For well over a century, rubber and neoprene load-bearing pads have been used in transportation design and construction. They play a critical role in railway design; installed between the steel rail and the sleeper, load-bearing pads are critical for protecting the sleeper from wear caused by the elements and regular use.

Unfortunately, the importance of load-bearing pads doesn’t necessarily make them a priority for engineers and construction firms. Far too often, these firms end up choosing cheap, readily available rubber pads for their projects (sometimes because they forgot to factor them into the material acquisition process!). While these pads may work in the short-term, they are often prone to premature wear, in turn leading to increased maintenance and repair costs.

Since 1972, Iracore has developed proprietary polyurethane wear materials suitable for a wide range of heavy industrial applications. Today, we’re proud to manufacture industry-leading load-bearing pads that offer unrivalled performance and durability. Learn more about the benefits of Iracore load-bearing pads below.

Urethane: A Truly Cost-Effective Alternative

Natural and synthetic rubbers have long been the first choice in load-bearing pad applications. Their resilience in high-impact wear applications makes them the seemingly perfect choice; rubber’s ability to “bounce back” under heavy loads have made them commonplace in the North American transportation industry.

However, most natural and synthetic rubbers are prone to deterioration (cracking) caused by ground-level ozone, electrical discharges, UV exposure, and changes in temperature and weather conditions. These are all common conditions found in most railway and transportation environments; as a result, rubber load-bearing pads are prone to premature wear, leading to unnecessary repair and replacement costs.

To solve these wear challenges, Iracore developed propriety polyurethane compounds engineered specifically for applications in the railway transportation industry. Today, our compounds offering superior resistance to abrasion and wear, making them a durable and cost-effective alternative to rubber in load-bearing use cases. Urethane has superior ozone and abrasion resistance and is less vulnerable to weather-related damage and other common ailments of rubber pads. Finally, urethane pads are less prone to deflection than rubber counterparts, requiring little (if any) reinforcement.

The combination of superior performance and dramatically increased durability make urethane load-bearing pads the clear choice for operations and engineers looking to lower maintenance costs and increase ROI throughout the project’s lifecycle and beyond.

The Right Pads for the Job

Iracore load-bearing pads have been proven to perform at temperatures as low as -40ºF, making them suitable for the most challenging conditions and load requirements across North America. Their superior ability to handle abrasion and wear in both the short and long term makes them a cost-effective alternative to conventional rubber load-bearing pads, requiring less maintenance, repair, and replacement.

All Iracore load-bearing pads are AREMA-approved, exceeding all regulatory requirements and standards. Iracore load-bearing pads are also approved by CN, CPR, and BNSF, and other major North American railway companies, making them a dependable choice for any project.

Looking for Load-Bearing Pads?

Contact us today to learn more about Iracore’s urethane load-bearing pads.