Cast polyurethane parts manufacturers that are well-recognized in the industry start the molding of the urethane parts with the AutoCAD mold design. As one of the country’s leading case polyurethane suppliers and manufacturers, Uniflex Inc. has tailored molding design operations to meet different needs via open cast, rotational force, and compression molding techniques.

Our dedicated sales teams and technicians are always available to educate and inform you about the latest products and solutions and can help you make the right choices for your needs. Here are a few of our polyurethane parts offerings

Polyurethane Protective Covers

Browse through our wide range of custom polyurethane protective covers for different applications.

Polyurethane Wheels and Rollers

These contribute substantially to increase component life and reduce noise without compromising load ratings. 

Polyurethane Body Blocks

Are you a machine tool builder? You will love our custom body blocks that can handle pretty much every automotive part bumper to bumper.

Polyurethane Transport Fixtures

Custom molded “buckets” and “pallets” are perfect for transporting your product safely through assembly and/or machining operations.

Polyurethane Bumpers

These not only prevent product damage, but also reduce noise while sustaining maximum cost-effectiveness and durability.

Uniflex Inc.: Innovative and Trusted Manufacturer of Polyurethane and Urethane Parts

We have a variety of additives which we use to boost the chemical and physical attributes of our custom molded urethane products. Here’s what sets us apart from the competition: 

  • We have equipment for manufacturing tight-tolerance polyurethane seals and gaskets
  • We have a fully equipped machine shop for secondary operations
  • We have a dedicated team of designers and engineers; many having 30+ years of experience in making custom molded polyurethane parts 

Our sole focus on polyurethane products and parts has made us one of the most successful cast polyurethane manufacturers in the US. Whether you are a global leader or a budding start-up, we can add value to your products with our strong urethane application support, engineering support, and continuous focus on meeting all delivery requirements.

All you need to do is give us a call, send us an email, or request a free quote online. Don’t forget to include a drawing file from your preferred CAD software. But if you don’t have a drawing – don’t worry, we will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind solution unique to your specifications. 

Our fully equipped manufacturing facility in Michigan includes a versatile range of processing machinery, allowing us to work on high-volume as well as unique components. Since our mold making workshop is right on our premises, we can produce your custom order within a matter of days. Uniflex Inc. manufactures polyurethane parts ranging in size from less than a gram to over 2,500 pounds. 

We can also do short-run prototypes and production.

Let Uniflex Inc. Help You Get Started Today

Looking for a manufacturer who specializes in custom molded urethane parts? We have you covered! We have spent 40+ years setting the industry standard in custom polyurethane parts, staying on the cutting edge of advances in manufacturing processes, designs, and innovative materials.

Call us today at 248-486-6000 or reach us online to know more about our endless variety of custom products that can be used in nearly any industry.

Urethane parts and components are frequently used in various applications in the marine industry due to their myriad of benefits. For example, urethane epoxy resin is used to seal boat hulls from water, corrosion, and other weather elements that reduce durability and affect hydrodynamics. 

If you are looking for a reputable marine industry urethane parts supplier, we can help. Uniflex Inc. has been a leading manufacturer of custom molded urethane products in the US since 1979. We have mastered the ability to produce highest quality urethane parts that meet customer expectations and turnaround times while keeping the costs low.

Our in-house engineering, production, and machining services have been used by the marine industry for many applications. We can go from “print” to “production” within a matter of days!

Why Choose Marine Industry Urethane Parts

If you’re still on the fence about using urethane parts for your maritime operations, remember, urethane is the preferred material of choice of marine industry designers and manufacturers across the world.

The epoxy resins made from urethane are incredibly popular when used to seal vessels, including: 

  • Speedboats
  • Catamarans
  • Sloops
  • Rowboats
  • Skiffs
  • Kayaks
  • Canoes

In addition, polyurethane is known for its ability to fortify diving equipment for seafloor explorers. 

Boaters today can enjoy the comfort and luxury of home inside nearly any sea vessel, thanks in part to foam made from polyurethane (Flexible Polyurethane Foam or FPF). It makes carpet pads and seat cushions firm but super soft and also keeps bedding materials comfortable and supportive. It can also be molded to fit into those tiny, hard-to-furnish corners found on boats.

Uniflex Inc. works closely with boat manufacturers to find the best combination of factors to meet the needs of the high seas. Such factors involve: 

  • Foam density
  • Resiliency
  • Softness
  • Affordability 

Based on your needs, the polyurethane foam can also be made temperature-sensitive and visco-elastic to continuously fit to a person’s desired shape. Doing so helps to minimize pressure points, relieve stress, and provide immense support. But foams aren’t the only polyurethane application for the marine industry. Another huge staple of the marine industry is solid cast urethane elastomers.

Marine industry cast urethane parts resist water absorption, obviously, but they have all the good qualities of metal and rubber. Marine industry urethane parts are as durable and tough as metal but also as flexible as rubber.

In addition to these properties, the diverse range of hardness (Durometers) allows our engineers to design parts that are ideal for boat construction. Components in which urethane has now replaced traditional materials including: 

  • Urethane Rollers
  • Urethane Wheels
  • Urethane Impellers
  • Urethane Sprockets
  • Urethane Wear plates
  • Urethane Sleeve bearings

Where You Can Get The Best Urethane Parts

At Uniflex Inc., our engineers work with some of the most well-recognized and distinguished marine companies in the world. Our list of custom materials and services is ever-growing as is our wealth of maritime industry knowledge. As a result, we are continually expanding our technical capabilities, keeping us ahead of the competition while still making sure we meet and exceed your needs.

You can trust that through our services, you will receive only the absolute best urethane parts.

Choose Uniflex Inc. For All Your Marine Industry Urethane Parts Needs

The specifications you send us are critical, and we use only the best materials possible to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of the boating industry. All our manufacturing processes and products adhere to the most stringent quality assurance standards. Before we ship your order, we individually inspect each product to ensure you receive only the best. To learn more about our marine industry urethane parts, you can call us at 248-486-6000 or drop us a message online.

Custom molded polyurethane parts are inarguably some of the most versatile solutions on the planet today. Polyurethane can essentially be molded into anything, from car seats and furniture to skateboard wheels and urethane coated rollers.  

In other words, polyurethane is pretty much the ideal material for almost all parts needed for manufacturing and industrial purposes. It doesn’t wear nearly as fast as other materials and is resistant to:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Abrasion
  • Chemicals
  • Moisture
  • And a multitude of other environmental factors. 

The key is to procure your custom urethane parts from a trusted and reliable manufacturer so that you can get the product with the exact specifications and quality that you want.

Let’s get into more detail about this wonder of modern science and its many applications.

What Exactly Is Custom Molded Polyurethane?

Businesses all around the world use polyurethane parts in their operations. They use custom molded polyurethanes in one form or another every day – such urethane conveyor rollers in assembly plants, FDA compliant urethane seals in food and beverage operations, and urethane storage pads for metal coils . Since polyurethane starts as a liquid compound, it can be molded into almost any shape, making it the material of choice for a wide range of end-user applications like: 

  • Rollers
  • Bushings
  • Protective covers
  • Bumpers
  • Seals
  • Body blocks
  • Storage pads
  • Scraper blades
  • Wheels
  • Chute liners

Because polyurethanes have such excellent properties, they offer versatile solutions to the challenges of eco-design and longevity. The modern polyurethane industry is continuously looking for ways to reduce waste and boost product performance. This has led to innovative techniques to increase energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and improve product quality. The end result – custom molded polyurethane – is now better than ever and costs far less.

History of Custom Molded Polyurethane

When Professor Dr. Otto Bayer created polyurethane back in 1937, it was mainly used as a replacement for rubber during World War II. At the time, rubber was hard to obtain and super expensive, so polyurethane proved to be a surprisingly durable and resilient replacement material. It was mostly used for coating during the war, specifically for resistant clothing and airplane finishing.

By the 1950s, custom molded polyurethane was being used in many products including:

  • Rigid foams
  • Elastomers
  • Adhesives
  • Flexible cushioning foams

Have you ever considered what makes your car’s seat padding so nice and cushion-y? That credit goes to polyurethane, and it has been used to pad car seats and furniture since the late 1950s.

As time went on, many further developments were made and today, polyurethane makes up a big part of our everyday lives. With that said, while most consumers don’t even know about this incredible material, the truth is, the modern life will be hard to imagine without custom molded polyurethane. 

Looking for A Reputable Custom Molded Polyurethane Supplier? Contact Uniflex Inc.

Uniflex Inc. has been providing high-quality molded polyurethane and urethane products to manufacturers in the Midwest since 1979. We can cast an endless variety of tailored molded polyurethane products and components to provide you high-quality solutions that will ultimately reduce your operation costs.

Let us save you time and money with our customized polymer solutions. If you have any questions or concerns about our product offerings, feel free to reach out to us! Call us today at 248-486-6000 or reach us online. Our experienced team members are ready to answer your questions.

Over the years, urethane and polyurethane has become the material of choice for manufacturers across different industries. Today, it’s being used to create a variety of things in the industrial sector such as rollers, bumpers, pads, bushings, protective covers, and a host of others.  As one of the most competitive and capital-intensive industries, the marine industry has also adopted urethane parts for a diverse range of applications.

Marine Industry: Urethane Parts Used in Underwater Applications

Urethane ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a highly versatile and resilient polymer material in the modern world. It can be cast and molded into countless shapes, and it doesn’t rot or wear out like other materials (think rubber). 

In addition, urethane is resistant to wet environments, making it perfect for various applications for the maritime/marine industry. The fact that urethane has remarkable impact strength and flexibility, makes an even more compelling case to use this material. 

Urethane epoxy resins are frequently utilized in sealing boat hulls from water since the material is completely resistant to corrosion and weather elements. But urethane’s usefulness goes beyond this as marine industry urethane parts and equipment can be precisely customized to your needs.

It has high load-bearing capabilities, allowing it to carry heavy equipment on the ocean. And as if that wasn’t enough, urethane doesn’t absorb water and prevents fungal and algal growth.

The most common marine industry urethane parts being used today include:

  • Polyurethane rollers (for boat trailers) 
  • Polyurethane drawers
  • Urethane flexible grab handles
  • Urethane blocks and bearings
  • Urethane cleats 
  • Urethane ice chests
  • Urethane wheels
  • Polyurethane shocks
  • Polyurethane impellers 
  • And many more 

What Are the Benefits of Using Marine Industry Urethane Parts?

Some of the advantages of using urethane for your marine operations include:

  • It doesn’t absorb water
  • It is resistant to salt water
  • It has great shock- and vibration-absorbing properties 
  • It is UV stabilized (when the color red or black is used)
  • It doesn’t allow the growth of fungus, mildew, mold, or algae
  • It doesn’t oxidize even after prolonged exposure to water and extreme environments
  • It is highly resistant to abrasion
  • It can be placed in tropical or humid locations  
  • It has high load-bearing properties
  • It can be glued or drilled into fiberglass
  • It can be formulated for seals, door stops, bumpers, etc.

Simply put, marine product designers and engineers prefer urethane because it provides longer service compared to rubber and plastics. On top of this, it has lower noise-abatement properties when compared to metals.

Where You Can Get Quality Marine Industry Urethane Parts

Uniflex Inc. is a leading manufacturer of one-of-a-kind custom marine industry urethane parts. In offshore applications, urethane is the chosen material due to its myriad of application advantages including resistance to microbial attacks and hydrolysis reactions. Its reliable performance at high pressure in deep water and low ocean temperatures has made it an industry-favorite.

When you want only the absolute best and highest of quality urethane parts, you can best believe that Uniflex Inc. is the premier choice.

Want to Know More About Marine Industry Urethane Parts? Contact Uniflex Inc.

Whether you need custom molded machine components, vessels, or products, we can design your urethane parts to specific standards based on your required maritime application. To know more, give us a call at 248-486-6000 or fill out this online contact form to get started. 

If you are in the manufacturing industry, you have most likely heard the words “urethane” and “polyurethane” before. But the thing is, most people use these two terms interchangeably. If you are confused about urethane vs. polyurethane, this post will help clear up any misunderstanding.

Urethane vs. Polyurethane: Is There Any Difference?

Actually, there is no real difference between these two. The term “polyurethane” simply means that this material is made up of multiple urethane monomers. 

Polyurethane is a simple polymer. It is a chemical compound formed by a scientific process known as polymerization. This combination of chemical compounds is composed of repeating structural units. These structural units (or “groups”) are urethane. 

The purpose of urethanes or polyurethanes is to produce parts that are used in countless industrial and commercial products and processes. To be more specific, polyurethanes are used to create extremely durable and long-lasting products that can adapt to a wide variety of situations, such as acute cold or heat, chemical exposure, and impingement.

Polyurethanes can withstand pretty much any environment, making them the first choice for many manufacturers around the world. For nearly any industry in the world, polyurethane is used quite commonly.

Many people have this misconception that urethane and polyurethane are different. However, there is no difference between the two products. Dedicated manufacturers and their marketing teams will educate their customers about the facts related to polyurethane in order to help them make informed choices.

It’s true that the overall chemical structure of urethane and polyurethane can vary sometimes depending on how they are used (e.g. for varnish, elastomers, padding, or something else). But they are all called urethanes. 

The term “polyurethane” only means that there are many urethane monomers linked together in a chain called a polymer (the end product). This is why it can be misleading to use this term because it essentially means nothing more than a chemical group which has a bunch of urethane monomers within it. 

The Final Verdict

The main difference – if you can call it that – between urethane and polyurethane is the number of urethane monomers linked together. Polyurethane is formed at a molecular level by combining a number of urethanes monomers together in a polymerization reaction to produce one of the many products, such as cast urethane elastomers (as seen in our parts).

These multiple layers of urethane actually make polyurethane much more durable and flexible than urethane itself, which essentially has no use until it is polymerized. If you’re looking to make solid, resilient, and long-lasting products, polyurethane can be an excellent material for you.

It can be used in products such as solid elastomers for industrial use, padding for car seats, home furnishing and upholstery, and much more. Polyurethane can be used to make gaskets, seals, bushings, pads, rollers, bumpers, etc, and also help create hard “plastics” which are more durable and resilient than synthetic rubber or regular plastic.

Still Have Questions? Feel Free to Ask Uniflex Inc.

At Uniflex Inc., we have been a leading supplier of custom molded urethane and polyurethane products in the country for over 40 years. If you want to reduce your manufacturing costs or upgrade your materials to a more durable option, we’ll be happy to talk! Call us at 248-486-6000 or complete this contact form. Our knowledgeable team will address your requirements in the best way possible.

Are you confused about the industry jargon when dealing with cast urethane products? Here is a comprehensive glossary of commonly used cast urethane terms that will help you make judicious decisions.

Abrasion

Wear and tear caused by friction

Abrasion Test

A test that calculates the rate of wearing away by friction (this test is performed by a machine called an Abrasion Tester)

Accelerated Life Test

A technique designed to estimate in a short time the failing/weakening effects produced under normal service conditions.

Accelerated Aging

To obtain an early change in physical properties of urethane or polyurethane, intensive exposure to operating conditions is used.

Additive

A material (like a flame retardant or filler) which is included to change the final product, but it doesn’t affect the chemical reaction.

After Cure

A prolongation of the stabilization process after the “cure” has been performed to the desired degree for a certain duration. 

Banbury Mixer

An internal mixer that is used to incorporate ingredients like fillers in plastic or polyurethane operations.

Bloom

A change in the appearance or discoloration of the surface of a polyurethane product caused by the migration of a solid or liquid to the surface.

Breaking Strength

The tensile at which polyurethane is at when it ruptures.

Casting

The process of pouring open molds with uncured/liquid polyurethane.

Chute Lining

Elastomeric (polyurethane) lining in a chute that is highly resistant to abrasion and is used to protect the metal chute from abrasion wear and tear.

Cure

The process which marks the completion of chemical reaction.  

Curing Agent

An additive that is used to increase chemical activity between different components, leading to a decrease or increase in the speed of cure.

Cycle Time

The duration of time needed to finish a molding cycle which includes:

  • Preparing the mold
  • Insert loading
  • Releasing an agent application
  • Combination of components
  • Curing
  • De-molding.

Durometer Gauge 

A tool used to measure the hardness of polyurethane. A Durometer measures the resistance to the penetration of an indenter point into the rubber’s surface.

Durometer

Measure of a materials hardness. Learn more.

Elastomer

A rubber-like elastic material such as synthetic rubber or polyurethane.

Filler

A material mixed with a polymer; its function is to reduce the cost or improve the quality of a compound.

Flame Retardant

An additive or a substance which is added to a polymer formulation to lower its tendency to burn.

Injection Molding 

A method frequently used in the high volume manufacturing of polyurethane products.

Masterbatch

A mixture of two or more compounds to achieve better processing or more thorough dispersion. This later becomes part of the final compound in a succeeding mixing process.

Oxygen Bomb

A chamber that can hold oxygen at an elevated pressure. This can be heated to an equally elevated temperature to be used for accelerated aging tests.

Plasticity

A measurement of resistance to shear of an uncured/liquid elastomer like urethane.

Polymer

This is a macromolecular substance formed by chemically combining monomers that have the same or different chemical composition.

Resin

A material produced via the process of chemical synthesis.

Tensile Strength

The maximum stress or force applied to a material at rupture

Viscosity

It refers to the flow property of a substance, the lower the viscosity number, the thinner the liquid.

Have Any Questions? We are Here to Help!

If you have come across a strange term you don’t see listed here, or you want to know more about custom molded polyurethane or cast urethane parts, please call our knowledgeable Uniflex Inc. representatives at 248-486-6000 or contact us online and we will get back to you shortly.

The performance and lifespan of your custom molded polyurethane parts depend on factors like quality. But it also includes others such as design, tolerance, and formulation. If any of these factors are lacking, your product performance will be shoddy as well.

To get the top-quality custom urethane products, it is important to choose a reputable polyurethane producer who takes pride in their work. But with so many manufacturers in the market, it can be difficult to pick the one who checks all the right boxes. That’s why we created this guide to help you find the best polyurethane manufacturer.

5 Things to Look for When Choosing A Polyurethane Manufacturer 

They Use Custom Formulations with Premium Materials 

Not all urethane is created equal. In other words, if you want your custom urethane parts to have the longest lifespan possible, work with a polyurethane manufacturer who can create custom formulations that meet your unique needs.

Do they use premium grade raw materials? Remember, it may be tempting to use lower-grade materials to drive the costs down, but it will cost you a lot more in the end. Urethane made from cheap materials will have a shorter life, and less resistance to abrasion and corrosion.

They Offer Complimentary Product Design Assistance

You may have a design that looks good to you, but it may not be feasible to produce.  Alternatively, there might be a more cost-effective way to design your desired polyurethane parts.

Go with a polyurethane manufacturer who is willing to give you the strategic expertise and guidance to ensure your custom parts will be very durable and made in the most cost-effective way possible. They should be open to examining your product drawings and understanding how your product will work.

They Have Strict Standard Tolerances

When creating custom molded polyurethane products, precision is the key. Tight tolerances may not be important with some products, but some require little to no tolerance flexibility. 

What does small standard tolerance mean? It simply means that the actual polyurethane part’s dimensions must be held very close to drawing’s dimensions. This is something that takes decades of experience to perfect, especially when accurately estimating urethane shrink upon cooling. 

Some custom urethane products, on the other hand, will require tighter tolerances than the more standard parts like bumpers and pads. Choose a polyurethane manufacturer who has the machining capability required to meet these tight tolerances if needed.

They Have Dedicated Customer Service Representatives 

It may seem irrelevant, but you should never overlook how a manufacturer treats you and interacts with you. If their customer service reps are unable to answer your questions or concerns or they seem unresponsive, uninterested, or unfriendly, it’s a red flag. Choose a polyurethane manufacturer that responds to your inquiries within 24 hours and is committed to addressing your concerns with accurate answers to your questions. 

They Offer In-House Mold Making

There are several benefits of working with a manufacturer who provides in-house mold making. This eliminates the need to use a third-party company, reducing the cost and the turnaround time for custom molded urethane products. 

#1 Polyurethane Manufacturer & Supplier in Midwest

Uniflex Inc. has been a leading manufacturer of custom molded polyurethane products since 1979. If you’re looking for a reliable supplier who can meet all your needs and help you take your business to new heights, let’s talk. You can call us at 248-486-6000 or simply use this online form and our representatives will respond to your requirements right away.

Cast urethane provides end-use, flexible, and rigid parts with production-level quality. The process of casting urethane utilizes a machined master pattern to create a soft mold that delivers cost effective short to medium run volumes and high-quality parts (hard molds used as well). This is an excellent alternative to a high-volume injection molding process. In this post, we are going to discuss exactly what cast urethane is and how it is used in manufacturing.

Cast Urethane: The What and How

Urethane casting is like injection molding in that the former requires a tool with a cavity in the silhouette of the final product. The biggest difference is that the urethane casting process involves pouring liquid urethane resin into an open mold whereas injection molding forces material into a closed mold through a port. Open cast urethane also involves using thermoset plastics which have very favorable properties when compared with the thermoplastic materials used in the injection molding process.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective option for producing a prototype or low to medium volume runs of urethane parts with production-level surface finishes and properties, cast urethane will be a wise choice.

Casting urethane involves 3 major steps:

Creating the Mold

First things first, it is decided whether a mold or a hobb (master pattern) will be made for the desired part. A mold is generally used for parts that need to hold strict tolerances on all dimensions such as with urethane seals, gaskets, and other critical parts. Hobbs, on the other hand, are used for parts that are not as critical such as urethane bumpers, pads, covers, bushings, etc. Hobbs, or master patterns, are the most commonly used method for manufacturing most urethane parts due to their economical pricing. If you want to learn more about hobbs, click here.

Pouring

Next, a compounded urethane material is poured into the mold. Then the mold is put into an oven or on a hot table to speed along the curing process. This is where the liquid material begins to harden in the shape of the mold cavity.

 

Demolding and Curing

Finally, once the mold has been filled with material, it will harden to an extent. This allows a production worker to remove the freshly poured urethane part from the mold so that another part can be poured. Although the part has hardened enough to be removed from the mold, it still needs to cure in the oven for at least another hour or two depending on the formulation. This ensures that the reaction is complete, and the part is ready for end use.

 

Benefits of Using Cast Urethane

Urethane casting has a quick turnaround and a low-cost for superior quality plastic parts, especially compared to that of injection molding. While a cast urethane mold is economical and easy to produce off the master pattern, injection molding requires expensive investment up-front for the machining of the mold.

This is why cast urethane has become the go-to solution for manufacturers and business owners looking to do low to medium volume production or on-demand prototyping. Whether you need to make rubber-like, colored, clear, flexible, or rigid plastic parts, the urethane casting process can handle it all.

Speak To Us For High Quality Cast Urethane and Polyurethane Parts Made in the USA

As one of the leading manufacturers of cast urethane products and parts in the country, Uniflex Inc. offers a wide range of possible combinations of materials, finishes, and markings for your required specifications. Our experienced team can help you make the most appropriate and cost-effective buying decisions. To know more, please call us at 248-486-6000 or contact us online to get started.

Whether you want to save on tooling costs or you’re in the early stages of prototyping, machining cast urethane parts may be the most cost-effective solution for you. Several machining operations such as grinding, fly-cutting, milling, facing, and turning can be performed as secondary operations. But machining urethane or any elastomer is quite different from machining, say, a metal. 

What Is Machining Cast Urethane Parts? 

Urethane is a polymer that’s used to make a variety of commercial and industrial plastic items. It is so versatile that you can create very rigid products as well as very flexible items that are almost rubbery in texture. 

Urethane casting involves pouring the urethane into a mold and letting it cure. This process is a high-quality yet low-cost way to create a plethora of urethane products. It works perfectly for intricate designs as well, creating a high-end finish quickly and without the high price tag of other complicated methods. 

Things to Consider Before Machining Cast Urethane Parts 

The hardness (durometer) of the urethane has a huge impact on its machinability. The harder the material, the easier it is to cut and the closer it resembles machining metal. 

But all elastomers bend and move away from the cutting tool. If the material is soft, it will bend a lot. This leads to less material being removed than expected. This occurs when the cutting tool has a significant amount of clearance and rake, or the grinding wheel is super porous (although, both conditions are ideal for cutting urethane). 

The formulation also affects the machinability of urethane. Even at the same hardness, the physical properties of cast urethane can vary. Properties such as tear strength and tensile strength all affect the ability to machine urethane parts. 

Since urethane is a great thermal insulator, it retains heat as it is machined. This can be problematic if the machining is too aggressive as it can melt the material. Using a coolant usually solves this issue but freezing the urethane product before machining also helps. 

It should be noted that freezing urethane causes it to contract, and when it heats up while being machined, it expands. That’s why freezing should be avoided for final dimension cutting if you want close tolerances, but it is okay for preliminary cuts.  

How The Urethane Casting Process Works 

Casting urethane can be a little tricky, so it’s best to order a tester sample before you place a big order. This will give you an idea about the process and determine whether you like the material. Otherwise you may end up losing too much in failed attempts. 

The process begins with a soft mold. To create this mold, a master model of the part is made by CNC machining or 3D printing. Next, the polymer for the soft mold is poured into the tool imprint of the part to be shaped. After the polymer has cured, the master part can be removed from the soft mold, leaving a cavity in the shape of the desired urethane part. Liquid urethane can then be poured into this cavity to manufacture the desired product. 

Need More Information? Talk to Our Experienced Uniflex Inc. Representatives Today!   

Whether you have a custom urethane project or want to re-cover existing parts, our experts can help you determine the right specifications for your needs. Call us at 248-486-6000 or write to us online and we will guide you through the best available options.  

When it comes to selecting the right material for your industrial roller applications, you probably have a lot of questions, especially about the polyurethane vs. rubber rollers debate. If your current equipment originally came with rubber rollers, would it be acceptable for you to use polyurethane rollers instead of the rubber ones? Let’s take a closer look at both so that you can make a well informed choice.

Polyurethane vs. Rubber Rollers: Is There Any Difference?

Before we talk about the differences, let’s consider the commonalities between the polyurethane vs. rubber rollers.

  • Both are elastomers, i.e., both have elastic properties.
  • Both are excellent in terms of adhering to metal cores.
  • Both are resistant to acid, whether it is concentrated or diluted.
  • Both offer poor resistance to lacquer solvents.
  • Both are machinable when you need a pattern on the outer diameter of a roller to perform a particular task.

So clearly, there are a lot of similarities between polyurethane vs. rubber rollers. However, there are quite a few differences as well:

Chemical Composition

Polyurethane can be formulated in hundreds of different ways to give you the required properties your application needs. It is possible to add fillers to the sap-derived rubber to change its properties but there’s a limit to how much you can customize it.

Wet Environments

If you need a material that will be exposed or submerged into wet environments for extended periods, polyurethane will outperform rubber every time. Polyurethane doesn’t rot. Rubber, on the other hand, will rot.

Durometer (Hardness)

While rubber can be processed in 30-Shore A to 90-Shore A, polyurethane has a much wider range from 10-Shore “OO” to 70-Shore “D”.

Unwanted Pigmentation

Rubber manufacturers add carbon to rubber, which can leave black marks on products it comes in contact with. Polyurethane, on the other hand, does not leave any marks or color on any product even when pigment is added to the polyurethane.

Abrasion Resistance

When high friction and dynamic loads are combined, rollers can experience a great deal of abrasion. Polyurethane again surpasses rubber since polyurethane is extremely resistant to abrasion, corrosion, and high pressures.

Final Decision

The above analysis doesn’t cover all the differences between polyurethane vs. rubber rollers, but they are significant enough to affect your decision. Just remember, these differences can add up in manpower and downtime if you’re not using the best material for your specific application.

Reduce Your Cost & Lead Time with Polyurethane Rollers

Due to the considerable chemical capabilities of polyurethane and the range of hardness/durometers, this material can keep your machinery up and running to a degree that rubber simply cannot. Polyurethane may not be suitable for every roller application, but if you’re looking for the highest quality urethane that will meet your precise specifications, it’s worth considering.

Contact Uniflex Inc. to Learn More About Polyurethane

If you want to know more about polyurethane vs. rubber rollers and whether the former will be the right choice for you, we will be happy to answer all your questions and concerns. We have been making custom molded polyurethane rollers for over 40 years and can advise you on the best option. You can reach us at 248-486-6000 or complete this online contact form to discuss your requirements with us.