From Order to Delivery: The Custom Urethane Provider Capabilities Checklist – Part 1
There are many advantages to manufacturing your parts with urethane rather than plastics and rubber. Urethane is vastly more versatile than other materials and can be formulated to yield widely varying physical properties even at the same hardness. Parts made from urethane are stronger, more versatile, and more durable than other elastomers and typically last much longer due to tougher physical properties. As a result, urethane parts are often a much better value. Additionally, urethane parts can be custom formulated and molded to a project’s exact specifications and produced with consistent quality.
In order to get the most advantages from custom urethane parts, it is important to work with an experienced provider who is knowledgeable about the wide range of options available and can help determine the best specifications for your product. Additionally, many urethane applications have a low degree of error, so the importance of ordering the correct custom urethane part is essential. A custom urethane expert will be able to work with you to understand your needs and determine the best urethane formulation for you while keeping in mind other restrictions that may be applicable including cost, safety guidelines, and project timeline.
How can you ensure that a custom urethane provider is able to do this? Here is a handy checklist of specific qualifications to look for when evaluating providers:
Can the Custom Urethane Provider:
- Machine custom urethane parts to the desired diameters and lengths?
- Create special formulas to provide the specific physical properties your product needs?
- Machine grooves in any direction (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)?
- Make molds including multi-piece molds needed for intricate shapes?
- Make the inserts you need encapsulated in your urethane product?
- Make accurate drawings of your parts? Help design your product?
- Lower tooling costs by using pieces from a library of generic mold parts?
- Produce parts using open cast, spin cast, transfer and compression molding processes?
- Bond urethane to almost any substrate? Cast dual-hardness parts?
- Make parts that range in hardness from softer than a marshmallow to as hard as a bowling ball?
- Make custom urethane products in any color you want?
- Encapsulate fabric or mesh in urethane products?
- Produce prototype parts and short-run production parts?
- Produce high-volume production parts?
- Make products that meet guidelines including automotive, FDA, Underwriters Laboratory, Mil, and ASTM?
If a custom urethane provider is not able to claim at least a significant number, or preferably all of the preceding qualifications, it would be wise to look for other options. Be wary of providers who promise inexpensive custom urethane products without any mention of the competencies listed above.
Once the correct custom urethane product is ordered, the process is not over. Part two of this article will cover how custom urethane experts are able to ensure that your product arrives on time and with the correct specifications.
About PSI Urethanes
PSI Urethanes has over 50 years of experience as a market leader and innovator in custom molded urethane. With a long history of outstanding quality, superior product performance and excellent customer service, PSI is a trusted provider of custom molded urethane parts, ranging from low quantity prototypes to full production products. Backed by a highly experienced engineering staff, PSI provides creative solutions with product design assistance, offers a vast array of specialty formulated compounds and delivers top quality parts designed to provide the best overall performance and longest lifespan.