Cast urethane, also known as polyurethane, is one of the most versatile processes to fabricate plastic and rubber parts. Cast urethane/polyurethane parts can be used in a variety of industries and applications. But how do you know if cast urethane is the best process for your product? Below are the 5 major benefits to using cast urethane:
Cast urethane parts are more cost effective in piece price than additive manufacturing when larger amounts of prototypes are needed. Additive manufacturing may require multiple builds to fabricate a larger amount of prototypes, which will increase the price. Whereas, the cast urethane process can continuously mold parts.
Silicone molds are used to fabricate cast urethane pieces. The cost for silicone molds is typically far less expensive than aluminum or steel tools used in injection molding. Molds to produce urethane parts may range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, where as injection mold tooling can range from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
Tooling Lead Time
The tooling leadtime for cast urethanes is shorter than traditional injection molding. The lead time for an injection mold tool can range from 4-8 weeks, but silicone molds used in cast urethane can be ready in 1-2 weeks.
There is a wide range of materials available. Durometers range from 30A-90D. MR, UL, FDA, and clear materials are also available.
The strength and surface finish of cast urethanes is very comparable to injection molded pieces. Secondary applications can be done to parts, such as painting.
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