced. Moreover, the process is cumulative, i.e., recycling scrap from belts containing scrap multiplies the degradation, so each cycle continues to reduce belt quality.