Urethane Bonding 101

At PSI Urethanes, we are known for our ability to deliver custom urethane products. One of our core competencies is urethane bonding, a process that bonds polyurethane to metal or various other substrates. Urethane bonding enables our customers to combine the benefits of multiple materials in order to meet the specific needs of a given application. A wide range of industries rely on urethane bonding for functions such as metal forming tubs, concrete shoes, rollers/wheels, lined pipes, fluid cells, and tumbler barrel liners.

Benefits of Urethane Bonding

Many companies rely on urethane bonding to increase the strength and durability of a substrate, such as metal. Urethane is a resilient, non-brittle elastomer that can be bonded to a range of core substrate materials to improve the product’s performance and functionality, namely increase strength, durability, and longevity. Below are some of the key benefits of urethane bonding.

· Non-Scratching: metal on its own can damage a product via scratching or gauging, however, a bonded urethane product is non-scratching.

· Non-Marring: in cases where metal for example, is encased in rubber, the product will leave black marks on surfaces it contacts. Alternatively, urethane does not mark or mar products or surfaces it comes in contact with.

· Strong Abrasion Resistance: urethane has great abrasion and wear resistance, and can be formulated to your specific abrasion resistance needs. There are two types of abrasion: sliding and impingement. Sliding abrasion refers to scraping and rubbing, while impingement abrasion refers to objects striking the urethane surface at a high angle. Urethane can be formulated to protect against either form of abrasion. Additionally, if friction is an issue, PSI Urethanes can minimize friction with additives such as molly or graphite.

· Excellent Strength: unlike plastics, polyurethane is not brittle and will maintain its strength and impact resistance over a range of durometers.

· Unparalleled Elasticity: plastics tend to stretch and either break or deform, unable to return to their original shape. Urethane, on the other hand, has incredible elasticity and is able to be stretched and regain its shape without sacrificing strength or integrity.

· Superior Durability: urethane is extremely durable. Urethanes are also tear-resistant and can withstand a wide range of operating conditions and environments without sacrificing quality or performance. For example, urethane maintains its excellent mechanical properties in extreme high and low temperatures – something plastics and other materials simply cannot do.

· Broad Range of Hardness: polyurethane can be formulated in a wide range of durometers available in A & D scales – in fact, urethane can be as soft as a marshmallow to as hard as a bowling ball.

· Lower Weight: substrates such as PVC and nylon are lighter weight and less expensive than metal, making them good options as the core for custom urethane products made via urethane bonding.

· Lower Cost: urethane bonding is often a more cost-effective solution. For example, if you have rollers or wheels that need to be recovered, the team at PSI can strip off the old material and recover your core with the urethane formulation that best fits the application. This approach is often a big cost-savings, especially when the core is intricate or costly.

Why OEMs Rely on PSI for Urethane Bonding

Over the years, OEMs have come to rely on PSI Urethanes for our urethane bonding solutions. From custom cast parts to rollers, the team at PSI Urethanes has the capability to bond polyurethane to metal as well as other substrates such as wood and plastic. Our urethane can be bonded during or after the molding process. In addition, our precision cast sheets can be manufactured without the use of mold-release.

Our manufacturing expertise includes decades of bonding polyurethane to metal and steel. Over the last 20+ years, our customers requested urethane bonding to PVC and Nylon. Not only did we not shy away from the challenge of a custom project, but we have been successful with this new form of urethane bonding – and our customers are very happy.

Urethane bonding is just one of the many custom urethane products we create at PSI Urethanes. Our technical representatives and design staff work closely with customers to meet the requisite specifications – from concept to prototype to production. PSI has spent 50+ years setting the industry standard in custom urethane products, staying on the cutting edge of advances in new materials, designs, and processing technologies

Could your project benefit from custom urethane bonding?

Contact the professionals at PSI to learn more about range of solutions including urethane bonding.

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The Process of Urethane Bonding

As noted previously, urethane bonding offers product designers versatility to capitalize on a combination of two materials to improve the performance of the final product. Urethane bonding – and the strength

of the bond – is a crucial aspect in the design and functionality of wheels, rollers, bushings, and a myriad of other applications. At PSI Urethanes, we closely monitor and control our urethane bonding process to ensure the bond is strong. We control parameters such as temperature and cycle times to optimize operating conditions in order to create the highest quality bonds.

In the case of urethane bonding to a wheel, the metal part of the wheel is referred to as the core or insert. The process of preparing the core for bonding can vary and depends on several factors about the core including the material, the level of cleanliness, and if any old material needs to be removed or stripped away before bonding commences.

Cleanliness and minimizing contamination are important to the urethane bonding process. To ensure a strong bond, cores that are to be recovered for reuse are thoroughly cleaned to remove chemicals or contaminants such as oil, dust, dirt, rust, or grease. The surface finish of the core can also impact bond strength. At PSI, no matter what substrate we are bonding to, the surface has to be scuffed up to improve the bond between the core material and the urethane. This is a necessary process for the urethane to properly bond with the substrate. The primary methods used to achieve the perfect bonding surface are sanding or grit blasting.

Next, the core is coated with a bonding agent that will permanently adhere the urethane to the core. Uniform and precise thickness is important as it enables a stronger bond. The core is now placed in a high heat oven to activate the bonding agent. Lastly, the process of molding the polyurethane onto the core is performed during which the urethane reacts with the bonding agent – creating an unbreakable bond between the urethane and the substrate.

About PSI Urethanes

With over 50 years of experience delivering the highest quality urethane products, PSI Urethanes stands unequaled in helping companies in hundreds of industries around the world apply custom urethane products to their critical business applications. Since 1966, through our own independent research and activity in the Polyurethane Manufacturers Association, PSI Urethanes has stayed on the leading edge of urethane technology – including developing advances in new materials, comprehensive designs, and processing technologies. Today we are among the most respected and trusted suppliers of custom urethane products.

We operate from our 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, which houses an extensive stock of polyurethane products. Our fully equipped manufacturing facility includes a versatile range of processing machinery, which allows us to work on unique, one-of-a-kind projects, as well as high volume components. Our in-house engineering, tooling, and custom mold shop, produces custom and stock production orders with exceptionally fast turn-around times. From conception to prototyping, to final production runs, our technical representatives and design engineers will work closely with your staff to meet your critical tolerances and specifications. You are guaranteed to receive experienced, professional, and personalized service from the first contact through your on-time delivery, with complete confidentiality and dedication to protecting your good name.

PSI Urethanes specializes in custom urethane products. Contact us today to see how we can help with your next manufacturing project, or give us a call at 1-800-888-5156.