Rubber and polyurethane processing: the most used in manufacturing

By 13 April 2022 No Comments

The rubber and polyurethane processes are fundamental components for the industry. The applications are innumerable across sectors.

Why rubber and polyurethane? The reason is simple: they provide the best compromise in terms of functional characteristics, processability and cost. It is therefore worth promoting an overview of the most common rubber and polyurethane processing.


Rubber and polyurethane: two fundamental resources

Before listing some of the most common processes, it is useful to describe the main characteristics of rubber and polyurethane, bearing in mind that with these terms, rather than materials in the strict sense, we mean “classes of materials”.

  • Elasticity. Both rubber and polyurethane are elastic, to such an extent that in technical jargon they are called “elastomers”. It is a fundamental quality in industry and manufacturing, given the multiple stresses that the production processes cause.
  • Resistance to mechanical stress. Same goes for mechanical stresses. No matter what the activities of the machinery are, the various components are subjected to significant stress and pressure, which require a strong resistance


Rubber and polyurethane are often interchangeable but still have big differences. Rubber absorbs vibrations better, while polyurethane is less exposed to the risk of abrasion, has a longer life, and is more resistant to chemicals and heat.

Some components in rubber and polyurethane

We now list some of the most common rubber and polyurethane processes in industry and manufacturing, each time associating the most performing material with the component.

Polyurethane sleeve

A sleeve is a rather short section of a hollow cylinder, which serves as a connection for pipes and metal pieces.

Polyurethane is the material of choice by virtue not only of the excellent response to mechanical stress and a strong elasticity, but also to abrasion.

This makes it possible to resist the rotational movement of the components without suffering.

All this, without giving in to compromises in terms of solidity, safety and rigidity.


Rubber wheels

In this case, the material of choice is rubber. In fact, the wheels have to withstand a lot of vibrations, as they come into contact with rigid and not always regular surfaces.

If the rubber is specially designed for this purpose, it is endowed with sufficient flexibility to resist micro-oscillations but also with stiffness to guarantee maximum safety. It must be said that polyurethane can also be used in the production of industrial wheels, especially due to its longer life.

The performance, in this case, is only slightly lower.


Springs for polyurethane molds

The spring is a fundamental component for many processes and in particular for guaranteeing the performance of the molds. Their task is in fact to create the most suitable pressure so that the material is held in a stable position throughout the handling process.

Springs for polyurethane molds perform better than springs for rubber molds as their massive use exposes them to even significant increases in temperature. In fact, as we have already mentioned, polyurethane resists heat better than rubber.

Rollers for conveyor belts

The roller helps to move the conveyor belt, while at the same time ensuring a guide that is as smooth as possible. In turn, the conveyor belt is a fundamental component for industry and manufacturing as it guarantees the fluidity of the process, in particular of the assembly line.

What material should the roller be made of? Conveyor belt rollers are usually made of metal, or rather steel. However, the coating assumes considerable importance, the purpose of which is to protect the roller itself and optimize the passage of the pieces on the belt. The choice in this case is rather difficult.

Rubber roller coatings provide greater protection from vibrations, a pressing need if the components are inherently delicate. Polyurethane roller coatings, however, have the advantage of being longer lasting and more slowly wearing out. Other parameters must then be taken into consideration. For example, rubber costs a little less than polyurethane, but on the other hand the latter is more easily processable.

Warca Rulli

Author Warca Rulli

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