Because of their beneficial physical and chemical properties, urethane bumpers are utilized for many applications spanning a wide range of industries. Some examples of these applications include bicycle seat shock absorbers, bumpers for conveyor belt systems, industrial washing machine bumpers, hydraulic cylinder bumpers, and shock absorbers for electrical parts. These bumpers are an incredibly versatile component because of the exceptional properties of urethane. Urethane allows for countless customization options for any components made from the material. For example, urethane is very tough, durable, and resistant to many chemicals, but the level of hardness and the level of resistance to certain chemicals can be adjusted to suit the desired application and all of its requirements.
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Advantages of Urethane Bumpers
Urethane is the most highly recommended and sought after material used to manufacture bumpers. Hardness and chemical resistance is just the beginning when it comes to the advantageous properties of urethane. In addition to these properties, urethane also has excellent resistance to impact, abrasion, cuts, and tears. Urethane has a high level of resilience, meaning that a significant amount of energy is required to deform urethane and prevent all possibility of recovery from the impact. Objects that can come in contact with bumpers may have sharp edges, may hit the bumper at high speed, and in general, put the bumpers at a greater risk of wear and tear. Therefore, urethane bumpers will not chunk off or break in more abrasive applications. Urethane can be made at varying levels of softness, which can enable manufacturers to accommodate more fragile products. A urethane bumper can safely cushion delicate items that travel along a conveyor belt as they are moved from place to place. During the casting process, urethane can be easily and permanently bonded to metal, cloth, wood, and other structural elements. The bond strength can even exceed the tear strength of the urethane material itself. In extreme conditions, the urethane will fail before anything else. In the most abrasive of applications, it can outperform mild steel by up to four times and rubber compounds up to ten times.
Making Urethane Resistant to UV Radiation
Urethane has excellent temperature stability and is resistant to electricity, noise, UV radiation, and vibration. Urethane has a certain degree of resistance and conductivity to electricity, making it a popular material to protect certain assemblies from electrical exposure and damage. If a urethane bumper is used for an outdoor application, UV radiation can degrade urethane over time. However, certain measures can be taken to make urethane more resistant to ultraviolet rays. One option is to add color pigmentation to the urethane. Certain pigments can absorb ultraviolet light better than others, protecting urethane against UV-related reactions. It is also possible for UV stabilizers to be added to the urethane for more extreme cases. Another option is to choose an aliphatic urethane compound, which is less susceptible to UV degradation at the molecular level. One drawback to aliphatic urethane compounds is that the raw materials are more expensive than regular urethane, and the curing cycle is much longer. Both of these factors can significantly decrease the rate of production and increase its cost, so it is important to decide whether or not it is necessary. The high load bearing capacity of urethane can enable urethane bumpers to withstand high-frequency vibrations. Therefore, it is important to consider the natural frequency, the frequency ratio, and the vibration damping effect of the urethane material. Urethane bumpers are highly favored over those made of plastic, fiberglass, or metal. Plastic is not easily repaired, fiberglass is less flexible and more prone to cracking, and metal can add a substantial amount of weight.
Customizing Urethane Bumpers
Because of the countless ways that urethane can be fabricated, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with all aspects of the applications for which you want to utilize a urethane bumper. Almost every physical property of urethane can be adjusted to some degree. Urethane manufacturers offer a wide range of secondary operations, such as cutting, sawing, drilling, grinding, and milling the product to ensure that it meets tolerance requirements. Additionally, urethane is highly economical for prototyping and low volume production. Many manufacturers can use urethane prototype pieces for testing purposes at a reasonable cost. Mold making and tooling costs for urethane components are significantly lower than for other types of materials. Because of the flexibility and low cost of urethane, an experienced urethane manufacturer will be ready and willing to assist you in finding the urethane bumper that suits your specifications perfectly.