Polyurethane rods are one of the most commonly used PU products, due to the extensive list of utilisations for the product across multiple industry sectors. This blog post will present an overview of the different applications for Polyurethane Rods, and why Polyurethane is a preferable material to use.
What are Polyurethane rods?
Polyurethane was first discovered in 1937, but the first commercial production wasn’t until 1954 in Europe, (then soon after the United States,) and has become increasingly popular since due to its versatility. Polyurethane is so versatile in-fact, that according to Fortune Business Insights ‘The global polyurethane market is projected to grow from $57.34 billion in 2021 to $81.74 billion in 2028.’
PU rods are cylindrical rods of polyurethane, which can be used in the manufacturing of a variety of products, with a vast number of potential applications. PU rods are often used as an alternative to rubber, which disintegrates faster, and permanently deforms sooner than PU, and would need to be replaced. These rods are often custom made to purpose, and can be hollow or cut to make them even more versatile.
Benefits of Polyurethane rods
Polyurethane rods have several advantages due their long flexible polymer molecules, which make the material incredibly versatile.
Some of the Key commercial benefits of PU rods are:
- Abrasion resistance
- Outstanding low-temperature performance
- High shear strength
- High elasticity
- High resistance to sunlight and weather conditions
Applications of Polyurethane rods
It is no surprise that these benefits make PU rods useful for a wide range of applications. Here are some of the different ways PU rods can be used in various industries:
Polyurethane rods are often fixed to the suspension or steering of a vehicle to minimise road bumps. When these suspension bushings wear, they allow more movement in the car, such as poor handling, loose steering, or clunking or rattling noises on loose roads.
Foam PU rods can be cut flexibly, which makes them perfect as gaskets and seals for insulating both temperature and sound, as well as shock and vibration control. For a gasket the rod can be sliced, or cast into tubes, allowing for a bigger variety of products. Its resilience against weather and the material’s durability means that polyurethane can far outlast similar products made from rubber.
PU rods are also used for wheels and casters and wheels, (casters are the brackets around a wheel, often seen on office chairs). Their high load bearing capacity means that they can withstand force better than their rubber counterparts, and their abrasion resistance means that the risk of a scratch or tear is minimised.
If valve seats are cracked or damaged, valve inserts can be attached to prepare the worn or damaged areas. PU rods are ideal valve inserts, as they have good resistance to wear, and do not deform under load.
With Polyurethane’s vibration absorption qualities it’s no surprise that polyurethane rods also make excellent shock absorbers and noise dampers. Due to their versatility and adaptable durometer (range of hardness), they can be used for anything from keeping out the noise of the road to bumper pad applications.
Leisure & Hospitality Industry
Polyurethane rods are often used as supports on Roller coasters, due their high impact resistance, especially if the frames are wooden. The strength of the PU rods reinforce the rollercoaster’s strength and allow them to withstand a higher impact range and force. PU rods are often used in the leisure industry for escalator wheels, due to their excellent resistance against wear and their load bearing qualities.
Unsurprisingly, PU rods can be used for wear strips on ploughs. The abrasion resistance, resistance against corrosion and wear, as well as their ability to withstand high impact loads, make them perfect for this purpose.
Polyurethane rods can be used for multiple purposes within many different industries, but their popularity is well deserved. The beneficial properties of PU mean that this strong and flexible material is an excellent choice, that is also incredibly durable. Companies such as CMP can create customisable PU rods to fit your exact needs, to suit any application.