When it comes to industrial plastics, there are two main types: thermoplastic polymers and thermoset polymers. Thermoplastics can be melted down and reused, while thermoset plastics cannot. Thermoset plastics are more durable than thermoplastics but are also more expensive. So, which material is used in the mining industry?

What is Thermoplastic?

Thermoplastic is a type of plastic that becomes soft and pliable when heated and hardens when cooled. Unlike thermosetting plastics, which cannot be softened once they have been set, thermoplastics can be melted and reformed multiple times.

Thermoplastics are used in a wide range of applications, from food packaging to medical devices. The most common thermoplastics include polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene.

Thermoplastics are produced by polymerizing small molecules into long chains. These chains can be linear or branched, depending on the specific application. When heated, the chains break apart and flow freely, allowing the thermoplastic to be molded into different shapes.

Once cooled, the chains reform, and the thermoplastic hardens. This process can be repeated an unlimited number of times, making thermoplastics an extremely versatile material.

In the mining industry, thermoplastics are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Pipelining
  • Cable insulation
  • Hose reinforcement

What is Thermoset?

Thermoset is a type of plastic that becomes permanently hard when heated. Unlike thermoplastic, which can be melted and reformed multiple times, thermosets cannot be remolded or recycled. Common examples of thermoset materials include Bakelite, epoxy, and vulcanized rubber.

These materials are often used in applications where high heat resistance and durability are required, such as in electrical insulation or automotive brake pads.

Thermoset is able to mold into complex shapes just like a thermoplastic. However, it is usually open cast, low pressure injection molded, or compression molded rather than injection molded or extruded. Thermoset is also generally more expensive than thermoplastic. This is because the manufacturing process is more complex, and the raw materials are often more costly. This being said, thermoset polymers are often much more durable than thermoplastics and are extensively used in high wear environments wear longevity is essential.

In the mining industry, thermosetting plastics are used for:

  • Molding electrical components
  • Sheet material for liners
  • Aggregate screens
  • Roller coatings
  • Making gaskets and seals
  • Creating wear-resistant coatings

What’s the Difference?

Comparing thermoplastic and thermoset is a common occurrence because they are both used in a variety of applications. Here are the key differences between these two materials:

  • Thermoplastic can be melted and reformed, while thermosets cannot. This is because thermoset undergoes a chemical reaction when heated, which permanently changes the material. The curing process involves chemical bonding of the material properties to form permanent chemical bonds.
  • Thermoplastic is less durable than thermoset. Thermoplastics, such as food packaging, are often used in applications not subject to high temperatures or stress. Thermoset plastics are better suited for high-heat and high-stress applications, such as automotive brake pads. The material properties can withstand these and more because thermosetting materials undergo an extensive curing process.
  • Thermoplastic is generally less expensive than thermoset. This is because thermoplastic manufacturing is more straightforward, and thermoplastic materials are often cheaper. Thermoset plastics are more complex to produce and require more costly raw materials.
  • Thermoplastics are more manageable to mold into complex shapes than thermosets. Thermoplastics can be melted and reformed multiple times, making them more flexible during molding. Thermoplastic polymers are more flexible and versatile because processing thermoplastics involves guaranteeing thermal stability.
  • Thermoset plastics are more versatile and long lasting but often require chemical processing equipment to guarantee the chemical ratio integrity of thermoset plastic mixes.

What Type of Urethane Parts Are Used in the Mining Industry?

Urethane has many benefits that make it ideal for use in the mining industry. It is wear-resistant, impact-resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. As a result, urethane parts are often used in mining equipment, such as conveyor belt rollers, screen decking, and chute lining.

In addition, urethane can be molded into custom shapes and sizes, making it perfect for creating bespoke parts for specific applications. Thanks to its versatility and durability, urethane is an essential material for the mining industry. It can maintain good structural integrity and minimal chemical resistance.

The urethane parts that are used in the mining industry include:

Conveyor Belt Rollers

Conveyor belt rollers are used to move heavy loads along a conveyor belt. They are typically made from steel or urethane and are designed to withstand high temperatures and wear caused by friction.

Urethane is often used for conveyor belt rollers because it is impact-resistant and can withstand the high temperatures generated by friction. It is also less likely to damage the conveyor belt than steel rollers.

Screen Decking

Screen decking is used to separate materials by size. It is typically made from wood or urethane and comprises a series of screen panels attached to a frame.

Urethane screen decking is often used in the mining industry because it is wear-resistant and can withstand the high impact of falling rocks. It is also resistant to the corrosive effects of chemicals and moisture.

Chute Lining

Chute lining is used to protect surfaces from abrasion. It is typically made from rubber or urethane and is installed on the walls of chutes, conveyors, and other high-wear surfaces.

Urethane chute lining is often used in the mining industry because it is wear-resistant and can withstand the high impact of falling rocks. It is also resistant to the corrosive effects of chemicals and moisture.

Urethane parts are essential for the smooth running of the mining industry. Therefore, if you’re looking for mining equipment, check that the parts are made from urethane. Thanks to its durability and versatility, urethane is the perfect material for use in the mining industry.

Why We Use Thermoset Polymers in the Mining Industry

Thermoset polymers are a type of plastic widely used in the mining industry. These materials are prized for their excellent physical properties, high strength, durability, and resistance to heat and chemicals. In addition, thermoset polymers are often easier to recycle than other plastics.

As a result, they have become the material of choice for many mining applications. Some common products made from thermoset polymers include conveyor belts, pipes, and pump housings.

In each of these applications, thermoset polymers’ superior strength and resistance help ensure long service life. Thermoset polymers have become an essential part of the modern mining industry thanks to these benefits.

How to Purchase!

When purchasing urethane products, it’s important to remember that these are custom parts for the most part. That means that the only things you can buy online are urethane stock items like a sheet, rod, tube, or bar. For everything else, you’ll need to contact a urethane manufacturer or supplier directly.

When doing so, have your specifications in hand so they can provide you with a quote. Once you’ve received a quote, you can decide whether to place an order.

Remember that custom urethane parts lead times can range from a few weeks to a few months, so plan accordingly.

Contact Uniflex Today!

If you need assistance finding the right urethane products for your mining application, don’t hesitate to contact Uniflex. At our company, we specialize in custom molded urethane and rubber. We can design, machine, and manufacture all under one roof, which helps keep prices low and lead times short.

Our company has specialized in custom molded urethane and rubber since 1979 and has been a trusted supplier for the aerospace, automotive, robotics, military, oil, gas, mining, and marine industries. We offer the same or better quality as our competitors, but we do it cheaper.

We also offer low and high-volume production orders, rapid prototyping, and specialty materials. If you’re looking for a trusted provider of custom molded urethane and rubber parts, look no further than our company!

So, what are you waiting for? Call us today at 248-486-6000.

To maintain a seamless supply chain, material handling includes various tools and systems that help with inventory management, warehouse management, and product processing and sorting. Durable material handling equipment is crucial to getting products out of your factory and to clients on time.

Polyurethane material, mainly in thermoplastic polyurethane and polyurethane foams, is one of the most well-known materials used to increase the longevity and durability of material handling equipment and produce high-quality polyurethane products. It is one of the most flexible elastomers and is used in various global applications.

Products made of polyurethane materials offer many advantages over those made of other elastomers and plastics, including greater strength, toughness, durability, and versatility. Chemical modification of the polyurethane coatings and mechanical properties offers a variety of unusual chances to solve challenges with performance qualities unmatched by any other materials.

Why Are Urethane Parts Essential to Material Handling?

The term “polyurethane,” frequently abbreviated as “PUR” or “PU,” refers to a group of polymers made up of organic units cross-linked by urethane.

Polyurethane may be made from various starting materials, unlike conventional polymers like polyethylene and polystyrene. This chemical diversity generates polyurethanes with a wide range of chemical structures, resulting in several uses. These include:

  • Rigid and flexible foams
  • Varnishes and coatings
  • Elastomers
  • Adhesives
  • Electrical potting compounds
  • Thermal stability
  • Fibers such as spandex and PUL
  • Polyurethane fabric

Polyurethane materials are created in such a way as to form a sizable class of polymers that may be adapted to a variety of uses, significantly enhancing the building, automotive, and electrical industries.

Numerous benefits of polyurethane material handling products include:

  • Impact and abrasion-resistant parts
  • Protection of products
  • Resistance to chemicals
  • Flame retardants
  • Withstand heat
  • Noise reduction
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Fire retardant
  • Improved effectiveness
  • Cost-effective
  • Products that are consistent and lower the need for general machine maintenance
  • Less downtime
  • Longer lifespan
  • Improved manufacturing process

What Urethane Parts Are Used in Material Handling?

In the beginning, thermosetting polyurethane was intended to be used as a synthetic version of natural rubber during World War II. The adaptability of this novel polymer and its capacity to substitute scarce materials soon led to the development of numerous applications. After World War II, the polyurethane industry rose, and polyurethane PU became a used material in many industries.

Polyurethane applications are essential for material handling equipment to ensure a continuous supply chain and efficient manufacturing process.

The following are just a few examples of material handling equipment parts that polyurethane properties may provide to assist you in fulfilling your material handling equipment production demands:

  • Urethane Rollers
  • Urethane Bumpers
  • Urethane Gaskets, Washers, and Bushings
  • Urethane Gripper Pads
  • Urethane Linings for Various Components
  • Polyurethane Clamps
  • Diverters
  • Wheels
  • Conveyor Equipment Parts
  • Rigid Foams
  • Reusable Fabric
  • And many more

Here are some more advantages of using polyurethane properties in situations involving material handling:

  • Low tooling costs
  • Excellent capacity for bearing loads
  • Outstanding impact resistance
  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Outstanding efficiency
  • Resist water
  • Measurement stability
  • Free from harmful toxins
  • Long-term field wear
  • Decreased downtime
  • Lower costs of maintenance

Importance of Polyurethane Foams in Material Handling Equipment

The most popular type of polyurethane that is utilized extensively worldwide is polyurethane foam. It was commonly used for molding flexible foam cushions and seating, refrigerator walls, or thermal insulation. In just a short period, flexible polyurethane foam quickly replaced other upholstery such as car seats and furniture, shoe materials, and many more as the preferred option.

Due to their unique properties, polyurethanes can be modified to improve commercial and consumer goods and solve complex difficulties in material handling equipment.

Today, consumer and commercial products like bedding, furniture, automotive interiors, carpet underlay, and packaging are all cushioned with polyurethane properties, primarily in the form of polyurethane foam.

Flexible polyurethane foam can be created in various shapes and densities and is robust, comfortable, lightweight, and supportive. It is utilized in many items, including coatings, adhesives, mattresses, foam insulation, and shoe soles.

Importance of Polyurethane Fabric in Material Handling Equipment

In many aspects, polyurethane coating and properties improve the performance capabilities of fabric. There is a substantial layer of this polymer on many elastic fabrics. As a result, it can be used to create windproof and waterproof apparel while still enabling water vapor to permeate the fabric gently.

PU fabric is one great alternative to animal skins and other fabrics. It is more durable, flexible, and affordable. In addition, PU fabrics can be designed to look like natural animal skin.

Polyurethane fabric is a compound material cross-linked to the polyurethane that connects one or more layers of polymer resins with a woven or non-woven textile backing made of polyester, cotton, nylon, or ground leather. To make the Polyurethane coating appear more like animal skins, it is applied to just one side of the basic cloth.

Polyurethane fabrics break or wrinkle like genuine leather when stitched, collected, or tufted. Unlike vinyl, Polyurethane resins are constructed of a flexible polymer and don’t require an additional superplasticizer.

PU fabric doesn’t contain plasticizers, so there is no tearing or peeling, and it stays soft and comfortable for the entire time it is attached to the furniture. PU fabric and textiles may be decorated easily as well.

Since PU fabrics don’t produce dioxins, they are considered more environmentally friendly than vinyl. Although Polyurethane fabric can be more expensive to make than vinyl, it is less costly than natural leather.

Where Can Urethane Parts Be Purchased?

Urethane parts are now available online because of how prevalent and essential polyurethane materials are in material handling equipment. Urethane parts, however, are typically customized parts. They are created specifically for you based on your requirements and material handling machinery.

However, you may purchase urethane stock manufactured products like polyurethane sheets, rods, tubes, and bars online for standard material handling equipment parts.

Contact Uniflex

Polyurethane parts for material handling are available online. However, polyurethane parts online are commonly sold in stock and don’t have custom-made options. As a result, ensuring that your material handling equipment is fully equipped with polyurethane parts can be challenging since material handling can differ from models and designs.

Given the significance of urethane parts in material handling, you’ll need a trustworthy partner who can ensure that your supply chain and workflow are improved by allowing you to acquire all the Polyurethane parts you need for your material handling.

With 50 years of experience, Uniflex is a system provider for manufacturing hose lines, including workshop tools and production lines. Our area of expertise has advanced to rubber and urethane custom molding, and we can meet all of your needs for polyurethane material handling equipment.

We Can Mold Anything Urethane And Rubber

We strive for client satisfaction and offer durable, affordable, and high-volume custom molded parts that are trusted by industries all over the world. The fact that we can design, process, and manufacture all under one roof contributes to our ability to keep costs low and lead times short. We can give you all the polyurethane parts your business needs and make them precisely to fit your material handling equipment, ensuring a better and more reliable workflow.

Our business has been a dependable supplier for the polyurethane industry, aerospace, automotive, robotics, military, oil, gas, mining, and marine industries since 1979. Contact us today and learn more about how Uniflex can help you take your business to the next level of success!

Urethane and polyurethane have permeated many industries, including the automotive industry. For the last decade, polyurethane has moved from the aerospace niche to a mainstay in manufacturing vehicle parts and accessories. For its resilience and weight, polyurethane has found itself in many demanding applications in the automotive industry. This material has a growing number of use cases, as shown by the industry-wide adoption of polyurethane gaskets and urethane piston hydraulic seals.

We can also attribute urethane’s growing adoption to its superior resistance and tolerance to many chemicals. The moldability of polyurethane also enables manufacturers to mold custom parts to fit client specifications, like custom-fit polyurethane gaskets for use in high-stress environments. Indeed, polyurethane and urethane are taking industries by storm with each part created from them.

Learn more about how these elastomeric materials are changing the game with each car part manufactured.

What Urethane Parts Are Used in the Automotive Industry?

Urethane and polyurethane are often the go-to materials for this vehicle part — urethane seals. However, polyurethane seals are not the only parts that consist of polyurethane. These materials are also ubiquitous in polyurethane gaskets or o-rings. Of late, car manufacturers have also been using polyurethane as muffler mounts.

Let’s get into these automotive components in greater detail:

Urethane Seals and Polyurethane Seals

Polyurethane and urethane seals are the most common examples of vehicle parts consisting of elastomeric materials. Polyurethane seals, like the piston, are ubiquitous in a vehicle’s hydraulic components.

Urethane and polyurethane seals boast resilience, resisting high temperatures. Their tolerance to high temperatures and chemical resistance also makes them long-lasting alternatives to plastic and rubber seals.

Polyurethane seals also have excellent abrasion resistance. This makes polyurethane seals less susceptible to wear and tear, unlike rubber and plastic seals.

Polyurethane Gaskets or O-Rings

Automotive manufacturers also prize polyurethane and urethane for their chemical resistance. The tolerance of these materials to oil to ozone makes polyurethane or urethane an ideal choice for tube connections.

As a result of polyurethane’s chemical tolerance, manufacturers have used it to make polyurethane gaskets or o-rings. Polyurethane gaskets or o-rings provide excellent connections between tube surfaces, guaranteeing leak-proof connection under high heat and pressure.

Polyurethane gaskets also have excellent abrasion resistance, meaning they aren’t susceptible to wear. As a result, polyurethane gaskets and o-rings require only periodic maintenance or replacement.

Polyurethane Bushings

Rubber or OE suspension bushings have long been the ideal choice for every car manufacturer. Unfortunately, a vehicle’s suspension is the site of much wear and tear. For this reason, a vehicle owner can only expect rubber or OE bushings to last so long. For more longevity, a material like polyurethane may be a better alternative.

Polyurethane bushings share the hardness and durability of steel and high-density rubber. However, polyurethane bushings also have more “give” than metal materials. The resulting ability to absorb shock adds years to a vehicle’s suspension life. Also, the elasticity of polyurethane bushings reduces noise and vibration — two characteristics that many motorists desire.

Polyurethane Muffler Mounts

Manufactured muffler mounts used to consist of rigid materials like steel. However, the desire for noise reduction created a market for polyurethane muffler mounts.

Polyurethane muffler mounts reduce noise due to the polyurethane’s elasticity and shock absorption. These muffler mounts are also abrasion-resistant, requiring infrequent maintenance and repairs.

Why Are Urethane Parts Essential to the Automotive Industry?

Vehicle owners recognize the importance of a lighter vehicle. Reduced weight contributes to not only speed but also fuel and energy efficiency. For this reason, vehicle owners will scour the market for lighter parts that boast the same hardness and quality as metal or steel.

A manufacturer must, in turn, cater to the broad consumer demand for vehicle weight reduction. This is where parts like polyurethane seals and polyurethane gaskets come in.

Polyurethane Seals and Polyurethane Gaskets Feature the Perfect Balance of Qualities

Urethane and polyurethane gaskets and seals provide vehicle owners with lighter, abrasion-resistant, and elastic options. As a bonus, these parts compromise little in durability, hardness, and quality. They are ideal for any supplier or manufacturer catering to vehicle owners who desire alternatives to traditional materials like rubber.

Tight Tolerances and Resistance to Oil and Chemicals

Polyurethane’s elasticity makes it resilient to compressing forces in vehicles. The high-pressure benefits of urethane and polyurethane are apparent in components like suspension bushings and muffler mounts.

Besides their pressure resistance, polyurethane seals and gaskets protect against other chemicals. Polyurethane parts are resistant to oil and ozone and boast impeccable chemical resistance and hardness versatility.

Polyurethane Molds Easily

Often, metallic parts must be machined in advance. Worse yet, metallic stock items cannot be molded, so there will be limitations in the possible specifications of a part.

Urethane solves many production challenges by presenting manufacturers with a material that can be molded and machined easily. As a bonus, polyurethane parts can come in various levels of hardness and thicknesses, depending on what a client calls for.

Companies Can Manufacture to a Client’s Specifications

Part manufacturers can take advantage of polyurethane’s elasticity and mold components to client specifications. Manufacturers can mold polyurethane parts in varying three-dimensional geometries. Under tight tolerances, polyurethane components can also be molded for hardness and durability.

Custom Molded with Competitive Pricing

It costs more to cast metallic parts. As a result, manufacturers will charge more for car parts made of alloy or metallic material. By comparison, casting urethane and polyurethane parts costs less, making them more affordable than their metallic counterparts.

Custom Urethane Parts and How to Purchase

Polyurethane parts like seals, gaskets, o-rings, and bushings are typically not available off-the-peg. They are generally custom-made. Any polyurethane parts available online will usually come in standard colors and sizes. These parts may be of the right material but be unfit for a company’s needs. The only polyurethane and urethane products best purchased online would be stock items, such as polyurethane and urethane bars, sheets, rods, and tubes. These products are available from online suppliers. Of course, a company ordering these items must be able to cast or machine parts to make their product from stock urethane shapes. Otherwise, the company would have no alternative but to hire another company to manufacture urethane parts.

So, it is best to seek a company that not only has urethane and polyurethane but can cast parts with quality and precision. Not many companies offer this combination of services — but we at Uniflex, Inc. do.

Custom-Molded Polyurethane Products Under One Roof

Unlike any other industry-grade material, polyurethane boasts excellent abrasion resistance and customization options. Versatile and affordable to cast, polyurethane parts offer the most bang for your buck regardless of what industry your business caters to. Getting your polyurethane and parts machined simultaneously will be a challenge with most companies — luckily, that’s what we are here for.

Uniflex Inc. is a one-stop shop for all of your polyurethane needs. Our company is an all-in-one solution for polyurethane product prototyping, manufacturing, and high-volume production. With us, you can enjoy short lead times, high-quality manufacturing services, and products molded just the way you want them.

Polyurethane and rubber molding are what we do best. Reach out to us for a free service estimate to experience polyurethane manufacturing that boasts quality and precision.

With the demanding nature of the oil and gas industry, parts that are used in this sector have to be able to meet high standards. The parts must also withstand various conditions, including extreme temperatures, high pressures, and harsh chemicals. Urethane parts are often used in the oil and gas industry because they can meet these demanding requirements. Unlike rubber, plastics, and other materials, polyurethane offers hardness versatility, is durable, and is crack and wear-resistant. Urethane or polyurethane also offers high customization as it can be molded in different shapes and measures and can be used in applications typically found in areas that require oil and gas parts.

Parts made from polyurethane are also being manufactured for the automotive industry. From universal bushings that are used to replace worn stock bushings to specific replacements to rubber bushings of control arms, sway bars, transmission mounts, and other suspension parts, urethane bushes are being increasingly used for a variety of applications

What Are Considered Urethane Parts?

Due to the extreme durability of urethane material, stability in a downhole environment, and natural resistance to corrosion, pressure, impact, heat, and abrasion, it is the ideal tooling and parts-making material for the oil and gas industry. Many leading manufacturers, including Uniflex, have been taking advantage of this by exclusively making parts from polyurethane for the oil and gas sector. Because of its natural edge over rubber products and other plastics, urethane parts are slowly becoming the go-to material for many applications in this industry.

Here are some of the urethane parts that are used in the oil and gas industry:

  • Liners
  • Rollers
  • Outer Tube / Tubes
  • Bushings
  • Rings
  • Nozzles
  • Scrapers
  • Clamps
  • Seals
  • Gears
  • Pads

What Are Polyurethane Bushes?

A PU or polyurethane bushing or bushes acts as an inner sleeve of a control arm and other suspension parts. Bushes tend to be manufactured using rubber materials, but due to the advancement of polyurethane technology, many leading companies are now using this material for their bushing products. While hot rods, custom rods, and other old American vehicles are seen with rubber bushes, many of today’s vehicles come with polyurethane bushes because they are more flexible and durable and will not quickly wear, unlike their counterparts. In energy suspension, bushings made from urethane are the new norm. They can cast the outer diameter, fastener bolt diameter, inner sleeve, and wall thickness to achieve desired durometers (hardness).

Polyurethane Bushings

Polyurethane bushings — poly bushings or urethane bushings — are aftermarket suspension parts used to replace your car or truck’s rubber bushings. Because of their performance in automobiles, urethane bushings are also used in the oil and gas industry. They offer many advantages over their rubber counterparts, the most popular being improved handling and increased durability.

While polyurethane bushings will never be as soft as rubber, the suitable compound can get you pretty close. You can also custom-cast polyurethane bushings to cater to suspension components that require an inner diameter smaller than what is available on the market.

Some polyurethane bushings are also greaseable, meaning that you can inject grease into the bushing to keep it lubricated and operating smoothly. This is a great way to extend the life of your polyurethane suspension bushings and improve their performance.

Why Are They Essential to the Oil and Gas Industries?

The oil and gas industry often requires parts that can withstand extreme conditions, such as high temperatures and pressures. Polyurethane components can meet these challenges while still providing the necessary flexibility, strength, and durability. In addition, polyurethane is also resistant to many chemicals used in the oil and gas industry, making it the ideal material for various applications. The bushings generally works as an adapter for joining pipes, serves as a guide for installing other elements in the system, provides insulation, and more. Bushings also work to minimize energy usage, absorb vibration, and reduce noise.

Where Can You Purchase Urethane Parts Online?

As urethane parts should be made precisely and according to specifications, it is best to purchase them from a reputable manufacturer. One such company is Uniflex, which has been manufacturing custom urethane parts for over 50 years. Uniflex has the experience and expertise to create the perfect urethane part for your application, whether for the oil and gas industry or any other industry.

We offer top-notch standard urethane parts, including sheet, rod, tube, and bar. We also do custom manufacturing for customers who need to integrate design specifications. We use cutting-edge machinery and equipment to achieve this and a team of highly skilled and experienced engineers. With ISO 9001 protocol in place, we are proud to say that we adhere to the highest quality standards in the industry.

Moreover, we engage in continuous innovation and development to ensure that we are always at the forefront of urethane technology. This enables us to offer the market the latest products catering to the most complex requirements.

Custom Urethane and How to Purchase!

With different applications of urethane parts and the demand of these applications for certain specifications, it is best to go for custom urethane parts. This will ensure that the part used for your application is made precisely to your specifications.

You can purchase custom urethane parts from Uniflex by contacting us and providing us with your specifications. We will then create a 3D model of the part according to your specifications and provide you with a quote. Once you decide to work with us, we will manufacture the part. We will give you a timeline on which you can expect to receive the part, as well as the methods of shipment.

UniFlex will be your best choice when it comes to purchasing custom urethane parts due to our experience, expertise, and commitment to quality.

We also make sure that our parts are made with sustainability in mind. We use renewable and recyclable materials as much as possible to help reduce our carbon footprint. We also follow the highest safety standards to protect our workers, our customers, and the environment.

Contact Us Today!

If you are interested in working with Uniflex for your urethane needs, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and provide you with a quote. Below is the list of our contact information.

UNIFLEX, INC.

  • Phone: 248-486-6000
  • Email: sales@uniflexinc.com

Can’t find the parts you need? Since most parts of the oil and gas industry are custom-made and may not be available online, we encourage you to contact us so we can sit down with you and discuss your requirements.

Are you looking for a stronger, tougher, and more reliable alternative to rubber and plastics? If you work in industrial spaces and are looking for high-performance products and components, then urethane rods and bars might just be the solution for you. Capable of withstanding heavy-duty use, wear, tear, and abrasion, polyurethane bars and rods are highly versatile products able to be used in a wide range of applications.

With plenty of sizes and lengths to choose from, these tools also come in various colors and hardness levels to meet your standards (i.e., 70A, 80A, 90A). Read on below for your guide to using urethane rods and bar stock, and to find out how they can help your business and industrial work.

What is Urethane?

Urethane or polyurethane, is sometimes referred to as a hybrid product due to its versatility; it offers the durability and toughness of metal while having the elasticity of rubber. However, it is not made of either of these things; instead, urethane is made from natural compounds known as isocyanate and polyol, which are bonded by carbamate to make them strong. These are just the starting blocks – polyurethane can be made to be more complex using a wide range of materials.

As it can have so many chemical variations, polyurethane can be created and used for a nearly unlimited number of applications. It can be made into both flexible and rigid foams, adhesives, bumpers, coatings, varnishes, and more, as well as fibers like spandex. With that said, foam is the most common application, accounting for 67% of the polyurethane produced in 2016.

Urethane has a wide range of hardness levels, from soft and flexible to as solid as a rock. The hardness is measured by durometers. The lower the number, the softer the material; low durometer readings correspond to low compression set characteristics.

Urethane’s versatility allows users to replace plastic, rubber, and even metal in their daily applications. It has superior physical properties along with excellent abrasion resistance, meaning polyurethane products can last longer and help to reduce production and maintenance costs.

Many companies rely on polyurethane to maintain their budget, cut production time, and reduce their operations downtime, while paying a fraction of the cost of other materials. This resilient and tough material is also a great choice if you’re looking to outperform rubber or steel because it can be molded into any shape you need while retaining the characteristics of those other two materials.

Additionally, polyurethanes can lessen noise and control shock and vibration in most environments. All of these great benefits are rolled into one material. You can create custom molded parts from polyurethane to work in any capacity you need. Urethane is the best of both worlds – versatility that meets the highest standards in the industry.

What Are Urethane Rods?

Urethane rods are made from thermoset polymer, a material that can retain its flexibility, shape, and resilience. Once formed, the rods can retain these physical properties under tension, compression, or stress, but can be molded into any shape, hardness, or size, making them highly versatile. Urethane rods also possess better aging, tear, and abrasion resistance compared to other materials.

The material also offers a higher load capacity, without displaying any deformation issues. Furthermore, polyurethane rods will provide better impact resistance, elastic memory, and wear properties compared to other kinds of plastics. Polyurethane rods come in a wide range of options, such as:

  • Standard round rod stock sizes
  • Custom round rod stock sizes
  • A range between 40A–65D durometers
  • Various colors, sizes, and lengths

How Are They Used?

Urethane rods are often used as an alternative to nylon or plastic components to provide an upgraded function. They also go beyond the standard color of black. Depending on your needs, you can get a urethane rod that can offer better resistance to oil, abrasion, weather, and wear. These can be made to be four times stronger than nylon, allowing them to last longer through various applications.

Custom Urethane Rods

Polyurethane rods can be custom-made into versatile shapes and different sizes for manufacturing high-performance products. You can find a great range of customization options for urethane rods, including:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Length
  • Color
  • Diameter
  • Hardness

Depending on your needs, you may specify a set of parameters and dimensions to ensure that the end product will meet your requirements. With a long history of superior performance, outstanding quality, and personal customer service, you can count on Uniflex to deliver all your custom urethane rods. You can be confident that our urethane rods will provide the following benefits:

  • Long lasting
  • Crack resistant
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Oil resistant
  • Durable
  • No tooling costs
  • Custom diameter

What Are High-Performance Rod Stocks?

Uniflex offers high-performance urethane rod stock as well, which you can use for all your heavy-duty applications. These provide an upgrade over traditional materials and can perform well under load and compression. As these are much stronger than plastic and nylon, they won’t crack.

High performance urethane rod stock is as easy to use as plastic, but offers a wider variety of hardness options. Polyurethane is often the preferred choice over many other materials and can be adjusted to a particular level of hardness to match the needs of your projects. Furthermore, it can be manufactured with UV protection, as well as oil and heat resistance, making it the perfect choice for different industries, such as:

  • Food and Service
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Marine
  • Aviation
  • Aerospace
  • And more

What is Urethane Bar Stock?

Just like polyurethane rod stocks, bar stock is a versatile product that is well suited for various applications and can be made custom in low volumes to be used as stops, bushings, or bumpers. Urethane bar stock can also help ease machining and grinding applications through specialized formulations. Additionally, you can have your urethane bar stock created with specific characteristics, such as:

  • Low compression
  • High-temperature formulation
  • Oil resistant
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Custom length and diameter
  • Custom colors
  • Custom hardness
  • And more

At Uniflex, we offer a wide range of tooling selections, where there are little to no setup costs with most orders. To learn more about how Uniflex can help you manufacture reliable components, contact us through our website.

How Are They Used?

Their extremely versatile characteristics and wide range of applications mean urethane bar stock can be used in so many ways, including the following:

  • Gears
  • Gaskets
  • Wear dads
  • Truck beds
  • Bumpers
  • Sorter blocks
  • Spout linings
  • Bumper pads
  • Cutting surfaces
  • Impact absorption
  • Machinery mounts
  • Rollers and covers
  • Sandblast curtains
  • Metal-forming pads
  • Sound-dampening pads
  • Chute and hopper liners

Working with urethane bar stock can offer so many advantages with endless possibilities.

Custom Urethane Bar Stocks

Uniflex casts a huge selection of precision molded urethane bar stocks, which you can order in either metric or imperial sizes. This includes measurements that are as small as 3/8 x 3/8 x 24 inches or up to 6 x 6 x 48 inches. We also offer custom mold urethane bar stocks to meet your exact specifications, built tooling, and close-tolerance requirements.

Apart from our precision molded bar stock, we can also mold non-standard bar sizes through our open-cast molding process, without any tooling charges. Open-cast bars will generally have imperfections on the surface, such as size variations and shrinkage marks, but they have ideal uses. These include applications that need subsequent fabrication or machining of the bar, as well as applications where appearance isn’t a crucial factor.

Where Can You Purchase Them?

You can find high-quality urethane rod stock and bar stock if you know where to look. While there are some brick-and-mortar shops that sell these products, you might find that online suppliers are the better route. Opening your browser and doing your research on a website that offers a great selection of urethane rod stock and urethane bar stock can be a better source in the long run, especially if you’re tackling several projects.

Many customers have already seen the benefits that online shopping offers, which include:

  • Honest reviews from past clients
  • 24/7 customer service
  • High-quality polyurethane products
  • Quick and easy checkout systems
  • Fast delivery
  • And more

These are just a few of the advantages we offer on the Uniflex website, plus our manufacturing plant, for all your polyurethane needs. Fully equipped with all the latest equipment, our in-house machine shop is home to our team of experts who produce polyurethane rods and bars known for their durability and versatility. Moreover, we only use top-grade materials to ensure that we consistently produce world-class polyurethane products for you.

How Can You Purchase Them?

If you opt to buy your polyurethane products from a manufacturer, you will most likely have to wait for information and a quote. However, a faster route would be to review all your needs online, where you can check for the background of the company you wish to purchase from while looking for other important details such as:

  • The quality of the urethane products
  • Whether they can deliver your specifications
  • Purchase order requirements
  • Development of design and concepts
  • The time it takes for full-time production
  • Whether products are made in the USA
  • And more

At Uniflex, we can streamline your company’s supply chain by developing and creating urethane rods and urethane bars exactly the way you need them. In the end, you’ll get more time to focus on the important parts of your business, while you leave all your urethane needs to us. You can count on our team to deliver stellar products and services, which include the following:

  • Waterjet-cut urethane parts
  • Custom mold manufacturing
  • Automated adhesive applications
  • Rotational and open-cast molding
  • Post-secondary assembly
  • On-site testing
  • World-class metal preparation
  • Online support service
  • Custom diameters
  • High-speed finishing equipment
  • And more

Call Uniflex Today

Our team offers affordable, high-quality products that can’t be matched by any of our competitors; we provide specialty materials, rapid prototyping, and high-volume production for your orders. Uniflex specializes in custom urethanes, which we use to help customers design, develop, and manufacture everything under one roof. As a result, we can provide faster lead times while keeping costs low – without having to sacrifice quality.

Many of our previous customers can testify to the many useful traits that our urethane rods and bars have, which include the following:

  • Excellent resistance to corrosion
  • Excellent resistance to abrasion
  • Excellent resistance to chemicals
  • Excellent resistance to solvents
  • Excellent resistance to oil
  • Excellent resistance to oxidation
  • High resilience
  • High tensile strength
  • High durability
  • High versatility

Moreover, our team of experts always applies precision and speed to their production systems, so you can count on us to meet your expectations for volume and accuracy every time you order. No matter what your project is, you can be sure that we’ll add value to every product through our years of experience working with urethane products and our fantastic customer support. We’re also proud to share that our engineers are some of the best in the industry, which means that your products will always be in good hands.

Our company has specialized in various urethane applications since 1979 and has been a trusted supplier for a wide range of industries. With short lead times, high-quality products, rapid prototyping, as well as fast and free quotes, we’re the team to contact for all your urethane and polyurethane needs. If you have a custom molded urethane request, be sure to contact Uniflex at 248-486-6000 or request a quote online today.

Uniflex offers a wide range of urethane sheets, which you can cut to custom sizes and use for a variety of purposes. Urethane is an extremely durable material that can withstand heavy use and repeated impact. It is also deformation-resistant, making it ideal for high wear applications.

Our online store makes it easy to find the right sheet for your needs, and our fast shipping ensures that you will receive your order quickly. Buying online can save you time by allowing you to compare products and prices without having to wait on a quote.

What Is a Urethane Sheet?

A urethane sheet is a type of elastomeric or rubber-like material that exhibits high elasticity, strong abrasion resistance, and excellent tear resistance. It can provide a higher load-bearing capacity. It is also characterized by its low compression set, meaning urethane will retain its shape even after being subjected to repeated stress or strain. A urethane sheet is often used in applications where durability and flexibility are key so the custom molded parts can withstand both high impact and extreme temperatures.

How Are They Different from Polyurethane Sheets?

While the words urethane and polyurethane sheets are often used interchangeably, there is no difference between the physical properties. The only difference is in the name. Polyurethane sheets and urethane sheets are the same thing. They are made from thermosetting materials so they can’t be reshaped or heated up. However, a urethane or polyurethane sheet can be machined if needed. Both urethane and polyurethane products are one in the same and have a high resistance to abrasion and tearing.

Why Is It Easier to Buy Urethane Sheets Online?

Now that we’ve established some of the characteristics of urethane sheeting, like its high abrasion resistance and elasticity, here are a few reasons why buying it online can be the best option for you or your company:

Saves Time

When you buy urethane sheets online, you don’t have to wait on a quote or manufacturing lag. You can simply order the sheets from the comfort of your own home or office and have them delivered straight to your door.

Saves Effort

Not only does buying urethane sheets online save you time, but it also saves you effort. You don’t have to wait on quotes from multiple manufacturers to see who has the best price. Simply place an order and you’re done.

Receive Them Faster

When you order urethane sheets online, you can receive them faster than if you were to buy them from the average manufacturer. Most online stores keep a large stock of sheet forms on hand so they can ship sheets out much quicker.

Receive Your Urethane Sheets in Great Condition Without Having to Worry About Transport

Leaving it up to the professionals who know how to package and ship these types of products guarantees that you’ll receive your urethane sheets in excellent condition. You won’t have to worry about the sheets being damaged during the loading and unloading process.

Don’t Have a Vehicle? No Problem!

If you don’t have a vehicle able to haul multiple sheets, buying urethane sheets online is still an option, as many stores offer free shipping after a certain amount or have affordable fees. This means you can order the sheets without having to worry about how you’re going to get them where they need to be.

You Don’t Have to Worry About Setup Charges!

Having the sheets readily available in many sizes allows for fast, economical production. This is incredibly convenient if you’re looking to purchase is small order quantities. Most manufacturers will charge you more for setup than the actual sheet costs. When you buy online, you avoid this added cost.

What Has E-Commerce Brought to the World of Urethane Sheets?

E-commerce has made it easier than ever to buy urethane sheets, and here are the reasons why:

Easier to Transport

Urethane sheets are bulky and difficult to transport, but when you buy them online, you don’t have to worry about this as they’ll be delivered straight to your door.

Easier to Purchase

As you don’t have to request a quote and wait for a response to purchase urethane sheets. You can buy them from anywhere in the world, and that’s what e-commerce has brought to the table.

Easier to Browse Various Options

When you’re looking for urethane sheets, most manufacturers have limited the stock that they have on hand. However, when you’re searching for them online, you can easily find urethane sheets ready to ship.

Easier to See Which Urethane Sheets Are Best for You – Length/Size, Style, Color

With so many options available online, you can easily find the perfect urethane sheets of any standard durometers for your project without having to settle for something that’s not quite right. You have the luxury of being able to analyze different sizes and styles side by side.

Delivery Costs of Standard Cast Urethane Sheets

If you need your urethane sheets quickly, buying online can be a great option. Many online retailers offer free or low-cost shipping, which can save you time and money. When shopping for urethane sheets online, it’s important to compare prices and shipping costs before making a purchase. This will help you ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

Uniflex’s standard cast urethane sheets are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Shipping costs for our standard cast urethane sheets are based on the number of sheets you order, so you can easily calculate it in advance.

Don’t Waste Your Time, Get the Best Prices on Our Website

When it comes to urethane sheets, there’s no need to waste your time. You can find the best prices on Uniflex’s website, and we offer free or low-cost shipping depending on the size and weight of your order that other competitors can’t provide. Don’t wait any longer. Purchase your urethane sheets online today! Contact Uniflex by calling 248-486-6000 with any questions or visit our online shop to get started.

Urethane sheets are versatile products that can be used in a variety of industrial applications. They are made from polyurethane, which is a synthetic polymer known for its durability and strength. It is far from a traditional material. Open cast urethane sheets can be used in the manufacturing, construction, and automotive industries, plus others that have lower tooling costs.

A Brief History of Urethane

Back in 1937, a German chemist named Friedrich Bayer first created the original blueprint for polyurethane, also known as PU or Perlon U. The year 1940 was marked as the year that saw the successful development of the first polyurethane elastomers. Their physical properties are comparable to those of rubber.

This new kind of material immediately became a cheaper option than normal rubber during World War II, which was an expensive commodity due to its scarcity. One polyurethane use was as a protective coat on the outside of airplanes used in the battle. Later on, researchers came to the realization that polyurethane could be merged with nylon to create a material that was not only lightweight, but also had elastic memory.

This elastic memory was accomplished by synthesizing the material into fine threads. The first commercial manufacture of polyurethane foam was in the United States in 1953. The foam was stiff and its primary use was insulation. This lasted only until 1956, when more flexible and less expensive foams entered the market. When moldable polyurethane was invented in the late 1950s, it was already being utilized as a binder.

The malleability of the material allowed for the development of new uses, such as the production of versatile pillows. The development of polyurethane has now progressed to the point where it can manufacture several useful types of materials, such as coating materials made of polyurethane, stretchy strands, and injection molded parts. Polyurethane components can be found in any number of things.

The Other Uses of Urethane Besides Plastics

Adhesives, coatings, and sealants made from liquid urethane are the most popular applications for this material. Urethane adhesives are used in the automotive and construction industries because they offer high bond strength, flexibility, and weather resistance. Coatings and sealants made from urethane protect surfaces from abrasion, chemicals, and corrosion.

Urethane is also used as an elastomer in tires, rollers, and other impact-absorbing applications. This material is well-suited for these uses because it has high abrasion resistance and can withstand compression without deforming. The product is also used to make gaskets and o-rings because of its excellent resistance to chemicals and temperature extremes.

The Basics of Urethane Sheets

When it comes to understanding industrial polyurethane, it is important to first understand the basics of standard cast urethane sheets. Urethane is a polymer that can be either rigid or flexible and is known for its high resistance to wear and tear. This makes it an ideal material for a wide variety of applications, in industrial settings and beyond. By understanding the basics of urethane sheeting, you will be able to make better-informed decisions about their use in your own projects.

What Puts the Poly Into Polyurethane?

Urethane is flexible and malleable, making it perfect for item sizing and manufacturing. It is a polymer, which is a long chain of organic units that are connected to each other through chemical compounds and can be derived from both natural and synthetic sources. It is the material’s molecular structure, which consists of long chains of alternating organic units, that gives it physical properties like hardness and resilience.

The real strength of urethane, however, lies in its versatility. It can be molded, cast, or extruded into a variety of shapes and sizes. And, because of its tear resistance, it’s often used in material handling applications.

When it comes to plastics, polyurethane sheets are in a category of their own. That’s because this versatile material can be either rigid or soft, depending on how it’s made. Polyurethane is created by combining a polyol and isocyanate, and the ratio of these two ingredients combined with curing agents determines the hardness of the final product.

Polyurethane sheets are often used in applications where physical strength is a must. This kind of material is flexible and does not permanently deform, so it works well for things that need to bend or give, like chute liners or pads. For material handling, where durability is key and a high degree of longevity is required, polyurethane reigns supreme.

Durometer Ratings, Thickness, and Common Measurements

Urethane sheeting comes in a wide variety of standard durometer ratings, thickness, and common measurements. When choosing a urethane sheet for your application, it is important to consider the stocked inventory dimension tolerances. This can help to ensure you are getting the right product for the job that will also best suit your needs.

Durometer Rating

Polyurethane formulations cover a very broad hardness range, from very soft to very hard. The hardness range of a urethane sheet is measured from 40 Shore A to 75 Shore D. On the low end of the scale, Shore 00 urethanes have a gummy feel and are used in applications where flexibility and lower impact shock absorption are key. On the high end of the scale, shore D urethanes are much harder and are used in applications where abrasion resistance and durability are key.

Thickness

Cast urethane sheets are available in a wide variety of thicknesses, from 0.125″ to over 6″. These are measured in either English or metric units. When choosing the right durometer and thickness for your application, polyurethane flat sheet stock is available in thickness standard sizes. It is important to consider the weight of the object that will be resting on the urethane sheet as well as the desired level of thickness. This can help you determine whether you need a thin, flexible sheet, or a thick, rigid one.

Common Measurements of Urethane

Urethane sheets are conveniently available in standard stock size as well as custom sizes. Standard stock sizes are 48″ x 138″, 48″ x 120″, 48″ x 96″, and 48″ x 48″. These dimensions allow for easy handling and transportation of the sheets, which is ideal for many applications. Custom sizes are also available for those who need a specific size or shape for their project. This is to fit your specific application needs so you don’t have to worry about waste and can get the most out of your urethane sheet.

Urethane Sheets and Pigmentation

Standard cast urethane sheets can be made in a wide selection of custom colors to achieve the right look for your industrial application. In addition, urethane can be formulated to resist UV exposure, meaning that your custom colors will not fade over time. Urethane is also well-suited for applications requiring sharp edges. When it comes to industrial applications, urethane sheets offer a lot of advantages. With the ability to customize color and formulate for different purposes, urethane can be adapted to fit many needs.

Common Industrial Applications

As mentioned before, urethane sheets are often used in common industrial applications. These applications typically require a high degree of versatility, durability, and abrasion resistance. Whatever the application, urethane can be formulated to meet specific needs. It can withstand both high and low temperatures, making it ideal for a wide range of projects. Urethane also has excellent chemical resistance, which makes it a good choice for many industrial applications that involve harsh chemicals.

Liners & Covers

A good-quality urethane sheet will protect the surface to which it is applied. This is because urethane has high tear and impact resistance. It can resist abrasion, both from objects and from chemicals. Urethane sheets can be used to protect many different kinds of surfaces, including:

Metal

Urethane can be used to line and replace metal surfaces to protect them from wear and tear. It is much more durable than traditional plastics, and it will not tear or wear out as fast. When applied to metal, urethane can provide a long lasting buffer between media and the metal surface. This allows economical replacement and longevity for equipment.

Noise Abatement

It is often that a lot of noise is generated in industrial settings. From large factories to the mining industry, there always seems to be some form of metal on metal contact. This creates a lot of noise that is often distracting to employees. Urethane sheets can be used to provide a shock absorption pad between these metal surfaces which significantly reduces noise and wear.

Abrasive Material Handling

Urethane pads can be used to line surfaces that come into contact with abrasive media such as rocks, sand, coal, ore, and salt. We often see applications for sheet in the mining industry where large volumes of abrasive substances are processed through expensive equipment that needs protection. Another common application is with chute and hopper liners in the agriculture industry. Here, pu sheets line metal grain chutes and hoppers to protect against degradation.

Cast Urethane Products

Cast polyurethane products are created using a mixture of a prepolymer and a curing agent. Different prepolymers and different curatives can be combined in custom ratios that allow endless versatility. Because of this, polyurethanes can be manufactured in a vast hardness range from 10 Shore A to 75 Shore D. Additionally, a multitude of physical properties can be created through resin and curative combinations. This can include tailoring tear strength, chemical resistance, rebound, and compression set to specific jobs.

Depending on the project, cast urethanes can be used to create a plethora of products such as rollers, bumpers, wheels, bushings, etc. Though, one the most common uses is in stock shapes.

Some common stock cast urethane products include:

Sheet

Polyurethane sheet is most often used as a liner to protect surfaces from wear. It is extensively used in the metal forming industry, mining industry, and automotive industry. It is very versatile and can be ordered in custom sizes and thicknesses. This allows cost savings and easy emplacement.

rod

Rod made from polyurethane is an excellent replacement for traditional hard plastics like UHMW, HDPE, Nylon, and Delrin. Unlike these hard plastics, urethane rod is non-marring and will not deform when impacted. This is due to its elastics memory. Urethane rod can be manufactured in any length, diameter, and hardness.

tube

Urethane tube can be made in standard or customized ODs and IDs. Lengths are generally 12″ to 48″. Common applications include springs, roller covers, protective sleeves, and liners. Cast urethane tubes differ from extruded tube as they use a thermoset urethane versus a thermoplastic urethane. Thermoset urethanes have much better physical properties.

bar

Cast urethane bar stock is used as a machinable plastic for milling or turning urethane parts from stock. The advantage to polyurethane bar stock is that it outperforms traditional materials like UHMW. Furthermore, bar stock can be used in other applications such as bumper pads, squeegees, and belt scrapers.

custom sheet, bar, & rod

All cast urethane stock such as sheet, rods, tubes, and bars can be custom manufactured. Because of urethanes liquid starting state, it allows for endless versatility. Any durometer, size, shape, and color can be manufactured. Custom tubes, elbows, rods, blocks, and sheet are very common in the manufacture of polyurethane products. Orders can be filled fast and efficiently with little or no tooling costs.

Common Products that Use Urethane Sheets

Urethane is such a versatile material so there are many items that industry uses on a daily basis that are made with this polymer. Whether in the form of elastomer, foam, or castable liquid, urethane can be found in many places.

While most people don’t think about it, urethane is actually a vital material in many different industries and products. By understanding a little more about this material, you can begin to see just how important it is for your company.

These are a few examples of products that you have probably come into contact with something that contains urethane:

bench covers

Urethane sheet is often used as a bench top cover to prevent surface damage. Not only does it protect the table surface from marring, but it also protects the components on the table. Generally, assembly operations will use urethane pads to protect the components they are assembling on work tables.

liners

One of the most common uses for polyurethane sheets is as liners. It is often seen in the agriculture industry as grain chute liners and hopper liners. You will also see urethane sheets in the mining industry being used as equipment liners and blast pads (among others).

metal forming pads

Metal forming pads require a great deal of tensile strength to withstand repeated, multi-ton impact. Polyurethane pads are excellent for this application and provide a long-lasting alternative to rubber.

mining industry Pads

Urethane sheeting is a staple in the mining industry. It is use to protect metal machinery from abrasive media such as gravel, sand, ore, and salts. In general its use is in aggregate handling where it provides a cost effective buffer for wear.

Conclusion

As you now know, urethane flat sheet stock offers a variety of benefits for industrial applications. By being abrasion resistant, plus by having oil resistance, wear resistance, chemical resistance, and insulation properties, it be used in so many applications that will improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.

Not only can you guarantee the quality of your finished product, but you can also save time and money in the long run. By considering all the urethane sheets applications, it’s easy to see why they’re becoming increasingly popular in the industrial sector. If you’re looking for a reliable and cost-effective provider of urethane sheets, then be sure to reach out to Uniflex.

We are experts in custom-molded urethane and cast precision rubber sheets. We can design, create, and manufacture all under one roof, which allows us to keep pricing low and lead times short. Since 1979, we have specialized in rubber combined custom molded urethane, and we have been a reliable supplier to the aviation, automobile, electronics, military, oil, gas, mining, and marine sectors. We strive for client satisfaction and supply high-quality, low-cost custom-molded components on which industries all over the world have come to depend. Request a quote today to see how we can help you with your urethane sheets or cast polyurethane sheets needs. Contact us now, and let’s create something together.

No matter what kind of project or use you need it for, you can’t go wrong with polyurethane sheeting. It works for all sorts of applications and comes in a wide array of colors and durometers, making it one of the most versatile materials available. Manufactured from thermoset urethane material, polyurethane flat sheet stock cannot be reheated or reformed, but can be machined.

Polyurethane sheets have a superior physical properties and quality so they can outperform products that are manufactured from rubber and many other traditional materials. Furthermore, polyurethane sheets can be used in a vast array of industries, which is why they are consistently in high demand. They are also the preferred choice because of their relatively low production cost and short manufacturing lead times.

In this blog post, we share everything there is to know about polyurethane sheets. We also provide in-depth knowledge about why this ultra tough material is the ultimate option for all your industrial needs.

Why Urethane Sheets?

Urethane flat sheet stock has the ability to provide reliable performance and endure all kinds factors in different applications. It is one of the most preferred materials in a variety of industries. This is especially true for standard-cast polyurethane sheets, which can be used as media blast material, as well as chute liners, protective covers, and forming pads.

The Importance of Urethane Sheets in Manufacturing

Urethane characteristics are extremely versatile so this elastomer is used throughout the world in all kinds of industries for a variety of applications. There are many advantages polyurethane has over other materials; it is tougher, stronger, more adaptable, and more durable. It can provide better value compared to parts made from other materials which will often break, crack, swell, tear, and deteriorate.

Urethane as a Material

Urethane boasts a higher load-bearing capacity and can withstand a tremendous temperature range without becoming brittle or cracking. As a result, this impressive elastomer has resistance to many environmental hazards, including:

  • Abrasion
  • Compression
  • Impact
  • Oxygen and ozone attacks
  • Chemicals

Polyurethane sheets have many chemical compounds and can boast up to ten times higher abrasion resistance compared to other elastomers. It can even provide long-term water stability. As an abrasion-resistant material, it has excellent tear and tensile strength, plus a higher load-bearing capacity. Polyurethane sheeting is the ideal choice for a wide array of tough applications.

Depending on the usage, polyurethane flat sheet stock can be a better choice than metals because it’s a very resistant to wear. Its higher load-bearing capacity can be measured in tension, compression, and shear, where it can be made into polyurethane components that are thinner, lighter, and more durable. Because of these unique properties, the machinability of hard urethane is similar to both metals and plastics.

A Brief History of Urethane

Polyurethanes were first created in 1937 when Friedrich Bayer, a German chemist, developed Perlon U. It is known as the earliest prototype of the polyurethane polymer. It wasn’t until three years later in 1940 that the first successfully developed polyurethane elastomers appeared. Polyurethane elastomers had similar physical properties to rubber so they were often used as a replacement in many applications during World War II.

Later on, scientists discovered that synthesizing polyurethane and combining it with nylon resulted in a stretchable and lightweight material. In 1953, polyurethane foam was first commercially produced in the U.S. It was rigid and could be ideally used as insulation – although this changed when a cheaper and more flexible variant was introduced in 1956.

During the late 1950s, polyurethanes began to be used as adhesives and moldable urethanes were developed. This moldable material with elastic memory allowed for even more applications, which included flexible cushions. Today, development in polyurethane has been further refined to create more materials, including:

  • Polyurethane coating
  • Thermoplastics
  • Spandex fibers

Urethane Specifications

There are many reasons why polyurethane sheets are the go-to option in various industries. Urethane characteristics are almost boundless; below are the specifications for this highly versatile material.

Durometer Specifications

When considering the hardness and range of production behind urethane, it is one of the most versatile materials available. This material has a durometer measurement that can range from as hard as a bowling ball to as soft as a marshmallow. Many polyurethane flat sheet stocks can be graded across three different durometer standard stock sizes and can offer a full range of hardness, which can be seen below:

  • Shore OO: This scale is used to measure very soft materials.
  • Shore A: This scale is used to measure rubber as well as many other elastomers; it is the most common scale.
  • Shore D: This scale is used to measure harder materials such as rigid plastics.

With this scale in mind, you should also remember that a durometer standard stock size is only a general indicator of a material’s physical properties, but it won’t be able to accurately assess just how versatile urethane is. If you’re not looking for a certain hardness, you can look into other tools for measuring other properties, such as:

  • Shock-absorption
  • Rebound
  • Temperature resistance
  • Flex strength
  • Water / chemical resistance
  • Stretchability
  • Superior impact resistance

The durometer standard stock size is one of the most readily available metrics, but not the only one to consider when looking into polyurethane products.

Formulations and Their Effects

Polyurethanes are the result of a chemical reaction between an isocyanate and a polyol, creating a pre-polymer. This is then cross-linked to a curative, forming the polyurethane – this may seem like a simple and straightforward chemical formula, but there is a lot of room for variability and more complex results.

For example, thermoset polyurethanes are typically made up of Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) and Methylendiphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI). These are chemicals used to make many household products and offer good properties at both low and high temperatures.

Each of these unique combinations will create different chemical bonds and can result in different physical properties in the material. Moreover, there are many chemicals that can be added as curatives for polyurethanes, which opens up the possibility of creating something completely new.

With this many factors involved, it’s not hard to come up with an endless variety of combinations and formulations just by making small adjustments to the base formula. This is why product teams and engineers need to evaluate all of their urethane products and avoid choosing results according to just one or two criteria. Throughout the product development process, it’s imperative for creators to take the urethane formulation into account.

Chemical Resistance and Interaction with Oils, Hydrocarbons, and Solvents

Urethane is inherently oil resistant and solvent resistant, meaning anything made from polyurethane components will do well when used in applications that expose it to oil and fuel. One thing that can considerably influence urethane chemical resistance is the chemicals used to make it. As such, it is highly critical to understand these essential pieces of information about the environment and stresses that the product will be put under.

Knowing this ahead of time will ensure that users will have the right kind of formulation in the urethane they’re interested in and that it can answer their needs. Apart from chemicals, urethane’s resistance to various solvents can be affected by the duration of contact with the substance, different temperatures, and even the concentration of the substance.

When it comes to water, oil, and grease, urethane’s material properties can stay stable, with only a small amount of swelling in some cases. Furthermore, urethane can hold up its form against a wide range of chemicals, and is also solvent resistant, provided that the chemicals’ pH levels aren’t too basic or too acidic. Urethane components are most resistant to neutral pH levels.

Urethane in Manufacturing

You may already know how often urethane is used in manufacturing, but knowing further details can help you determine why it is the preferred choice. Below are just a few of the most common industries where you will see polyurethane flat sheet stocks in action.

Common Applications

Polyurethane sheets are an elastomeric material that come in varying colors and hardness ranges, with a standard size of up to around 6 inches thick. Variations in both the physical and mechanical properties can range from a rigid, high-density sheet – this will have a durometer measure of Shore D – to something that’s much softer. Because of their hardness and abrasion-resistant properties, polyurethane sheets will generally perform better against metal, plastic, and rubber components.

Moreover, polyurethane is known to handle fatigue well and has an excellent load-bearing capacity, is cut resistance, and has resistance to other environmental factors. The elastomeric composition of polyurethane flat sheet stock can be both flexible and rigid so it is commonly used in construction, where its resistance to the environment is heavily advantageous for wear resistance. Polyurethane sheets can be also combined with cast-in reinforcement materials, such as glass, graphite, and fiberglass for more applications.

Common Elastomer Applications

#1. Material Handling

Provides longevity in applications such as chute liners, hopper liners, and concrete forms.

#2. Metal Forming

Provides elastic strength and protection against compressive forces that are incurred during metal stamping and metal processing.

#3. Grain Handling

Used extensively in the agriculture industry as liners for grain bins, hoppers, elevator buckets, valves, and chutes.

#4. Aggregate

Provides excellent wear resistance against abrasive media such as sand, rocks, concrete, and ore. Generally used as a liner to protect metal components.

Other Non-Elastomer Applications

Industrial Settings

Rigid, low-density polyurethane has a wide range of uses, with the biggest one being in applications for thermal insulation. When a building is constructed, it is imperative to insulate the walls with low-density rigid polyurethane flat sheet stock to significantly reduce cooling and heating bills. This is possible because polyurethane sheets can keep the heat in during winter and out during the summer.

As a result, you will be able to cut carbon emissions from your home or commercial property while helping to limit the negative impact that expending energy will have on the planet. Furthermore, polyurethane flat sheet stock has a life span of more than five decades and won’t need any maintenance. As such, it is the ideal choice of material for those looking to build a new construction.

Residential Settings

Polyurethane sheets and products can be molded into foam that can be used in a wide variety of furniture. This kind of foam comes in different qualities, durability levels, firmnesses, and densities. Those with higher quality and density will often result in a higher price (usually sold per sheet by the quarter-inch).

Softer and more temporary foams are used more often for short-term pieces like those in baby mattresses. On the other hand, luxurious, top-of-the-line polyurethane sheets will usually be reserved for things like bay window cushions. Finally, the fabric found in standard car seats will often be made from polyurethane, because it is both durable and comfortable.

Advantages Over Other Materials

There are plenty of reasons why many people prefer polyurethane flat sheet stock over other materials. Here are just a few:

Very broad hardness range

Polyurethane products have a very broad hardness range based on the pre-polymers’ chemical and molecular structure. As a result, their hardnesses can range from anywhere between 20 Shore A to 85 Shore D.

Flexibility

Polyurethane sheeting can be very flexible and is the preferred choice for various applications. It has good recovery and elongation properties.

High load-bearing capacity

Because polyurethane can carry heavy loads in terms of both compression and tension, it can be used in all kinds of applications. While it may change in shape under huge loads, its elastic memory means it will always go back to its original shape once the load is removed.

Superior impact resistance

Polyurethane is an ideal solution in challenging projects because of its high tensile properties and high tear resistance.

Oil, grease, and water resistance

Polyurethane sheet can potentially last for many years when applied in subsea environments. Its properties also allow it to remain stable in oil, grease, and water with minimal swelling.

Wide resiliency range

Because it can be created to become hard, urethane products have high resiliency and may be a good electric insulation choice. If you’re looking for shock absorption, look for low rebound compounds with a resilience range between 10% to 40%. If you need quick recovery with your polyurethane flat sheet stock, look for high-frequency vibrations in compounds with a resilience range between 40% to 65%.

Mold, fungus, and mildew resilience

Many polymer-based polyurethanes don’t allow for growth of any kind, whether it’s fungal, mold, or mildew. This material is highly suitable for tropical environments. Furthermore, special additives can be added to improve resilience in polyurethane flat sheet stock and other related materials.

Strong bonding properties

These sheets can bond to many kinds of materials during the manufacturing process, including metals, wood, and other plastics. Polyurethane is the ideal partner for rollers, wheels, and inserts.

Great performance in harsh environments

Urethane products are highly resistant to extreme temperatures, including all kinds of tough environmental conditions. This is due to the chemicals used in their creation, which rarely cause degradation in the material.

Short production times

When compared to traditional thermoplastic materials, the urethane flat sheet stock option has a shorter lead time. It also has lower production costs compared to traditional materials when custom sheet sizes, colors, and durometers are required.

Cost Differences

When compared to other parts made from plastic, urethane parts will have a somewhat similar cost. However, making the casts for urethane products will cost less, since most casts will be made out of affordable metal. Other sheet extrusion methods may provide cost savings in mass but they require larger scale production volumes and do not provide the same physical properties as hot cast urethanes. In the long run, cast urethane sheet is more cost-effective than extruded urethane sheet because it will provide better physical properties and custom, low waste production.

Metal, another polyurethane competitor, is more expensive to manufacture. Casting metal cannot be done without the use of heavy-duty machines and welding processes. These extra steps aren’t needed for casting urethanes, which is much more straightforward.

When compared to rubber, polyurethane has higher material costs, but is less expensive to manufacture. At the point of purchase, polyurethane will cost slightly more than both synthetic and natural rubber. Be that as it may, polyurethane usually lasts longer than rubber materials.

Conclusion

Polyurethane flat sheet stock is among some of the most powerful, flexible, and versatile material available on the market today. It has useful chemical properties, it can be as soft or as hard as needed, it is abrasion resistant, oil resistant, and solvent resistant, and it can be used in many different projects, both industrial and residential. Additionally, the base formulation for the urethane flat sheet stock can be easily changed to serve any purpose the manufacturer needs and as a result, it has a near-infinite variety of combinations.

No matter what kind of application you wish to use your polyurethane sheeting for, you can be sure that you’re in good hands with Uniflex. Please give us a call at 248-486-6000 or contact us online directly through our website. We have experienced staff eager to help you plan out your next project and get the materials and parts you need!

Over the last 50 years, nearly everything about food has undergone a significant change – how we cook it, buy it, eat it, raise it, grow it, and package it. The modern food and beverage industry is much more focused on sanitation, hygiene and safety in their production, packaging, and distribution practices to eliminate the risk of contamination.

In this post, we will take a look at some of the vital facts you need to know about food-grade urethane pertaining to the food processing industry today.

Transition From Cheap Plastic To Food Grade Urethane

As seals and gaskets are two of the most significant components in almost all food processing systems and equipment, they also have undergone major modifications. Instead of using the seals and gaskets made from standard plastic materials – which was the norm up until a couple of decades ago – the food processing manufacturers are now making use of food-grade urethane.

This change occurred after the industry leaders realized that most of the sanitary issues and food contamination are caused by gasket/sealing units made from subpar quality materials. While there are many options when it comes to gasket materials, such as Viton, silicone, and EPDM, food-grade urethane or polyurethane is the only FDA-approved material due to several reasons:

  • It has high abrasion and impact resistance and will not crack, tear, or break easily.
  • It has an extremely high load-bearing capacity.
  • It has exceptional tear-resistance and high-tensile properties.
  • It is capable of demonstrating high mechanical strength even at exceedingly low temperatures.
  • It is resistant to harsh environmental factors involving acids, oils, solvents, and heat.
  • It possesses a wide molecular structural variability.
  • It lasts much longer than other gasket/sealing materials such as plastic, silicone, rubber, fiberglass, felt, and neoprene.
  • It prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and fungi even when it is in constant contact with edible or liquid items.
  • It is resistant to aromatic hydrocarbons, and vegetable and mineral oils.
  • It offers superior performance at temperatures ranging from -30°F to 220°F

Choose FDA-Compliant, Food-Grade Urethane For Your Food Processing Applications

Under section #177.21000, subpart F, food grade urethane is acceptable for repeated contact with edible items. If you’re looking for non-allergenic, non-marking, and non-toxic material for your food-related operations, FDA-approved polyurethane is the perfect choice.

In addition to gaskets and seals, applications include:

  • Transfer systems and hoppers
  • Feet and bumpers
  • Wheels and bumpers
  • Inspection tables
  • Chutes and chute liners
  • Conveyor systems
  • Sprockets
  • Belt scrapers
  • Custom molded parts

Contact Us For Quality, FDA-Approved, Food Grade Urethane & Polymers

The Food & Drug Administration has set a limited list of approved polymers that are considered safe to be used in the food processing industry and are allowed to be used for parts that come in contact with food items.

Our food-grade urethane components are certified by the FDA for both dry and wet applications. This means that regardless of what type of environment you are processing food in, Uniflex Inc. polyurethane products are the solution you need.

If you have any questions, you can call us at 248-956-6765 or request a quote online.

Rubber seals prevent the unwanted leakage of liquids and gases in various components. For example, they are used on pumps to keep them from leaking out too much oil or developing air bubbles that could cause problems with their operation. Rubber seals may also be utilized on valves, vacuum seals, pipe joinery, and much more.

However, not all seals are built equal. The design of a rubber seal has numerous components to ensure that it performs well in any environment. An O-ring, for instance, is a common industrial rubber seal that relies on mechanical compressive deformation to function as a barrier between mating surfaces, restricting liquid or gas flow in specific regions.

As a result, several elements must be considered in the way an O-ring shape is designed to ensure that the compressive force is sustained and that a good seal is achieved. Here are a few more facts about these rubber components you should be aware of:

They Are Your Best Bet Against Damages

Rubber seals have many different characteristics that make them useful in a variety of situations. Flexibility, elasticity, strength, and friction are just a few of the properties that come to mind when thinking about rubber. They also help to prevent vibration and are airtight.

Good quality rubber seals are the key to avoiding water damage. The long-lasting benefits and ability to prevent leaks make rubber seals popular in an extensive range of industries. This includes the construction industry, where they can be used for protecting against moisture exposure that may cause corrosion in metal parts below ground level. These rubber products are also utilized in preventing weathering damages.

They Are Useful Across Many Industries

The durability of rubber makes it a favorable and stable material for many applications across different industries. This versatility means that even with changes occurring in the environment such as frequent temperature fluctuations or exposure to chemicals, you can be sure your product or machine parts will last longer than expected!

Rubber seals are an excellent option for any company in sectors that utilize a lot of machinery to manufacture products. They are ideal for firms involved in mining, manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, and so on.

They Are Different From Rubber Gaskets

Gaskets are helpful in any application where you need to seal off spaces. You can find them in home appliances, construction tools – even your car! These rubber parts come as rings or sheets made from a soft rubber that contracts when heated so it fits snuggly.

On the other hand, rubber seals include a variety of different types. O-rings, valve stem, rotary, and mechanical seals are examples of these broader categories. They are utilized in more active applications such as motors, engines, pumps, and rotary shafts in contrast to a gasket, which is used simply for static applications.

Seals are generally flat and round, with a slanted inner rubber ring surrounded by a metal or plastic outer ring. The tilted angle of the seal’s inner layer aids in dynamic applications’ resistance to liquid leakage. They are frequently utilized to prevent leaks between two moving components, as well as to prevent particle and contaminant intrusion into the system.

Contact Us

Rubber seals are a popular choice for sealing applications in a variety of sectors since they provide a high-quality and comprehensive solution to many problems. Uniflex Inc. is a leading supplier of rubber seals and other rubber products. Why not contact us to discover the ideal solution for your needs?

We’re also available to give you advice on which sort of seal would work best for your specific circumstances. Call us at 248-486-6000 or email us at sales@uniflexinc.com and our experienced and dedicated staff will assist you.