Properties Behind the Advantages of Polyurethane
Polyurethane is a multi-purpose elastomer popularly used for innumerable applications around the globe. Its mechanical properties may be isolated and controlled through innovative chemistry, creating a large number of unique opportunities to fix issues with performance characteristics to degrees by far unparalleled by any other material. Many industries have taken advantage of such opportunities, enabling them to devise highly effective solutions that meet consumers diverse needs.
Properties and Advantages
Broad Hardness Range
Polyurethane hardness can be classified as 20 SHORE A right down to 85 SHORE D, depending on the prepolymers molecular structure.
Large Load Capacity
Whether in tension or compression, polyurethane has an exceptional load capacity. Polyurethane that has been created for a specific application will simply change its shape in accordance with the heavy load it is subjected to, and then go back to its initial shape as soon as the load has been lifted.
When used in high flex fatigue applications, polyurethanes are a standout. Because flex properties in such polymers can be isolated, manufacturers are able to give their products very good elongation as well as recovery properties.
Resists Abrasion and Impact
Even in low temperatures, polyurethanes are the most preferred solution in applications where severe wear is a problem.
High tear resistance and high tensile properties are two notable strengths of polyurethanes.
Water-, Oil- and Grease-Proof
Polyurethanes material properties have demonstrated great stability (minimal swelling) when exposed to water, oil or grease, which means they can last up to years when used in sub-sea conditions.
Polyurethanes have good electrical insulation abilities.
Broad Resiliency Range
In general, resilience is a function of hardness. When an elastomer application calls for shock absorption, low rebound compounds with a resilience range between 10% and 40% are typically utilized. If recovery has to be quick or the application comes with high-frequency vibrations, compounds in the 40-65% resilience range are used. High resilience enhances overall toughness.
During the manufacturing process, polyurethane effortlessly attaches to an entire array of materials, including metals, plastics and even wood. This particular property makes polyurethane ideal for making rollers, inserts and wheels.
Harsh Environment Performance
Because polyurethane is extremely temperature-resistant, it does not degrade despite the toughest environmental conditions and exposure to various chemicals.
Mold, Mildew & Fungus-Proof
Fungi, mold and mildew cannot feed off of polyether-based polyurethanes and will thus not grow there, making these polyurethanes highly suitable for FDA applications and for applications in tropical countries. Certain additives also work to keep these microorganisms away from polyester materials.
Less Expensive Process
Polyurethane is a material that is often used to make special parts and prototypes, as well as for large and iterative productions.