Applications for Urethane Bushings

Improved Suspension, Shock Absorption & Extreme Durability

From consumer applications to commercial applications in heavy duty trucking and transportation, urethane bushings can be relied on to facilitate movement and provide stability in a wide array of environments. Learn more about the purpose, composition, and applications for urethane bushings to see why many industries prefer urethane.

Introduction to Urethane Bushings

A urethane bushing acts as an independent plain bearing and is a specialty application for a urethane ring. Unlike most traditional bearings, bushings do not contain any rolling elements. Instead, they act as a protective interface between two parts and dampen the energy transmitted between the two, as the energy is redirected through the bushing. In a vehicle suspension system, for instance, the bushing will separate two metal objects while still allowing for some movement.

Common names for bushings include solid, sleeve, journal, and plain bearings.

Three Common Bushing Designs

  • Solid Bushing – A solid bushing can be sleeved or flanged. This bushing features a seamless, smooth surface and is solid all the way around.
  • Split Bushing – A split bushing has a cut along its length and does not require a perfectly matched bored component, as it can accommodate some shaft size changes without having to be replaced or retooled.
  • Clenched Bushing – Similar to a split bushing, a clenched bushing features a clench (tight grip) across the cut.

Urethane Bushings vs. Rubber Bushings

Urethane has many benefits over rubber, especially in the consistently high-stress suspension systems in which bushings are often installed.

Urethane tends to have a higher load-bearing capacity, greater tear strength, better compression set, and greater abrasion resistance than rubber. It is also more tolerant of greases, oils, and ozone.

Rubber bushings tend to deteriorate rapidly with age. As rubber bushings become softer and more pliable, they resist the forces placed on them less and less. In a vehicle in particular, this reduced resistance leads to increased movement of suspension components, excessive tire wear, and braking instability. Polyurethane bushings can withstand the elements of the road for the long haul, while rubber bushings can not. When installed in a vehicle, urethane bushings offer more controlled alignment and steering.

Urethane Bushings vs. Metal Bushings

Urethane bushings typically cost and weigh less than their metal counterparts. In some conditions, they run longer in harsh environments and under adverse conditions. Bushings can also be manufactured out of a variety of metals like brass, bronze, or steel.

Common Uses for Urethane Bushings

Urethane bushings are utilized in a variety of industries and for a variety of applications.

Their formula, size, and durometer are selected based on a combination of factors, including the velocity of the application and the applied load. Urethane bushings are often utilized in vehicle suspension systems, commercial equipment, and heavy duty trucks.

Urethane bushing products can be applied to bump stops, body mounts, torque arms, control arms, strut rods, sway bars, end links, and trailing arms.

Did you know? A piano has various linking parts that were traditionally held together by leather bushings.

Call PSI for a Custom Quote

PSI’s bushings offer superior performance to help reduce equipment downtime and overall material costs. Call one of our experienced urethane professionals at (800) 888-5156 to get help selecting the right bushing for your needs. You can also conveniently request a quote for any size project online, at any time.

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