Benefits of polyurethane
Castable polyurethanes are commonly used to utilize their high performance properties, such as abrasion resistance, tear resistance, and loadability. These extraordinary features provide cost-effective alternatives for many industrial applications, by reducing downtime in process operations.
Tool costs are also an important factor. Because polyurethanes are molding materials, the tools can be cost effective compared to the massive structures needed for rubber compression or plastic injection.
The major advantage of molded polyurethanes over rubber is their abrasion resistance. It is the combination of high tear resistance and a high module that gives polyurethanes this advantage.
Other advantages are significantly lower casting costs, much wider durometer intervals, ozone resistance and the polyurethane can also be pigmented with different colors. With a selection of colors, different parts can be color-coded or possibly match the company’s logo.
Most metals are much heavier than polyurethanes. This makes polyurethanes much easier to handle and cheaper to use.
Noise level is minimized because polyurethanes tend to absorb sound. Polyurethanes can surpass metals in many situations, especially where components are exposed to abrasive materials. Polyurethane’s resistance to corrosion gives another significant advantage over metals.
Another important advantage is that parts of polyurethane are cheaper to manufacture than metal parts. Welding and other machining of metal parts – which can be avoided when using polyurethane – are both time consuming and expensive.
As with the aforementioned materials, the most important advantage of polyurethanes over plastic is their abrasion resistance. This is because polyurethanes have elastomeric properties that plastic lacks.
This leads to another advantage of polyurethanes, namely elastomeric memory. Polyurethanes usually return to their original shape if stretched. Since polyurethanes are elastomeric, they are not brittle as plastic. Even in the highest durometer areas, polyurethanes remain elastomeric.
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