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Urethane Rubber Material Guide: Properties, Types & Applications

Frank Lowe offers die cut urethane rubber with or without an adhesive backing. Read on to learn more about urethane rubber components, gaskets & parts.

If you're looking for a cost-efficient and extra-durable elastomer, urethane rubber may be your solution.

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Since 1955, Frank Lowe has been partnering with businesses across all markets to produce state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing solutions. We offer dedicated industrial contract manufacturing teams who specialize in providing comprehensive services to a variety of markets.From best-in-class materials, customizable products, and a full suite of industrial manufacturing services, we provide whatever it takes to help your business met its objectives. Regardless of the technical or logistics demands of your project, we will work with you every step of the way providing customizable distribution services and support to ensure the contract die cutting is completed and delivered on time, within budget, and to your exact specifications.

Urethane rubber is strong, but flexible enough to spring back and return to its original shape when stretched or bent. As a result, urethane rubbers are regularly used on car wheels, ball bearings, conveyor rollers, pulley wheels, and bushings. 

Urethane rubber gaskets, parts and components are uniquely engineered to outperform synthetic and natural rubbers as well as many metals. Also known as spandex, urethane rubber features urethane and polyether blocks for improved heat resistance, bolstered strength, and enhanced elasticity. The unique combination of desirable attributes makes urethane rubber parts, components, and gaskets exceptionally versatile for applications across a myriad of different industries.

As one of the toughest rubber elastomers available, the experts at Frank Lowe will listen to your application needs to help determine which urethane rubber will be the optimum solution. We'll help you explore all of your options, pursue the most effective solutions, and create the best product. Continue reading to learn more about urethane rubber.

Properties & Characteristics of Urethane Rubber

Urethane materials are inherently resistant to oil, which means urethane rubber components will perform well in applications with consistent exposure to fuel and oil. Boasting excellent load bearing capabilities, urethane can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking or becoming brittle. This elastomer is especially unique in its ability to resist:

  1. Radiation
  2. Abrasions
  3. Impacts
  4. Ozone and Oxygen Attacks
  5. Chemicals

Excellent Abrasion Resistance

Urethane rubber boats up to 10 times higher abrasion resistance than other elastomers. This material has good long-term stability in water. Urethane's inherent abrasion resistance, excellent tensile and tear strength, and high load-bearing capacity make it ideal material for a range of tough applications.

Urethane Can Be Better Than Metal

Urethane is a very tough elastomer and can actually be used to replace metals in certain applications. It boasts high load-bearing capacity in shear, tension, and compression. This attribute allows for the creation of lighter, thinner, and longer-lasting components. In fact, the machinability of hard urethane components is very similar to that of plastics and metals.

Low, Unlubricated Coefficient of Friction

Urethane elastomers boast a low, unlubricated friction coefficient. Urethane is regularly used in bearings and bushings because of its high load-carrying ability and outstanding abrasion resistance.

Sound Dampening Qualities

Urethane has superior sound dampening properties in comparison to plastics and rubbers.

Metal Bonding Properties

Urethane can be directly molded onto metal inserts to create remarkable bonds.

Markets and Applications for Urethane Rubber

Due to the unique traits of urethane, it's regularly used in the following industries and applications:

  • Building insulation
  • Furniture and bedding
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Automotive
  • Footwear
  • And more

Urethane rubber is proven to be an outstanding engineering solution for a growing number of problems:

  1. Because of its exceptional toughness, urethane elastomers are regularly used to replace metals in ball-bearings, conveyor rollers, pulley wheels, cart wheels, bushings, and rollers.
  2. Urethane rubber boasts excellent shock-absorbing and load-bearing qualities. When these attributes are combined with improved performance and potential cost reductions, it's the preferred material for tire manufacturers and/or escalator manufacturers.
  3. Enhanced abrasion resistance, improved wear resistance, and noise abatement properties make urethane the go-to solution for small business machines in chain-drive design.
  4. Urethane can be used to replace certain plastic elastomers as well as wood in the creation of die-cutting pads for use in embossing machines, printers, and paper cutters.
  5. Because of its sound dampening properties, urethane can be used in gears where sound reduction is desired. At the same time, soft urethanes can be used to replace rubbers for the same sound reduction effect.
  6. Urethane is regularly used for marine applications because of its ability to resist water and oil. In some instances, urethane rubber can resist bacteria, fungus, and radiation.

Die Cut Urethane Rubber Parts, Gaskets, and Components

Urethane is offered in an array of shapes, types, compression rates, and hardness levels. Many types of urethane are color coded to indicate type and hardness. In general, softer grades can be compressed at greater rates than harder grades. Yet, softer urethane grades often do not have the required force to exert the physical properties.

In either case, the experts at Frank Lowe will get to understand your unique application needs and guide you to the best urethane elastomer to help you achieve your goals. We can die cut urethane rubber in virtually any shape, thickness or form and provide the material on rolls, sheets, and in other forms.

Contact Frank Lowe for Urethane Rubber Components

Regardless of your needs or where you are in the manufacturing process, Frank Lowe can help. We offer a catalog full of elastomers spanning across the full spectrum of price points. In addition to die cutting services, we offer design assistance to ensure you have the right material in the most ideal shape based on your application. We also offer sample materials as well as quick run prototyping to test any part and move forward in production with greater confidence.

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