Prototypes, production and machining are all parts of the polyurethane creation process, and each must be executed perfectly to ensure the polymer offers the desired properties. Polyurethane is unique in that it can be molded into one of several forms, each designed for certain applications. Due to this versatility, polyurethane is a useful material in many industries, and is found in all kinds of consumer and commercial goods. And though the chemistry behind the polymer is quite complex, molding and shaping the material is straightforward, which is why polyurethane makers can quickly turn around large, complicated orders.
Why is it important to create polyurethane prototypes?
Production and fabrication rely heavily on these first drafts because if there are any unforeseen challenges, they will be apparent when creating the first run of polyurethane components. Polyurethane molders like MUI have expert engineering teams on hand to oversee this part of the process, and these engineers are equipped with the means to test the components once they are ready. Prior to testing, MUI’s engineers will consult with the client to determine their precise application needs and any challenges posed by working conditions. Once the engineers have designed the component in a 3D modeling program, they will mold the component for testing and review by the client.
Once testing has been performed on the prototypes, production and machining can begin right away. Polyurethane can be manufactured in one of several ways, depending on what type of component is needed for the job. For example, these are the choices available to a client when considering polyurethane:
- Elastomers are the most popular options and are used in dozens of industries. Elastomers are strong, flexible components that are created from molds, and they offer excellent abrasive and shock resistance. Some applications of elastomers include automobile and mechanical parts, wheels, rollers and smaller components.
Elastomers can be created from one of several molds. Silicone molds are easy and inexpensive to make and can mold thousands of components before they need to be replaced. Epoxy, including metal-filled epoxy, can mold tens of thousands of components, while aluminum can mold hundreds of thousands of components, though aluminum molds require expensive tooling to create. With multiple molding options, a client can pick the options that make the most sense financially.
- Coatings are typically sprayed or painted on surfaces that are subject to a lot of wear. They can be applied to heavy equipment and machinery, floors, aircraft and automobiles
- Foams are designed with excellent impact resistance and can provide insulation as well. This means foams are an ideal choice for vehicle seats and dashboards, as well as insulation in building walls and roofs. Foams are usually sprayed on surfaces, and expand to fit their confining space.
Polyurethane is special in its versatility and resilience, and because it can take on a variety of forms, there is almost no limit to what the material offers.