Polyurethane Polymers – Properties and Advantages
Polyurethane is an elastomer touted and used worldwide for its extreme versatility. 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 classifications, from 20 SHORE A to 85 SHORE D, are based on the prepolymer’s molecular structure.
Large Load Capacity
The load capacity of polyurethane is outstandingly high, whether it is extended or compressed. As long as the polyurethane is well-designed for the purpose it is used, it will be able to take in an enormous load before changing back into its original shape the once it is freed of the said load.
When used in high flex fatigue applications, polyurethanes are a standout. Since these polymers flex properties can be mechanically isolated, they make for an impressive ability to elongate and recover.
Resists Abrasion and Impact
Even in low temperatures, polyurethanes are the most preferred solution in applications where severe wear is a problem.
Polyurethanes boasts high tear resistance as well as high tensile properties.
Water, Oil and Grease Resistance
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 are good electrical insulators.
Hardness has a few general functions and these include resilience. When an elastomer application calls for shock absorption, low rebound compounds with a resilience range between 10% and 40% are typically utilized. A 40% to 65% resilience range is needed for an application where fast recovery is a must and high-frequency vibrations are involved. Generally speaking, toughness is improved by high resilience.
During the manufacturing process, polyurethane effortlessly attaches to an entire array of materials, including metals, plastics and even wood. Thus, it is a perfect choice for the production of metals, rollers and inserts.
Harsh Environment Performance
Given polyurethanes high resistance to temperature extremes, the material is unaffected, let alone degraded, by the harshest weather conditions and even direct exposure to chemicals.
Resistance to Mold, Mildew & Fungus
Polyether-based polyurethanes do not provide a life support system for fungi, mold and mildew, which simply means they are ideal for tropical areas as well as FDA applications. To prevent the growth of these microorganisms in polyester materials, special chemicals can also be introduced.
Polyurethane is usually used to manufacture prototypes, and for both one-time and large, repetitive production runs.