Polyurethane in Mining Tools | PSI Urethanes

mining tools at PSI Urethanes

How Polyurethane Parts Enhance Mining Tools

mining tools at PSI Urethanes

Polyurethane is a versatile synthetic polymer that has been used in various industries for decades. However, its use in the mining industry has been gaining traction in recent years due to its unique flexibility and other beneficial properties. In this article, we will explore the various uses of polyurethane in the mining industry and why it has become a preferred choice for mining tools.

The Mining Industry at A Glance

While many media depictions of the mining industry portray it as a primitive operation, many advancements have been made in mining tools and technologies over the years. Like other resource acquisition practices, the mining industry has benefitted greatly from the use of highly specialized tools and automation. Where pickaxes and raw manpower were once commonplace in the mines, those tools have since been replaced with high strength drill bits and mechanical extraction devices to maximize efficiency.

Today’s challenges in the mining industry come from the fact that the environment itself has not become any less harsh. Exposure to hazardous chemicals and abrasive mineral substances are still unavoidable parts of working in the industry, just as they were a hundred years ago. Although the technology of mining tools has come a long way since then, those tools still have to contend with agitation from high force impacts, corrosion inducing chemicals, and mineral dusts every day without fail. To withstand the tough environments that are typical in mining applications, modern mining tools must be wear resistant across the board. When those tools do eventually fail, replacements need to be cost-effective and readily available in order for companies to continue their daily operations without delay.

Why is Polyurethane Preferred in Mining Applications?

Polyurethane has become a preferred material in several mining applications due to the benefits that come from its unique versatility. Here are just a few ways that polyurethane stands out as the go-to material for mining tools and equipment of all sorts.

Durability & Abrasion Resistance

Mining tools and equipment are subjected to extreme wear and tear, and they need to be able to withstand these conditions. Polyurethane’s durability makes it an ideal material for use in mining applications. It can withstand high temperatures, chemicals, and abrasions, ensuring that tools and equipment last longer with polyurethane parts.

Chemical Resistance

Hazardous chemicals are a common part of the mining process, and they can cause damage to equipment they may not be compatible with. Polyurethane is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, making it an ideal material for use in the mining industry. It can withstand exposure to acids, oils, and other harsh solvents, ensuring that the equipment can withstand repeated or prolonged use.


Mining tools and equipment can be heavy and difficult to handle. Polyurethane is a lightweight material, making it easier to handle and install. This is especially beneficial in underground mining, where space is limited, and heavy equipment can be challenging to maneuver.

Longevity & Cost-Effectiveness

Polyurethane is a cost-effective material for use in mining applications. Its durability and resistance to wear and tear mean that tools and equipment made from polyurethane last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This results in cost savings for mining companies in the long run.

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Polyurethane in Common Mining Tools

Mining tools are subjected to extreme wear and tear throughout all steps of the extraction process. Polyurethane’s durability and resistance to abrasions make it an ideal material for these tools, especially at high durometers.

Lining & Bonded Urethanes

Mining equipment such as chutes, hoppers, pipes, and conveyors are constantly exposed to abrasive materials and chemicals. Bonded polyurethane products and drop-in linings provide a protective barrier against those substances, preventing damage to the equipment and extending its lifespan.

Polyurethane rollers, which often bond polyurethane and metal, can be used in conveyor belts for their high load-bearing capacity and resistance to chemicals and oils. They are also lightweight, making them easier to handle and install.

Polyurethane can also be used in the lining of tanks and containers used for storing and transporting chemicals and ores. The chemical resistance of polyurethane ensures that the containers are not damaged by the harsh chemicals, preventing leaks and spills.

At PSI Urethanes we manufacture dual durometer urethanes for cases just like this. In these custom urethane liners and sheets, two layers of urethane in contrasting colors are used to serve as a wear indicator. As the outer layer becomes thinner with continued use, the inner layer will begin to show through- indicating that it’s time for a new liner. This can be especially useful in minimizing downtime and preventing equipment failures.

Dust Seals & Gaskets

Dust and debris are a common problem in the mining industry due to the way they affect tool performance. Even the smallest amount of debris nestled in the wrong place can cause equipment to malfunction, at worst posing a risk to workers’ wellbeing. Polyurethane dust seals and gaskets are highly effective at preventing dust and debris from entering sensitive equipment to maximize efficiency and safety. Their flexibility and durability enable them to outlast other seals and gaskets made of rubber, plastic, and metal. They can withstand high temperatures and are resistant to chemicals and oils, making them ideal for use in the mining industry.

Safety Equipment & Environmental Protection

Mining can have a significant impact on the environment, and it is essential to take measures to minimize this impact. Polyurethane is an excellent choice for chemical spill prevention in the form of sheets, liners, drain plugs, tubes, rings, and more.

Polyurethane liners can be used in fluid reservoirs and containers to prevent the leakage of toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment. These liners are resistant to chemicals and can withstand the pressure from large amounts of liquids, preventing any leaks or spills.

At PSI Urethanes we produce standard and custom safety seals to protect against chemical spills, including our patented DrainProtector™, DrainProtector™ II, drain plugs, and more.

Polyurethane is also used in the construction of pipelines used for transporting chemicals and ores. The chemical resistance and abrasion resistance of polyurethane ensures that there are no leaks or spills during transportation due to pipeline wear, protecting the environment from potentially hazardous spills.

Polyurethane has become an essential material in the mining industry, and its use is only expected to grow in the coming years. Its unique properties and benefits make it an ideal material for use in mining tools, equipment, and environmental protection applications. With its durability, chemical resistance, and cost-effectiveness, polyurethane is sure to anchor itself as a key material the mining industry for years to come.

Unearth the benefits of custom urethane components for mining tools with PSI Urethanes. Contact us today to get started. 

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