How to Reduce Equipment Downtime with Polyurethane Bushings

Polyurethane bushings - metal filled blue bushings

Bushings act as a protective interface between two parts and dampen the energy transmitted between the two, as the energy is redirected through the bushing. There are a variety of industries that employ polyurethane bushings such as transportation and manufacturing. An everyday example is the suspension system within a truck. The bushing resides between two metal objects. The bushing absorbs the noise and vibration generated when the truck moves, resulting in a smoother, quieter ride. Without the presence of bushings, elements of the suspension system would fatigue prematurely, thus, polyurethane bushings also serve to extend the lifetime of other parts and reduce equipment downtime.

Systems that utilize bushings often endure challenging operating conditions including extreme low and high temperatures, heavy loads, and varied stresses. Yet, these systems must remain operational and equipment downtimes minimized – failures and unplanned outages are not an option as the consequences may be severe in many cases. For these reasons, selecting the right type of bushing is critical to success.

How to Reduce Downtime with Polyurethane Bushings?

Bushings can be manufactured from a variety of raw materials but are most frequently made of rubber, metal, or polyurethane. The following explains how polyurethane bushings are superior and are able to reduce equipment downtime.

When compared to metal, urethane bushings typically cost and weigh less, making them an attractive option for the transportation sector which focuses on minimizing vehicle weight. In many conditions, urethane parts run longer in harsh environments and under adverse conditions.

Urethane has many benefits over rubber, especially in high-stress systems in which bushings are often installed. Below are several key properties where polyurethane bushings excel over rubber and other materials, leading to longer life cycles and fewer equipment downtimes.

  • Resistance to Contaminants: compared to other material options, polyurethane bushings are more tolerant of and less likely to degrade when exposed to greases, oils, fuels, salts, solvents, rust, and chemicals – making urethane an excellent option for the automotive, transport, and machinery sectors. Urethane is also able to maintain its shape with little swelling, if any, when submerged in water or oils.
  • Resistance to Elements: other materials, like rubber, are more susceptible to degradation due to environmental factors. Polyurethane, on the other hand, is resistant to weather conditions such as extreme low and high operating temperatures, ozone, UV rays, and humidity – making urethane a viable material for applications nearly anywhere in the world.
  • Abrasion Resistance: polyurethane is known for its abrasion resistance. In fact, no other metal or rubber stands up to abrasive materials as well as urethane.
  • Excellent Mechanical Properties: urethane tends to have a higher load-bearing capacity, greater tear strength, better compression set, and higher impact resistance compared to its competitors. Polyurethane bushings offer an excellent blend of flexibility and hardness that metals, plastics, and rubbers cannot match. For example, as rubber bushings become softer and more pliable from repeated flexing, they resist the forces placed on them less and start allowing more movement, resulting in wear of the bushing as well as other system components the bushing is intended to protect. Another benefit of polyurethane bushings is that hardness can be customized to suit the specific application and formulations are available in a range of durometer-hardness combinations.
  • Increased Longevity: polyurethane bushings do not tend to deteriorate appreciably with age and are known for having long life cycles. In fact, urethane bushings often outlast the system they are installed in – and remain fully functional long after many rubber, plastics, or metal bushings fail.

PSI Polyurethane Bushings

PSI manufactures polyurethane bushings that offer superior performance to help reduce equipment downtime and overall material costs. From consumer applications to urethane suspension bushings for commercial heavy-duty trucking and transportation applications, our bushings can be relied on to facilitate movement and provide stability in a wide array of environments. Our bushings are fully customizable and the formula, size, and durometer are selected based on a combination of factors, including the velocity of the application and the applied load. Our staff assists customers with urethane bushing design and formulation selection all the way through prototyping to full production.

Urethane bushings are often utilized in vehicle suspension systems, commercial equipment, and heavy-duty trucks. Common applications include:

  • Bump Stops
  • Hydraulic Presses
  • Hydraulic Pumps
  • Body Mounts
  • Automation Machinery
  • Hydraulic Motors
  • Material Handling Solutions
  • Control Arms

Contact us today to see how we can help select the right polyurethane bushing for your application, or give us a call at 1-800-888-5156.