Cleaning Wheels

Is there an easy way to get paint and dirt off of the stock andymark 6" KOP wheels? It would greatly appreciate it if you could help us.

Paint, not a clue. But for dirt we used alcohol tissues last year for colson wheels, so those might work.

Treads are the whole wheel? For dirt any spray cleaner and rags. Abrasive pads for stuff that is stuck on. For paint, chemical methods are out. So that leaves sanding/polishing. Paint generally doesn’t stick particularly to the rubber tread. Or the high resource way: order new ones.

Graffiti remover works on almost everything. Haven’t tried that aplacation

I woud try isopropyl alchol if it won’t damage the wheels. If that doesn’t work, maybe try WD-40 unless it’s on rubber, as a lot of WD-40 on rubber can dry it out.

The KOP wheels are TPU rubber, so I would use WD-40 at your own risk.

We have used Purel hand sanitizer in the past to clean rubber Tetrix wheels. It contains alcohol but also glycerin or some other agent (can’t remember). But of course, use at your own risk. Is it cost prohibitive to just replace the wheels?

What about on pnuematic wheels?

For our harvester wheels, last year I liked to run the wheels and hold a wet nap on them to let the wheels clean themselves.

No, I would not recommend using alcohol or any chemical of that sort on pneumatic wheels intended for robots.

Well, do you know how I should clean them. Our bots yellow wheels are compltley coated in black stuff.

Why do you say that? We had success this year, but does it reduce the integrity of the tire somehow?

Two Words

Pressure washer

Rubbing alcohol and a shop rag is a great first pass solution for cleaning off wheels, intakes, really anything. Rubbing alcohol will not damage pneumatic wheels.

We used Purel hand sanitizer on our intake belt - there was some tacky adhesive (that would never contaminate a ball) which the hand sanitizer seemed to re-activate somehow whenever we used it.

The concern is that a pneumatic tire cover is under pressure. If it were a typical rubber wheel like that on an automobile or bicycle tire I don’t think it’s much an issue to put foreign chemicals on it. We do it all the time with wheel cleaner or tire bright intended for that purpose. But tire covers like those used this past season are very thin and made of a different kind of rubber. Under pressure they stretch and I would make the presumption that expansion would make them more absorbance of chemical if they are porous. Was really disappointed by how quickly some of those tires demonstrated wear.

The point is that from a safety concern it’s better to err on the side if caution with something under 40-60 lbs pressure. Admittedly if the cover failed you’d still have the tube to contend with. I knew someone when I was much younger that survived an auto tire failure during repair. It’s a really scary thing.

I second the idea regarding the pressure washer. Far more preferable than chemicals. But deflate and disassemble before you do that. Pressure washer can cut right through things if it is soft enough and at the right angle. On that regard whatever you do, never let hands or feet get anywhere near a pressure washer nozzle. It’s a very dangerous injury if it cuts you.

Try a fairly hard brush and soapy water? Just take the wheels off the robot before you do it.