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Plastic Roof Shingles - raw materials in, finished products out

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Plastic Roof Shingles - raw materials in, finished products out
Posted by Lazers on Sunday, October 4, 2020 4:56 PM

Hi, I was planning an Industry for my MRR that manufctures Plastic Shingles in Michigan City, Indiana.

The existing Shingle Co. (GAF) make traditional Asphalt Shingles, but I have neither the space nor money for the Pitch Tankers. Judging by the Hoppers in the yard at C. Ave. the Granular material comes via the Wisconsin Central RR.

I was wondering where the Hoppers of Plastic Pellets and the Sand might originate from? Also, does the Sand have to be of a specific type?

My research has highlighted that Plastic Shingles, altho' they have many advantages - do not like very hot temp's, where the plastic might melt, likewise they do not like very cold, frosty and icy clime's, because the Plastic and Sand mix' may start to break-down.

I just wondered where abouts in the USA & Canada, Plastic Shingles are OK to use, since I would like proper destinations for the outgoing Boxcars (whenever I get my MRR running, that is)

If anyone can help me this rather bizarre Q, that would be great. Thanks, Paul

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, October 4, 2020 7:21 PM

Lazers
Hi, I was planning an Industry for my MRR that manufctures Plastic Shingles in Michigan City, Indiana.

Until you mentioned it, I'd never heard of plastic shingles, but a quick google search confirmed that there indeed was such a product.  However, the first five listings were all Chineses based-companies...not necessarily a bad thing, but it was very noticeable.

Lazers
The existing Shingle Co. (GAF) make traditional Asphalt Shingles, but I have neither the space nor money for the Pitch Tankers. Judging by the Hoppers in the yard at C. Ave. the Granular material comes via the Wisconsin Central RR.

Unless you have a fairly large layout, with room to fully-model a large industry, the usual practice is to "represent" one, with perhaps a fully modelled portion, with low relief structures behind that, and if necessary and do-able, a printed or photo backdrop.  If you don't have room for the tankers, then they're obviously being unloaded at a part of the plant that's not visible...no big deal.

Lazers
I was wondering where the Hoppers of Plastic Pellets and the Sand might originate from? Also, does the Sand have to be of a specific type?

Since nobody is actually going to see any sand, it doesn't matter where it comes from or what it looks like.  Bring in covered hoppers with whatever roadname you prefer...you're modelling an industry, not building a real one.

Lazers
My research has highlighted that Plastic Shingles, altho' they have many advantages - do not like very hot temp's, where the plastic might melt, likewise they do not like very cold, frosty and icy clime's, because the Plastic and Sand mix' may start to break-down.

I can't think of many areas in Canada or the U.S. where it wouldn't get either too hot or too cold at least once every year.

Lazers
I just wondered where abouts in the USA & Canada, Plastic Shingles are OK to use, since I would like proper destinations for the outgoing Boxcars (whenever I get my MRR running, that is)

Well, since it's unlikely that you'll have room to add track to Canada or anywhere in the U.S. or Mexico, the finished product will leave the factory, likely in boxcars, and once it's left....I dunno...do you have a staging yard or track that represents "elsewhere"?

My layout is in an oddly-shaped room of about 550 square feet, but my industries ship products all over North America...not literally, of course but that's "accomplished" simply by sending the car to a staging yard, where it's either removed from the layout, to go back in its box, or leaves the staging yard in another train.
In the latter situation, it's become either an empty that's needed by a shipper, or it's a load of different stuff destined for an on-layout industry, or perhaps an industry elsewhere that's not modelled at all.
We can't model the entire continent, just our little representation of a small part of it - the rest of it requires imagination.

Wayne

 

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Posted by Lazers on Monday, October 5, 2020 4:56 AM

doctorwayne
We can't model the entire continent, just our little representation of a small part of it - the rest of it requires imagination. Wayne  

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I think you put everything into perspective and I have taken it all on board. I admit that when basing a model on a prototype, I have become a bit obsessive.

On my design drawing borders (for example) one piece of standard annotation reads, "If in doubt - ask", and so your reply is very helpful and intuitive and it has simplified my model for the better.

So from that, the Factory now make none-descript plastic components, Polymer-chip Hoppers - in, Loaded Boxcars - out. I only have room for 2 No. Sidings and with Backscene / Building Flats.

Thanks again, regards, Paul

 

 

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 5, 2020 5:49 AM

I don't think many plastic shingles use sand to mimic asphalt shingle texture -- the ones I see are meant to imitate surfaces like slate or tile, with a higher inherent gloss.

It is difficult to get cagy manufacturers to reveal what is precisely in their shingles.  There is a highly interesting YouTube video that shows a hammer test of one company's shingling product (which is said to be not polypropylene but foamed and possibly recycled HDPE with UV stabilization and fire retardant added; I'd put my bet on a copolymer involving atactic polypropylene, which has a relatively low glass transition temperature).  I have my suspicions that the most effective structure might involve composites, perhaps 'drawn' PET fibers recovered from disposable soda bottles and the like.  References to high strength might indicate polyphthalamides (which are used as metal replacements for automotive structural components but are more concerned with high-temperature strength than low) or something like polyvinylidene fluoride.  You might get some ideas from this supplier reference.

So you will be receiving plastic resins, perhaps drawn reinforcement in reel form, various colorants for simulation, perhaps parting agent for molding or rolling, packaging, etc.  I suspect there will be periodic equipment or machine replacement, both in and out of the facility.  

I'm looking into what it would take to bond sand into the 'rubbery' types of polymer material without reducing the strength; it certainly seems that many types of plastic shingle are more difficult to install than asphalt-type shingles as they havevery low surface activity and are hence inherently slippery.

As a side product, the Chinese are experimenting with finely ground soda bottle plastic (PET)  with about 4% 'nano'-ground SiO2 as a replacement for some of the aggregate in mortar.  Reading the references it occurs to me that plasma activation would help this aggregate bind better.  Think about alternative products your plant might be able to produce and ship...

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:27 AM

Lazers
Hi, I was planning an Industry for my MRR that manufctures Plastic Shingles in Michigan City, Indiana

Lazers
My research has highlighted that Plastic Shingles, altho' they have many advantages - do not like very hot temp's, where the plastic might melt, likewise they do not like very cold, frosty and icy clime's, because the Plastic and Sand mix' may start to break-down. I just wondered where abouts in the USA & Canada, Plastic Shingles are OK to use.

Probably Hawaii, or the NW coast line, where none of the temperature variations you describe exist.  So it would be doubtful that a plant making such shingles would find a Michigan City IN location very desireable.

Lazers
The existing Shingle Co. (GAF) make traditional Asphalt Shingles, but I have neither the space nor money for the Pitch Tankers. Judging by the Hoppers in the yard at C. Ave. the Granular material comes via the Wisconsin Central RR.

 

You don't have to model the whole plant.  All you need to model is the storage silos for the sand (Walthers Medusa Cement Co might work, or simple PVC pipes from any big box store) and tanks for the asphalt.   You can use building flats for the actual assembly/shipping building.  Lots of piping in between.

A GAF shingle plant is located not far from me.  It receives shorty hoppers of sand by rail.  Apparently, asphalt deliveries and shipping is done by truck.  A reference in case you want/need to cut down on the space you need to model the plant, just model the sand deliveries.

Walthers makes a nice 3281 covered hopper for such deliveries.

- Douglas

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Posted by cv_acr on Monday, October 5, 2020 10:05 AM

doctorwayne
Since nobody is actually going to see any sand, it doesn't matter where it comes from or what it looks like.  Bring in covered hoppers with whatever roadname you prefer...you're modelling an industry, not building a real one.

Just keep it in small 2-bay hoppers; sand is heavy. A lot of sand seems to be sourced from the south or mid-west - you certainly won't find quality sand of any grade in the Rocky or Appalachian mountains for instance.

doctorwayne

Lazers I just wondered where abouts in the USA & Canada, Plastic Shingles are OK to use, since I would like proper destinations for the outgoing Boxcars (whenever I get my MRR running, that is)

Well, since it's unlikely that you'll have room to add track to Canada or anywhere in the U.S. or Mexico, the finished product will leave the factory, likely in boxcars, and once it's left....I dunno...do you have a staging yard or track that represents "elsewhere"?

Perhaps he likes to have a plausible destination to list on the waybill as it goes into staging to give the impression that his RR is actually shipping the goods somewhere. Yes, you could just put "staging" on the waybill destination, but "ACME Building Materials - Johnstown, PA" has a more "scenic" effect to it.

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Posted by Lazers on Monday, October 5, 2020 4:20 PM

Hi, Thankyou for all your useful help, info & suggestions. I guess my initial idea to model GAF was not thought-out enough. As you say - there is no requirement to model the site in full.

I do want have definite destinations for my waybills, thing is N. America is a large and diverse Continent.

The Waybills aspect of MRR's is something I have not encountered before in my UK Model Railways. I had a tendency (not always) to run trains to what, when and wherever I felt like (in my imagination) at that time, within the N.E. of England. Waybills are something I want to get stuck into.

The modern curved-side 2-Bay Sand Hoppers are what I had in mind. If I can get my hands on one, I was planning on copying and modifying some old B/Box 5-Bay cars I have, into fictitious versions.

Regards, Paul

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, October 9, 2020 9:03 AM

Yet another interesting thread... I live in Canada, where roofs would be similar to the northern US states. One thing we don't have a lot in the Eastern provinces of Canada is tile roofs, mostly because of their weight (snow+tiles=heavy!). Tiles are also more fragile than other materials. But a roof tile factory is something that could be modeled without the need for hoppers - unless the factory relies on coal for energy I guess. 

As a side-note, I have been pleasantly surprized by the durability of vinyl sidings. I covered a few of my equipment pieces outside with some vinyl leftovers, and they are still intact years later, despite the rough continental weather around here (100 F in the summer, minus 20 F in winter). I never heard of any meltdowns, not in Canada anyway. They do tend to fade under the sun. So yeah, I think that vinyl tiles are totally believable (and good for the environnment if they are based on recyclable plastic). Could be slippery though and dangerous for maintenance. I'm guessing that's one of the reasons for using sand in the mix.

Simon

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, October 9, 2020 11:15 AM

Like vinyl siding, if the vinyl is too thin hail will put holes in them. If not holes, cracks.  Asphalt shinges I would think could take a little more of a beating.  Wear down, but not big holes.

I'm sure asphalt shingles could be recycled.

- Douglas

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Posted by davidmurray on Saturday, October 10, 2020 1:18 PM

Doughless
I'm sure asphalt shingles could be recycled.

[quote  

I'm sure they "could" be recycled.  I have not heard of anyone doing it.  First problem is getting all the nails out.  Second problem    shipping that much weight back. Third colour seperation.  But could be done.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:25 AM

davidmurray
I'm sure they "could" be recycled.  I have not heard of anyone doing it.

https://www.asphaltroofing.org/asphalt-shingle-recycling-faqs/

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:39 AM

I had a reply all typed up last week and at the moment I clicked Submit my DSL decided to terminate and I was "off-line" for a few days Bang Head

I had found a DaVinci facility that makes composite shingles and took a look around. The plant isn't very big and is served by one crowded rail siding stuffed with cylindrical covered hoppers:

 Davinci_Lenexa by Edmund, on Flickr

13890 W. 101st Street
Lenexa, KS 66215

 Lenexa_KS2 by Edmund, on Flickr

Both photos courtesy Google

Here's a look at a brand new Certainteed Asphalt plant:

I hope that's helpful,

Regards, Ed

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