Plastics Repair Business Grows for B.C. Company
With all the inroads that plastics components and products have made into markets once served by traditional materials, it was only a matter of time before someone started reaping more business from plastics repair. Profab Plastics, a custom fabri...
With all the inroads that plastics components and products have made into markets once served by traditional materials, it was only a matter of time before someone started reaping more business from plastics repair. Profab Plastics, a custom fabricator on Vancouver Island, has confirmed a growing demand for plastics repair.
Owner Brad Morrison says recreational vehicles are one growing source for plastics repair. Often, cracked or split spun-weld fittings on the RV’s low-density polyethylene holding tanks need to be replaced. Polyethylene playground equipment is another plastic product frequently damaged by rugged use or by vandals. Morrison says he developed welding techniques to repair playground equipment on-site.
Morrison is a certified joiner/cabinet maker who started working with plastics when he saw there was an opportunity. With assistance from a government program he did a market survey and found that the marine industry had a substantial need for custom-built plastics products.
Morrison says there are two types of repair: one where the parent material piece is cracked or split open; and the other when there is an actual hole. For example, a dented and cracked cowling or fairing made from ABS can be repaired using ABS solvent cement. It may be difficult to line up the cracked bits and may take several steps to get it right, but it can be done. When there is a piece missing, a patch must be made. For example, low-density polyethylene playground equipment is a favorite target for vandals who will set it on fire. In this case, Morrison may have to go on site to make the repair. Says Morrison: “I would take along my portable generator to power a hand welder. I would make a patch, use the hand welder to tack the patch to the parent material and then finish the surface with a razor knife. If it is denser material, I might have to heat the material, then finish it using a knife or scraper or die grinder, a Dremel tool, or a circular grinder; all the tools that a cabinet maker might use.”
While Profab’s main market remains custom-built tanks and other products for the marine industry, Morrison sees promising growth in the plastics repair area.
“The interest shown by customers in plastic repair is overwhelming.”