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

What Is Machining Cast Urethane Parts?

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

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

Things to Consider Before Machining Cast Urethane Parts

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

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

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

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

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

How The Urethane Casting Process Works

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

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

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

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

Do you need a grating material that is reliable, safe, and durable? Look no further – molded fiberglass grating might be the perfect material for your production needs. Fiberglass grating is a lightweight, strong, chemical-resistant, and non-sparking material produced by a combination of fiberglass and resin. It doesn’t rust or corrode – unlike steel grating – making it ideal for usage in corrosive environments.

There are two types of fiberglass grating: molded and pultruded. In this post, we are going to discuss some of the relevant facts you must know about molded fiberglass grating and what makes it an excellent choice for manufacturers.

What Is Molded Fiberglass Grating?

Made from interspersed directional layers of continuous glass fiber, molded fiberglass grating also contains resin, which makes it corrosion-resistant. Since its strength is bi-directional, the material can endure cutouts in the panel for equipment without any requirement for extra support around the opening.

In addition to being chemical-resistant, it is also slip-resistant. Adding grit can further enhance this feature. Interlacing pre-wetted, glass-reinforced strands inside a liquid resin matrix in what we call a one-piece construction process makes molded fiberglass grating. The removal of the molded grid from the mold after the resin matrix has cured is then possible. This ensures that all glass strands have been thoroughly infused with resin.

What Is Molded Fiberglass Grating Used For?

It is used in many applications across several industries around the world.

  • Chemical storage
  • Boat platforms and piers
  • Ramps
  • Flooring
  • Stair treads
  • Trench covers
  • Bridges and tunnels
  • Elevated walkways and crossover platforms

Benefits of Using Molded Fiberglass Grating

The following attributes make this grating a preferred material:

Corrosion Resistance: If you’re looking for a grating material for usage in a severely corrosive environment, then molded fiberglass grating is the way to go. The complete resin coverage and one-piece fabrication further adds to the already-excellent chemical resistance of the materials. You also get exceptional resistance to bacterial growth, humidity, and moisture for medical and food-related applications.

Strength: Molded grating has bi-directional strength thanks to its interwoven square mesh construction. This gives it an incredible loading versatility compared to standard rectangular mesh.

Safety Surface: It also offers a skid-resistant concave surface as an option for worker safety considerations. You can open the door for a molded-in grit surface to make sure your factory workers have sure footing.

Cost-Effective: Molded fiberglass grating produces less waste during installation, thanks to its unique, sturdy construction. It is also low-maintenance and long-lasting compared to other options.

Contact Us for Quality Fiberglass Grating Solutions

At Uniflex Inc., we provide both pultruded and fiberglass grating solutions which are cost-effective, impact-resistant, fire-retardant, and exclusively made in the United States. Our fiberglass grating is also completely compatible with the ANSI/ACMA/FGMC standards.

Our fiberglass grating solutions are available in a variety of configurations and colors whilst strategically producing stock quantities, allowing us to offer the most competitive prices in the industry. Also, our fiberglass grating services are fully-customizable regardless of how complex your configurations might be.

If you would like to talk to our experts regarding a particular type of grating that might suit your specific application, you can reach out to us at 248-956-6765 or contact us online.

The performance and lifespan of your custom molded polyurethane parts depend on several factors, including tolerances, formulation, quality, and design. If any of these factors are not optimal, your component’s performance and quality will suffer as well. To make sure you get the highest quality custom molded polyurethane parts, you need to work with a reliable manufacturer who knows what they are doing:

What To Look For When Selecting A Custom Molded Polyurethane Manufacturer

Custom Formulations with Premium-Grade Raw Materials

Polyurethane can be customized in a variety of ways. You want to work with a manufacturer that can create custom formulations to meet your unique needs. That should especially be the case if you are using premium raw materials. You can use lower grade materials to keep the upfront costs low, but remember, they will cost you more in the end. Since they have lower physical properties, lower grade materials have a shorter life and are less resistant to abrasion.

Providing Assistance With Product Design

It’s possible that your design looks good on paper, but it’s not really feasible to make. Or, maybe there is a more cost-effective way to manufacture it that you are not aware is an option. The manufacturer you choose should be willing to provide the strategic guidance to ensure the most cost-effective way of creation with the longest lifespan of your custom molded polyurethane part. They should have a dedicated team that can:

  • Examine your product sketches.
  • Provide recommendations to increase the lifecycle of parts.
  • Understand your product’s environment and how it will work.

Capability To Handle Unique Tolerance Requirements 

With some products, there is little to no tolerance flexibility, while with others tight tolerances may not be a requirement. Make sure the manufacturer has small standard tolerances, so you:

  • Won’t incur upcharges in pricing.
  • Won’t need additional customization.

Also, keep in mind that some custom molded polyurethane products need tighter tolerances than the standard. Based on this, you may want to talk with the manufacturer to make sure they have the machining ability required to meet these tight tolerances.

In-House Mold Making

If the custom molded polyurethane manufacturer also offers in-house molding, they eliminate the need for you to use a third party. This will help you reduce costs while also obtaining faster turnaround times. In other words, in-house molding provides you the flexibility that is essential for faster fulfillment on future orders and timely delivery of your parts.

Choose a Dependable Manufacturer For Custom Molded Precision Polyurethane Products

High-quality materials and an experienced tech team are the two critical elements for the production of superior polyurethane products. Substandard service and products lead to substandard results, costing more over time and creating more work for you.

Since 1979, Uniflex Inc. has been a leader in custom molded polyurethane casting and molding for a wide range of industries. The creation of every product we make is precise, using only the best quality materials no matter how small or big the project is. We go the extra mile to make sure the end result matches the detailed specifications exactly.

If you have any questions about the different types of custom urethane products we make, please call us at 248-486-6000 or request a quote here.

The usage of neoprene rubber is possible in a wide variety of applications, such as automotive fan belts, electrical insulation, orthopedic braces (for the knee and wrist), laptop sleeves, and more. Due to its incredible resistance to oil, tear, abrasion, and weather, it is a particular favorite material among manufacturers in the automotive industry; they use it to make steering and braking system components, shock absorber seals, hose covers, and more.

In this post, let us discuss in detail all the different ways of usage of neoprene rubber around the world. Also, we will discuss what makes it such an amazing investment for manufacturers.

Advantages of Neoprene Rubber

Polychloroprene, a compound that is more commonly known as neoprene rubber, is a type of synthetic rubber made by polymerizing chloroprene. When used for insulation and sealing, this material provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Resistance to damage from flexing and twisting
  • Resistance to temperature ranges between -35°C and +100°C
  • Weather, ozone, and water resistance
  • Resistance to oils, greases, and petroleum-based products
  • Polymerization; possible to use to make several custom compounds with different material properties

In addition to great insulation properties, neoprene rubber has exceptional resistance against solvent damage and is extremely chemically stable. It can provide protection against abrasions and vibrations, add cushioning, and handle adhesives as well.

Different Applications of Neoprene Rubber

Neoprene rubber is used in countless industries across the globe, but the most common industries include:

  • Aerospace
  • Food Equipment (FDA-Approved)
  • Stainless Steel
  • Healthcare and medical
  • Defense
  • Mobile technology

Its usage also happens when it comes to making mass-produced reliable wetsuits, gasoline hoses, tire sidewalls, seals, tubing, cable jackets, and gaskets. You will also find it as a base resin in adhesives, coatings, and insulations in the electrical industry, thanks to its reasonable price and wide range of useful properties.

Customized For Your Unique Applications

Generally speaking, neoprene rubber is not expensive when it’s mass-produced as a standard elastomer. But some applications call for unique rubber solutions where specific certifications and approvals may be a requirement. Here are a few examples:

SMP 800C: This test measures the risk of toxic gas generation in a material. Neoprene rubber has high amount of chlorine which can be hazardous when heated up and breathed in. So, its customization must be such that it can pass this test. That goes especially for applications in the public transit industry such as trains, buses, and metros.

ASTM E162: This test estimates and compares the surface flammability of a substance when its exposure is to a set level of radiant heat. Neoprene rubber has low flammability.

UL 94: This test determines an elastomer’s tendency to either spread or extinguish a flame once ignited. It is designed specifically for plastic and rubber materials found in electrical enclosures and can be applied to customized neoprene rubber.

Choose High Quality Neoprene Rubber Products from Uniflex Inc.

At Uniflex Inc., we can design and manufacture custom-fabricated neoprene rubber products from sealing and insulation to gaskets and orthopedic braces. We specialize in molded and precision die cut neoprene rubber seals and gaskets for a wide range of applications and industries worldwide.

If you are looking for a supplier for which customer service and product quality come first, drop us a message here or call us at 248-486-6000.

Polyurethane rubber has extraordinary wear resistance and it is easy to use. But, it’s the ability to poured and sprayed onto/brushed on prepared surfaces that makes it a preferred choice to make molds. Polyurethane rubber molds are not only cheap but we can also use them to manufacture highly intricate products.

Benefits of Using Polyurethane Rubber

Polyurethane is essentially liquid rubber which is largely used to make smooth molds for concrete and wax. Here are some of the key benefits of using it for molds:

  • Polyurethane is usually less expensive and provides higher abrasion-resistance when compared to silicone molds.
  • Concrete molds made from polyurethane rubber don’t shrink and are available in a wide range of hardness.
  • These molds are reusable; which is one of the reasons manufacturers prefer them over other materials.
  • Polyurethane rubber molds offer unmatchable flexibility for both small and large applications, from soaps and candles to gigantic industrial architectural components.
  • They are also used to make countertops, soap dishes, drainboards, sinks, and GRFC concrete statues.

However, it is important to follow certain guidelines when using polyurethane rubber to make molds. That is in order to ensure you end up with the best product.

How to Use Polyurethane Rubber to Make Concrete Molds the Right Way

Concrete molds can be used for manufacturing technical or unique shapes from liquid concrete. The polyurethane rubber molds are perfect for this purpose. It is possible to use these molds for concrete for hard rubber stamp concrete as well as pourable concrete.

We recommend using a 75-60 or 74-45 material for concrete countertops. The first number exhibits the Shore A hardness. A 45 is quite soft while a 60 is nearly the hardness of a car. To make the mold, the polyurethane rubber can be sprayed or brushed on to the model or poured against a well-sealed model to create a mold for the countertop. We usually recommend poured blocked molds for concrete.

You can use spray-on or brush-on material but then you’ll need to come back once the rubber cures and add a “mother mold” or shell so the rubber can support the concrete during casting and retain its shape. This shell – ideally – would have to be made from polyurethane. Making poured molds can be a better option instead of sprayed/brushed on because it takes less skills to make and is more durable.

Polyurethane rubber molds can virtually last forever and allow you to make hundreds of castings – as long as you use the proper release agent and keep them out of direct sunlight. The type of release agent you use will depend on your finishing technique. Whether you want to pop a perfect slab or grind and grout it, the method will determine what kind of release agent you use and how you use it.

Contact Uniflex Inc. For Affordable Custom Polyurethane Rubber Molds

Can’t find the polyurethane rubber concrete molds to fit your project’s requirements? Uniflex Inc. can create molds based on your unique requirements and specifications. Our designers and engineers will work with you to fully customize the mold you need for any type of application.

Polyurethane’s excellent ability to adhere to metal, and our total fabrication processes allow our molds to encase metal fortifying substructures while maintaining a durable exterior to help with the de-molding process. For more information, send us a message here or call us at 248-486-6000.

Silicone rubber is a type of rubber-like material (elastomer) that contains silicone, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Several industries around the world widely use it due to its strength and versatility. From the cooking pan you use to make your omelet to the soles of your favorite pair of sneakers – many things contain silicone rubber.

Here’s an overview of some industries that utilize this durable and affordable material:

Electronics Industry

Modern telecommunications, computer, and electrical power distribution technologies would not have been able to advance in such a massive way without silicone. The usage of this incredible material is wide; we use it to close, link, and compress every component from semiconductors and microchips to complicated circuit boards.

Silicone rubber protects electronic parts from damaging humidity, heat, rust, salt, and friction in airplanes, cars, appliances, and computers. Thanks to its shielding properties, manufacturers use it to make a plethora of electronic systems, assemblies, mechanics, and devices.

Construction Industry

Manufacturers of construction materials, as well as builders, use silicone rubber to make varnishes, cement, and sealants due to its ability to make the finished product last longer.

Silicone adhesives are capable of bonding a variety of materials together like plastics, steel, granite, glass, and concrete. This allows for innovative feats of engineering and construction, such as suspended/bent assemblies or histrionic glass frontages.

Sealants made from silicone rubber guarantee that the materials will stay attached and resistant to external elements like strong winds and even earthquakes. Coverings and sealants also prevent pollution, UV radiation, sunlight, corrosion, heat, and moisture. They also prevent other chemicals to damage the materials and linkages.

Paints and Coatings

Have you ever wondered by cookware and bakeware made with silicone rubber are considered to be the most durable? That’s because the silicone leads to a non-stick, elastic surface; which is easy to clean and doesn’t interfere with the odors and flavors of the food.

Baking mats, muffin molds, and cake pans can directly go from the freezer to the dishwasher, microwave, or oven without having any impact on the quality of the food.

Healthcare Industry

Another great thing about silicone rubber is that it is very easy to sterilize. And, it doesn’t cause irritation to the body. This is why it is used to make devices for intravenous, internal, and external medical purposes. It also softens most drugs so they can be smeared without any slippery residue, helping surgeons form a closure that protects injuries during the healing process.

In some medical devices such as heart pacemakers and drug distribution systems, the silicone plumbing helps reduce the risk of infection. Lubricants containing silicone provide maximum comfort during the insertion of devices and spines. The material is also able to accurately determine the skin’s steadiness and provide exceptional cushioning so the easing in the prosthetics is possible.

Building Restoration

Silicone rubber also helps re-establish historical landmarks and buildings without affecting the consistency of the original construction material. Glues and sealants fortify the weather-resistance and strength of the buildings and junctions. The even application of silicone rubber coatings is also possible so they don’t smudge or pigment.

Leading Silicone Rubber Supplier with 40+ Years of Experience

With over 4 decades in the industry, Uniflex Inc. has been able to achieve something in the rubber manufacturing and molding industry that few companies can claim to have done. We have a wealth of experience. And, knowledge pertaining to designing, engineering, and manufacturing silicone rubber products for a variety of industries. Call us at 248-486-6000 or contact us online to know more about our rubber manufacturing services.

When browsing the market for a rubber molding manufacturer, you need to consider several factors like you budget, the degree of customization you need, any industry standards you need to adhere to, and so on.

Then you need to think about the manufacturer – do they have a good reputation in the industry? How much experience do they have? Can they guarantee superior product quality? Do they offer a variety of rubber molding services that you can rely on for your future business operations?

At Uniflex Inc., we have 40+ years of experience in providing rubber molding services to industries like transportation, construction, aerospace, healthcare and medicine, automotive manufacturing, and more. If you’re looking for a trusted partner with a solid reputation and proven results to back it up, check out our wide range of rubber molding services.

Injection Rubber Molding

This process involves collecting raw rubber material (stock), which we then put it into a hopper that’s suspended over a conveyance belt. Then, the release of the stock follows together with processing via a channel whose equipment consists of a turning screw.

As the stock reaches the end of this channel, the complete melting of it happens due to a combination of the friction caused by the screw’s motion and the heating components inside the channel. A mold cavity lies at the end of the channel into which the injection of the liquid happens. Once the rubber cools and hardens inside the mold, its removal follows.

Compression Rubber Molding

This process involves pre-weighing, pre-measuring, and pre-heating the stock before inserting it into a pre-shaped mold cavity. Then, the closure of the mold follows in order to compress and squeeze the stock until it expands to take on the mold’s shape. Once the product cools and hardens, its removal is possible. The compression process is usually followed up by another process to remove the excess flash or material.

This is the cheapest way to manufacture large, intricate products.

Liquid Injection Rubber Molding

This process is pretty similar to the regular injection molding described above with one main difference: liquid stock is used as the raw material. The machinery used in the process also contains a metered pump as its equipment. It helps regulate and control the flow of the stock.

This pump releases the liquid, which is then mixed with some additives. Then we use a nozzle to inject the mixed stick into a shaped mold. The mold is closed tightly with clamps and an appropriate amount of pressure. Plus, the application of the heat follows in order to create the desired product.

With liquid injection rubber molding process, the creation of products is quicker since we don’t need to liquefy the stock first. Plus, the molded products require little to no finishing once complete.

Insert Rubber Molding

In this process, we form or mold rubber components around non-rubber inserts. Some of the most common insert products include surgical tubes and knife blades.

Contact Uniflex Inc. For Quality Custom Rubber Molding Products Made In US

Uniflex Inc is a leading rubber molding supplier in the US, offering competitive pricing and fast delivery for customized products. To know more about how we can design and mold your custom products, give us a call at 248-486-6000 or reach out to us online.