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Innovating Fabricated Rubber Products: Scratchin’ for Traction

By CRGI on

innovating fabricated rubber productsOver the years, CRG has worked with a number of companies in different industries to help develop new products for introduction to the marketplace. In these projects, CRG has leveraged its deep knowledge of rubber and other materials to help with innovating fabricated rubber products that address market opportunities and needs. This blog describes how CRG collaborated with one company, Scratchin’ for Traction, to develop an innovative solution for children’s ride-on toys.

About Scratchin’ for Traction

Scratchin’ for Traction (www.scratchinfortraction.com) is a Peterborough, Ontario based company that sells a proprietary solution for improving the functionality of children’s battery-operated ride-on toys. Scratchin’ for Traction’s product offering is a seamless friction band that fits over the plastic tires of a ride-on toy to provide greater traction, preventing the tires from slipping, and providing enhanced utility for the user.

“With our seamless friction bands installed, children using a ride-on toy are able to experience consistent traction between their plastic tires and the terrain over which they are travelling,” says Yolanda Aubut, owner and chief innovator of Scratchin’ for Traction. “This enhances the ride experience and safety, as well as reducing the wear and tear on the surfaces of the plastic tires themselves. Our friction bands mitigate the frustrations of spinning out, or getting stuck on many surfaces with just a plastic tire.”

Innovating fabricated rubber products: how CRG helped Scratchin’ for Traction

When Scratchin’ for Traction developed their product concept, they needed to work with a manufacturer who could translate the idea into reality. “We needed a manufacturer who understood what we were trying to do and who had the materials knowledge and production expertise to create a quality end-product,” says Aubut. “CRG was able to turn our idea into a reality.”

In working with Scratchin’ for Traction, CRG first had to understand the product concept and the end-use application. The key problem to be solved was to develop a friction band that, once installed, would prevent the toy’s wheels from slipping and provide consistent traction. Because ride-on toys are often used in environments where the plastic tires are in contact with terrain that may be wet, as well as hot or cold, the friction band would have to work equally well under a range of challenging conditions.

To satisfy these requirements, CRG worked with Scratchin’ for Traction to develop a proprietary compound for the friction band. Extensive material testing and prototyping was carried out to develop a compound that would meet all the conditions and challenges typically encountered by ride-on toys.

“CRG is always willing to listen to new product ideas and applications,” comments CRG president Gord Sirrs. “When Scratchin’ for Traction first came to us with the product concept, we were immediately intrigued by the idea and the application. Who could not be enthused by the idea of helping children to get greater enjoyment, fun and safety from their ride-on toys?”

Innovating fabricated rubber products: solving application challenges

Friction bands from Scratchin’ for Traction fit most ride-on toy tires having a circumference of 42” to 50”. The bands are seamless and easy to install. A rib in the center of each band sits in the seam of the tire and prevents lateral movement. Once installed, the bands provide increased traction on pavement, grass, gravel, concrete, and other surfaces. The bands do not mark-up floors when used indoors, and they reduce the wear and tear on wheels, minimizing the future investment required for replacement tires.

“Working with Scratchin’ for Traction allowed CRG to leverage our capabilities for successfully innovating fabricated rubber products that satisfy specific application challenges,” says Sirrs. “The very nature of our business is adapting the materials we work with to create end-use products for a variety of uses.”

If you are a product developer, or have a new product idea, CRG is interested to hear from you. To find out more about how CRG can help you with your needs for innovating fabricated rubber products, please contact us at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.