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.

Over the last few years, the safety standards in the food and beverage industry have improved dramatically. The manufacturers are now more focused on the safety and sanitation in their production processes to prevent contamination.

Being one of the decisive components in almost all food processing systems and equipment, the seals and gaskets have also undergone multiple modifications over time. Instead of standard plastic, today’s seals and gaskets are made from safe and proven FDA compliant polyurethane.

This significant move was based on the realization that a considerable part of the sanitary issues and food contamination is caused from gasket or sealing units made from poor quality materials. With the growing consciousness about health and hygiene across all product segments, it makes sound business sense to choose FDA compliant polyurethane.

What is FDA Compliant Polyurethane?

There is a myriad of choices when it comes to gasket material including Viton, silicone, EPDM, PTFE, and polyurethane. Polyurethane is the only material out of these that’s used to make FDA compliant seals and gaskets. There are many reasons why polyurethane tends to be the most suitable material for making food-grade equipment:

  • It meets all the NSF regulations and FDA requirements for food processing applications, and is non-allergenic, non-marking, and non-toxic
  • Polyurethane has high abrasion and impact resistance
  • It is resistant to breaking, tearing, and cracking
  • It is tear-resistant and has high tensile properties
  • It is an extremely versatile elastomer, known for its high load-bearing capacity
  • FDA compliant polyurethane is resistant to extreme environmental factors involving acids, oils, solvents, and heat
  • It lasts longer compared to other gasket and sealing materials
  • It has incredibly high mechanical strength even at super low temperatures
  • Polyurethane performs really well at temperatures ranging from -30 F to 220 F
  • It is resistant to aromatic hydrocarbons, and vegetable and mineral oils, making it ideal for food-grade applications
  • It doesn’t allow mildew, mold, and fungi to grow when in constant contact with edible items
  • It can be formulated with different color pigments to create many types of sanitary seals and gaskets

When it comes to sanitation requirements, the food processing industry is probably the most demanding industry. Using FDA compliant polyurethane maximizes health and safety and can give you a competitive edge.

Where You Can Get the Best FDA Compliant Polyurethane Components

Uniflex Inc. is the leading manufacturer of FDA approved urethane parts including FDA approved:

  • Urethane sprockets
  • Pads
  • Sheets
  • Washers
  • Gaskets
  • And more

We understand that improving detectability in FDA approved polyurethane parts is critical to prevent contamination – minor and major – which will ultimately save you a lot of time and money in the process.

We can help you if you need US-made FDA compliant polyurethane for:

  • Inspection tables
  • Conveyor belts
  • Chutes
  • Chute liners
  • Wheels
  • Rollers
  • Bumpers
  • Seals
  • Gaskets
  • Custom molded parts

Our rapid prototyping capabilities allow us to go from “print” to “part” within 8-12 business days.

Call Uniflex Inc. Today For Quality FDA Compliant Polyurethane Components

For over 40 years, Uniflex Inc has focused on precision and speed to manufacture the premium-quality cast and molded polyurethane parts. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 248-486-6000 or contact us online and our representatives will get back to you promptly.

There are few industries that depend more on machinery and equipment than mining. If you work in the mining industry, you know that your equipment is going to be pushed to the limits, as far as Mother Nature and the law will allow. So, it goes without saying that the mining tools and equipment used must be resilient and durable above all else.

In the dusty, dirty, hazardous, and harsh environments of mining, the equipment designers and manufacturers are increasingly paying more attention to the “little things” like machine components that help the big machines perform better and for longer.

This is where cast urethane mining parts come in. (And the key is to find a dependable manufacturer to work with.)

Urethane Mining Industry: Why the Modern Mining Industry Prefers Urethane

Urethane or to be more specific, cast polyurethane parts have always been known for their incredible properties, such as:

  • Abrasion resistance
  • Unmatched resilience
  • High load-bearing capacity
  • Impact strength.

Now, as mining designers and manufacturers are looking for ways to increase the longevity and performance of mining equipment, urethane has naturally become a preferred choice.

One of the biggest advantages of using urethane mining parts is that it’s super flexible – not just in physical performance (like rubber), but also because it comes in a liquid form. Liquid urethane allows different formulations to be combined, metered, and dispensed with unparalleled precision.

This unique process allows urethane mining parts to be made into any form, density, or weight while still ensuring the component stays completely uniform and consistent throughout the entire run. In addition, when compared to plastics and other elastomers, urethane offers far more versatility, durability, toughness, and strength in reduced costs.

Imagine the flexibility and resiliency of rubber combined with the performance benefits of metals and engineered plastics – that’s urethane. The sheer adjustable nature of the chemical properties of this material can be easily tweaked to provide several new opportunities to address performance problems that other materials simply can’t solve.

And if that’s not enough, urethane mining parts are much less likely to fail due to deterioration, abrasion, and other forms of damage – unlike other materials. Cast polyurethane parts will deliver a much superior long-term value to end customers.

Another great benefit of urethane mining parts is that they can be molded and bonded to multiple different kinds of substrates such as fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. This allows for additional rigidity and strength if necessary.

Talk to Uniflex Inc., The Industry Experts, About Urethane Mining

Cast urethane mining parts created at Uniflex Inc. can be custom molded for both low and high-volume production. They are also available in a wide range of hardness’s (durometers). We can cast parts that are as small as a few ounces or as large as hundreds of pounds. If you have any questions or concerns about the urethane mining industry and parts, please call us at 248-486-6000 or contact us online and our representatives will get back to you shortly.

Polyurethane is one of the most versatile materials used by manufacturers today. It can be molded into almost any shape for utilization across many different industries. You can use custom molded urethane or polyurethane repeatedly in some of the most adverse environments without worrying about it wearing out or being significantly damaged.

Polyurethane is also resistant to high temperatures, electricity, abrasion, corrosion, and many other environmental factors. The versatility of polyurethane has made it a material of choice for a variety of applications across industries.

If you are looking for custom molded polyurethane, it is best to first get a clear idea about the products produced by it and its overall usability. In this short guide, we will break down everything you need to know about this highly useful compound.

What Is Custom Molded Urethane?

When polyurethane undergoes a molding process to take a desired shape and specification, it is referred to as molded urethane or custom molded urethane. Since it can take various forms, the molding process usually varies depending on the end-use of the products produced. Here are a few common techniques that are used throughout the industry:

Compression Molding

In this process, the liquid polyurethane or millable gum polyurethane is placed into a multiple-plate mold. Once inside the mold, the urethane compound is sandwiched between the plates, and the plates are forced together using a heated hydraulic press. The extreme pressure and heat of the press force the polyurethane to fill the shape of the enclosed cavity formed by the plates, curing it in the process. This molding process allows for a much more refined end product compared to other techniques; however, it tends to be more expensive as well. Compression molding is often used to make polyurethane seals, bushings, gaskets, and other critical products.

Open Cast Molding

This process involves pouring liquid polyurethane into a mold. It is a relatively inexpensive process that leads to highly durable products. Opencast molding tends to be the most commonly used technique for cast urethane elastomer products.

Centrifugal Molding

Also known as spin casting, this process occurs when the liquid polyurethane material is placed inside the center pot of a spinning mold. Channels allow the material to flow to mold cavities using centrifugal force, eliminated air in the process through vents. This process is not suitable for molding large-sized components and parts, and it can be expensive. However, it does produce bubble-free parts if that is required.

Injecting

custom molded urethane

In this injection method, the liquid (or the hardened droplets) of polyurethane material will be shot into a mold at a very high pressure using an injection molding press. By injecting the liquid into the mold, the polyurethane can be shaped into almost any design. This process can be cost-efficient because injecting liquid thermoplastic urethane resin is quick and can be automated. Plus, any material waste that occurs in the process can be recycled and used again. However, injection molds tend to be very expensive and are usually only used when production volume is incredibly high (e.g., 20,000+ pieces)

Foaming

During the foaming process, the mixed polyurethane material is allowed to set and fill out a mold. While the process can take a long time to complete, the end result is a material that is air-filled/fibrous and often used in mattresses, pillows, seat cushions, adhesive foam strips, etc.

Want to Know More About Custom Molded Urethane? Call Uniflex Inc!

At Uniflex Inc., we have helped many industries meet their custom molded urethane needs over the course of our 40 years in business. We can cast any kind of urethane product for any purpose, regardless of which industry you work in.

Our unmatched precision, attention to detail, and superior quality have helped us become a leading manufacturer and supplier of molded polyurethane in the US. If you have questions or concerns you can call us at 248-486-6000 or fill out this online contact form.

Molded urethane is a plastic material created from the chemical reaction between prepolymer resins and specialized curing agents. Products and parts made from molded urethane offer incredible chemical resistance, flexibility, and durability. If you’re wondering what custom molded urethane is, you’ve come to the right place! In this short guide, we will provide you useful insights about this versatile material that is used across a wide spectrum of industries and for numerous applications.

What Is Custom Molded Urethane?

Custom molded urethane products can be used for several industrial purposes such as seals, bushings, rollers, and bumpers. This tailorable polymer can be used for making small, molded parts like washers all the way up to large multi-hundred-pound components.

Urethane starts as a viscous, liquid prepolymer that must be heated and mixed in with a curing agent so the chemical reaction can occur. Urethane is relatively stable and tends to be resistant to most chemicals as well as impingement.  Many manufacturers also use additives to improve UV resistance, increase flame retardation, and reduce friction.

When liquid urethane is injected or poured into a mold, the “molded” urethane products take shape. A reaction between prepolymer and curing agent causes the urethane to polymerize and harden. Most times, to ensure lasting quality, these molded products are cured in industrial ovens as well as hot on hot tables. To know more about what custom molded urethane is, you should talk to a dedicated manufacturer with expertise in thermoset plastics, such as Uniflex Inc.

Are Custom Molded Urethane Products Customizable?

If you’re looking for a versatile solution for your manufacturing needs, custom-molded urethane can be a great option. It’s unmatchable in terms of:

  • Chemical resistance
  • Scraping abrasion resistance
  • High impact resiliency
  • Vibration dampening
  • And much more

But the best part is, urethane can be molded into a plethora of products due to its liquid starting state. This allows the polyurethane material to fill the cavity of pretty much any mold. In other words, urethane has the ability to take shapes that other materials can’t.

Custom molded urethane parts can be customized for specific applications by simply adjusting formulations to change the physical properties and hardness (durometer).

what is custom molded urethane

Compared to other similar compounds like rubber, urethane has the most versatility. While rubber and other compounds are sometimes vital for certain applications, molded urethane serves as the cheaper and more durable option when it comes to most parts.

In addition to customization, there are numerous other benefits of choosing custom molded urethane to manufacture your parts. For starters, it offers lower-cost tooling. This generally makes urethane costs much lower than rubber molding which requires higher-cost compression molds.

The molding process of urethane is capable of forming parts without any need for costly injection molds. It is extremely precise and can work with a wide range of part sizes. Moreover, urethane molded parts need little to no additional finishing so there is an incredibly fast turnaround time as well.

Talk To Our Dedicated Experts At Uniflex Inc.

At Uniflex Inc., we create custom molded urethane parts for your specific needs.

We can cast a variety of tailored, molded urethane products for multiple purposes with meticulous precision and superior quality. If you have more questions related to what custom molded urethane is, or how it can help you save time and money on your project, call us today at 248-486-6000 or contact us online.

What do you expect from the company that supplies Urethane, Rubber, Fiberglass, Expansion Joints?

Uniflex Inc describes itself in many different ways:

  • (In the footer) Uniflex Inc. manufactures and distributes urethane, plastics, rubber, and fiberglass products to worldwide automotive, aerospace, and rail system manufacturers.
  • (In our about us) As one of the midwests largest molders of urethane and rubber products, Uniflex stands ready to design and build an infinite number of parts for a myraid of solutions.
  • (On Facebook – come like us) Custom Molded Urethane components, plastic sheet rod and tube, fiberglass grating and structurals, metal and rubber expansion joints, metal and rubber hose, gas and electric protective sleeves and fuse separators.

What can we supply you with?  Our service and our expertise can  help drive your companies’ innovation.

We are starting a new contest. We would like to see what our customers are using in the place of business. Participate by posting a picture or add a comment and be entered into a drawing for $10 Amazon gift card.

Uniflex has been servicing the ‪utility‬ companies with their need for exposed gas line protection and electric utility safety/tagging device needs. Our patented Servgard coupling kits come in three sizes to fit most exposed gas line, temporary, protection needs.

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