Replacing parts made of polyurethane is something you rarely need to do. When durability matters, specifying this material can save you money but also time. Why is polyurethane so long-lasting and when will it wear out?
There are not many suppliers of parts for industry who can boast that customers will not necessarily need to repeat their order. Not for some time, anyway.
Of course, we want customers to find new ways to use polyurethane. However, one of the main reasons it is increasingly common in the industry is that parts made from polyurethane perform brilliantly, for much longer.
The unique properties of PU
The reason why polyurethane parts last (and last some more) is largely due to the chemical reaction used to bond its main ingredients. It’s actually a sophisticated process combining two reactive compounds, an organic polyol (containing multiple reactive hydroxyl groups) and a diisocyanate (chemical building block).
By varying ingredient quantities, catalysts and additives, you can manufacture polyurethane as everything from an adhesive, to a foam, right through to incredibly strong blocks. It can be produced to spring back to shape even when subjected to intense weights and pressure, or to stay as rigid and unchanging as metal.
It really is a scientific wonder. The chemical reaction binds together the molecules in a way that ensures unparalleled dimensional and tensile durability.
Polyurethane out lives rubber
When considering ‘How long do PU parts last?’, it is important to measure durability against rival materials. Especially when traditionally rubber has been your go-to for manufacturing bespoke items.
Polyurethane parts outperform and outlast rubber alternatives in multiple situations. Especially in any applications prone to constant ‘abuse’. For instance, when used in vehicles or outdoor machinery, the way polyurethane resists environmental factors and constant friction is literally second to none. Don’t forget too, that PU offers superior vibrational absorption when compared to rubber.
Benefits of durable parts
Being able to rely on parts to hold their tensile strength for many years can be a highly attractive proposition. Let’s look at the advantages of specifying durable parts in more detail.
When you order bespoke PU parts and components they provide you with many years of solid service. This reduces the costs involved in constantly replacing units, and of course, the hassle and time involved in repairing machinery and taking it offline to put in fresh parts when they wear down.
Polyurethane, unlike alternative materials for part manufacture, can stand up to an impressive amount of friction too. It holds its integrity even when constantly moving and coming into contact with other materials. This ensures that polyurethane parts resist many everyday reasons to bend, dent, swell, crack, split, flake or shed.
Remember too, that PU parts also resist moisture, oil and other contaminates, coping superbly with extreme temperatures when in situ. You can rely on a polyurethane product to remain fully intact and operational for upwards of ten years. This even applies for constantly in-use wheels and rollers made for PU.
So does that make polyurethane a premium product, at a high unit cost? Incredibly, despite their unparalleled survival timeframe, the cost of polyurethane parts is relatively low. Making it incredible value for money when you take into account the potential longevity of even moving parts!
When durability equals safety
Of course, there are industries with complex challenges when scheduling machinery repair and part replacement. For example, the mining, oil and gas sectors. As well as specifiers who need 100% confidence in the integrity of parts and components, such as aerospace and airports. For them, the durability of polyurethane is not just about being lean, but also avoiding the many risks their workers and customers face.
When to re-order PU parts
How often do polyurethane parts need to be replaced? Not often, but much depends on where and how the units are used. The best way to put a ‘best before’ date on items made from PU is to consult an expert within the team at Custom Moulded Polyurethane. We can estimate the level of wear against PU’s unique ability to withstand everything time and use throws at it!
Also, as suppliers of polyurethane moulded parts, we hope customers continue to find new ways to use this versatile material. As well as opting to replace units made from alternative substances with ones engineered in PU. These new sources of business are vital, as we actively work to create parts that don’t need to be replaced for over a decade!