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Spalling small diameter contact wheels

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:29 pm
by Martin Pansch
Anyone else have problems with their small contact wheels cracking and spalling rubber after a few years?
Small contact wheels spalling.jpg
Small contact wheels spalling.jpg (406.95 KiB) Viewed 5359 times
Is it just natural when they get old? Is it because I left them out in an unheated shop? My larger contact wheels are out there and haven't suffered the same? Anyone have any options on what to do to make these wheels usable or are they a loss at this point?

Re: Spalling small diameter contact wheels

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:43 am
by Jim Moenck
Martin, all my contact wheels are stored in the cold and I have not had this problem. I garnet to guess that, like tires, the rubber tends to get hard and brittle with age. The depth of the rubber on these small wheels is much thinner compared to the large wheels and therefore more susceptible to cracking. Unfortunately, these are not cheap to replace.

Re: Spalling small diameter contact wheels

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:21 pm
by KNelson
Ozone will cause rubber (both latex and things like neoprene) to get brittle, if I remember correctly. Were they stored near an electric motor, by chance?

Re: Spalling small diameter contact wheels

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:01 am
by Martin Pansch

Thanks for letting me eliminate the cold as a suspect. They are a little expensive to go through them every few years. I might have to find something more sustainable for that function going forward.


They weren't overly close to a motor. Mostly kept a few feet away with a partial wall separating them from the motor and in a "well ventilated" (read: drafty) shop. I suppose I could try keeping them in a sealed container when not in use. At least if I get anymore of them to replace those that have self-destructed.