The polyurethane molding process can be variable and complex, but it is always rewarding.
Polyurethane is one of the most flexible materials on the planet. It can be shaped and molded into virtually any form for utilization in a wide variety of industries and businesses. The material can be employed repeatedly without fear of it getting fractured or worn in any way. It is also resistant to electricity, high temperatures, and a plethora of other environmental factors.
Because it can take many shapes and forms, the polyurethane molding process tends to vary. However, there are a few common methods that are employed throughout the industry.
Open cast molding involves pouring liquid polyurethane into a mold, or a setting. This is a low cost option that results in an extremely durable product, but it is not suitable for any designs that require any fine details.
The compression molding method involves pouring the liquid material into a setting, which is then put through a compressor. This compressor applies scorching heat and extremely high pressure to the mold to create the final product. When utilizing this method, manufacturers will find that it is the polyurethane molding process that allows for a lot more detail. However, it tends to be more expensive to mold the material using this procedure.
Centrifugal molding (also known as spin casting) takes place when the material is placed into a spinning mold. The material solidifies as it is thrown against the sides of the mold. This process gets rid of any pockets of air and increases the material’s resistance. Nevertheless, this technique can be expensive and is not suitable for molding very large parts and components.
Foaming is a method that requires mixed polyurethane. The material is allowed to set and fill out a mold. This process is very long, but it creates a material that can withstand many tons of force.
The injection method involves shooting the material into a mold at a very high speed. The material shot into the mold is either in the form of liquid or in the form of hardened polyurethane droplets. Injecting liquid into the mold allows for a wide variety of design capabilities, but it is only conducive to making smaller parts. It can also be expensive because it takes more time to create. The method of injecting hardened droplets can be comparatively low cost, because the process is very quick and can be automated. Also, any material waste accumulated from this method can be recycled back into the system. However, polyurethane that is molded using these hardened droplets tends to be lower quality; it is typically less resistant to extreme temperatures and pressures and its structure can be more easily compromised.
The polyurethane molding process can vary, and selecting a method based on the company’s specific needs is crucial. But the final product is a more durable version of other commonly used components.