Urethane manufacturers fabricate molded urethane to produce many different products. Urethane, technically referred to as polyurethane (or PU), is an elastic polymer, or elastomer, containing urethane carbamate links that may be fabricated or molded into low-density flexible foam low-density rigid foam, soft solid elastomers (gel), and hard solid plastics. Urethane manufacturers have an advantage over plastic, rubber, and metal manufacturers due to the many advantages urethane has over those materials.
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Applications for Urethane
As urethane manufacturers note, their product has higher abrasion, cut, tear, oil, ozone and radiation resistance, greater load bearing ability, broader density range and better colorability than rubber, better noise reduction and resilience, greater abrasion, corrosion and impact resistance, more flexibility, and is less costly to fabricate than metal. Urethane manufacturers typically produce different urethane products including cellular suspension units, press tool blocks, grommets, bearings, shock absorber bushes, rope pulley linings, conveyor belt scraper blades, and abrasion resistant strips and hydraulic seals. With such a broad range of products, urethane suppliers are able to meet the demands of many industries, including civil engineering, mining, industrial manufacturing, construction, engineering, automotive, footwear, food processing, and athletic equipment.
Urethane Manufacturing Processes
Urethane manufacturers offer a wide variety of molded urethane services and processes. One process would be open urethane casting. The pre-polymer and curative are heated and mixed together, poured into an open cavity, and cured without applying pressure. Closed urethane casting, or injection molding, is another process in which the pre-polymer and curative are heated and mixed together, then injected into the closed cavity through small holes. Able to be molded through either process, the raw materials of polyurethane exist in a liquid state, allowing easy mixing and measuring in preparation for molding. Raw materials react with one another to form a pre-polymer. During the urethane molding process, a curative is introduced to the pre-polymer in order to complete the polymeric transition. Accelerated by heat and/or pressure, the mixture is poured into a mold cavity and cured to form the final polymer. The molding process is only the beginning, next is the fabrication process. Many urethane casters offer custom fabrication processes for unique applications in which urethane serves better than regular plastic because it has higher impact, low temperature, cold flow, radiation and abrasion resistance, better elastic memory, noise reduction capabilities, greater resilience, and provides lower cost tooling. In addition, the cost of urethane molding is on par with the cost of rubber and typical polymer molding, giving urethane manufacturers an economic advantage as well.