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Some Helpful Methods for Urethane Casting

When companies are searching for a material with strength, versatility, long service life, high impact resistance, elastic memory, noise reduction or heat and chemical resistance, often they turn to urethane. Urethane castings are able to provide all of these qualities and more such as high abrasion, cut, tear, oil, ozone and radiation resistance. The material is lightweight, can be easily molded, is non-conductive and non-sparking, provides good load bearing, has a broad hardness range and can even be colored. These characteristics make it an important part of industries ranging from construction to athletic equipment. When it comes to preparing for a urethane casting project, there are several simple steps that can be taken to help the process run smoothly and efficiently.

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First, it is important to carefully select the materials that will be used. Polyurethane is a polymer, but it can have various chemical structures. This allows it to be found in forms such as flexible or rigid foams, gels and solid plastics. This also can provide different qualities such as hard, squishy, protective, bouncy or sticky. Depending on the future application, certain forms will be more beneficial than others. Second, the right tools must be chosen and made ready to use. Depending on the material being worked with, certain types of tools could be useful. Manufacturers will know and study the best methods for working with the different materials, such as if it will need a pouring bucket, mixer or specific finishing tools. After that it is necessary to prepare the polyurethane. This involves mixing and other processes. It is important to make sure that no air or moisture is added when the materials are being prepared for use. Finally, the casting material should be tested. Testing is important in every industry, but in casting it helps to show any flaws or other issues with the finished product. By determining flaws in the first model, they can be avoided in the actual models.

Gallagher Corporation Image Product Photo Courtesy of Gallagher Corporation

While these steps will help in the preparation of the project, when creating the casting itself there are three main factors that should be kept in mind. First is to make sure the materials are always poured into the lowest parts first. By pouring the materials in this way it is easier to avoid air or moisture from building up within the product. Finally, all the air should be removed from the casting. Air bubbles can have negative effects on the finished product, so any that have occurred in the process must be removed at this point. From here, the product can be cured and then removed from the mold.

Castable urethane is able to provide all sorts of advantages to the industries in which it will serve. A final advantage is that it is a cost effective process, right around the same as rubber and polymer molding. Possible uses include seals, press tool blocks, conveyor brushings, bumpers and even bowling balls. They can be found in parts for construction, food processing, automotive and athletics. Manufacturers will work closely with customers to find the right material and qualities to meet your application specifications perfectly.