Polyurethane vs Rubber

A very frequently asked question is which is the better choice: polyurethane or rubber? With this debate on polyurethane vs rubber, there is often a lot of industry bias associated. Polyurethane molding companies will say polyurethane is better whereas rubber molding companies will say rubber is better.  Coming from a company that does both, the simple answer to this question is it all depends on the application.

For some applications polyurethane is the correct choice and for others rubber is the correct choice.  For example, if you were debating on choosing a polyurethane seal vs a rubber seal for an application in an exhaust manifold that had an operating temperature of 500F, you would most definitely be choosing silicone (technically a type of rubber) over polyurethane.  However, if you had a more dynamic application such as with bushings, spacers, or bumpers, then you would be much better off choosing polyurethane (depending on chemical exposure).

The key takeaway is that polyurethane and rubber have their own specific niches that they fit into.  One may perform better in certain situations than the other and vice versa.  What needs to be realized is that there are many different grades of rubber and polyurethane that are designed for specific applications, and it is often best to consult with professionals to decide which material is best for your specific application.

Please reference our technical data page for more information regarding polyurethane and rubber.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give us a call at (248) 486-6000 or send us a message. We have an experienced staff that is always willing to lend support.