Polyurethane Casting & Moulding

Polyurethanes (PUs) are in a polymer class of their own. Polyether or polyester polyurethanes can be made depending on the choice of co-monomers used to produce them. PUs form a considerable part of the high-performance rubbers and plastics family. They combine the desired benefits of rigid materials with the elasticity of rubbers, bridging the gap between rubbers and plastics in the many industry sectors served by these versatile polymers.

PU rubber used in our polyurethane casting processes can easily be coloured, unlike regular millable rubbers and still exhibit better abrasion properties. Special materials can be added to obtain specific properties such as electrical conductivity. Polyether PUs are more resistant to hydrolysis than their polyester counterparts, giving them better water resistance.

In general, PU rubber is highly abrasion-resistant, from a hardness of 65 Shore A through to 75 Shore D! They are resistant to oxidation, ozone, sunlight & petroleum-based fuels & oils. PUs are generally considered to be chemical resistant polymers. Strong acids, alkalis and some strong solvents are to be avoided. PUs find continuous use in temperatures of up to 90°C with excursions to as high as 120°C. The resilience of PUs vary dramatically & can be tailored for specific applications.

Relevant Industries

Our PU, Sorbothane, has good vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics. This makes it very effective as an acoustic damper. Sorbothane can also be bonded to other materials such as PTFE and metals. This enables our engineers to produce high-level abrasion-resistant parts in a range of hardness colours through proprietary mixtures. Two industries where PUs’ overall ability to resist abrasion, heat, solvents and oil make it the polymer of choice are oil & gas and automotive. PUs’ damping properties make it ideal for drive belts, conveyor belt systems & assembly lines in some applications. Typically the industries we support with polyurethane casting include the following:

PUs are amongst the select materials that are lightweight & durable enough to withstand the extreme forces present during driving. During polyurethane casting, these thermosetting polymers are uniquely capable of mitigating the punishing physical forces & temperature swings that cars are often subjected to.

PUs provide an alternative to rubber bushings, which tend to wear. Bushings provide a contact layer between two surfaces in a rotor connection. These have to be extremely durable & of low friction. PUs are highly resistant to abrasive forces & can be moulded with smooth surfaces of low friction. For these reasons, PU bushings located in engines & transmissions are more durable than their general rubber counterparts.

PUs are considered the natural choice for the oil & gas industry due to its cost-effectiveness & durability. Wear & tear are critical - oil & gas extraction is punishing. The sector demands durability, reliability & the ability to handle some of the most demanding environments imaginable.

PUs withstand formidable levels of corrosiveness, pressure, abrasion, impact & heat. They maintain stability in extreme downhole environments & as a coating inside pipelines responsible for moving sour gases & other corrosive substances.

Few materials can be moulded into as many components as polyurethane. Bushings, clamps, gears, liners, nozzles, pads, rollers, rings, seals, scrapers, tube  - PU rubber can be fabricated into all these, with bespoke additions if needed. 

The margin for error in the aerospace industry is zero. Materials for applications in the sky, stratosphere & space are required to perform without fault. Rubber materials are proven to withstand the demanding stresses & temperature variations needed for the environment the products find service in.

DLR designs the rubber compound, parts & tooling, enabling the products to maintain their properties when subjected to the extremes of the operating temperature range. The rubber can be formulated on-site to meet your specific physical properties & colour requirements.

Polyurethane FAQs

CAN POLYURETHANE MOULDED RUBBER BE MADE IN ANY OTHER COLOUR THAN BLACK?

Yes! All rubbers or elastic materials are available in a range of colours.

Depending on the application, we would recommend certain polymers that will retain their colour in service. Some polymers discolour and/or fade under the influence of Ultra Violet (UV) & artificial lighting, but we can advise on this.

Carbon black is widely used as a reinforcing filler that renders the parts black in colour - it is cost-effective & efficient at providing the correct balance of processing & physical properties required for any given application.

Non-black mineral fillers such as silicates, silicas, clays, and calcium carbonates, to name a few, can be used to produce coloured or non-black rubbers - products can be made colourfast at a cost.

CAN POLYURETHANE BE USED OUTDOORS?

All of the products from our polyurethane casting processes can be used outdoors. 

Thanks to the high levels of durability and weather resistance associated with polyurethanes, they’re perfect for use outside. This even includes environments of high temperatures and altitudes.

CAN POLYURETHANE BE RECYCLED?

As a rubber, polyurethane can be ground up and reconstituted into something different.

Rubber can be divided into two main categories: thermoset & thermoplastic (TPE, TPV, TPR). 

Thermoplastic rubbers can be used, reused, or recycled. However, they are generally used at ambient temperatures and for consumer applications.

Thermoset rubbers are either discarded after first use or ground up and reconstituted into something different and of lower value.

Thermoplastic materials are easier to recycle than their thermoset counterparts - thermoplastics products are formed by a two-way reaction, whilst thermoset rubbers are made using a one way, non-reversible reaction.

What We Do

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Tailor-Made Sheeting

At DLR Elastomer, we have an extensive range of proprietary and custom designed polymeric sheeting.

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Bespoke Rubber Moulding

From large sized to complex shaped mouldings, we develop bespoke products for customer’s applications.

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Polyurethane Casting & Moulding

A long lasting and shock absorbing PU, highly effective in vibration isolation and acoustic applications.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about our products and services, or looking for advice, our team are happy to help you. Send us your enquiry using the form below, or email us by contacting technical@elastomer.co.uk

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    DLR Elastomer is a leading manufacturer of bespoke elastomeric products & components for high performance industrial & engineering applications.