Urethane (short for polyurethane) is a family of elastomers that can be poured as a liquid mixture, unlike other elastomer compounds, which are prepared as sheets or loaves before molding in a high-pressure press. The capability for liquid casting allows unique design possibilities for urethanes, in terms of shape, performance and cost.
- Polyurethane is an ideal material for vibration control applications because it can be very resilient, minimize noise and withstand a wide range of loads.
- The impact resistance of polyurethane is exceptional, even at low temperatures, and it also offers resistance to cracking, tearing, breaking or swelling.
- The outstanding abrasion resistance of polyurethane elastomers has led to many important applications where severe wear was a problem, especially in mining and oil and gas industries. In both field application and laboratory tests, polyurethanes show a definite wear advantage over many materials.
- Urethane parts are often cast in less expensive, low-pressure molds. As a liquid, urethane can fill even complex mold cavities without high-pressure molds and presses.
- Polyurethane can withstand both tension and compression. While it can change shape under heavy load, it will return to its original shape once the load is removed.
- Because of short lead times and more economical tooling costs, polyurethane is often the choice for one-off parts and prototypes, or high volume, repeat production runs.