If you’re bringing a product to market, you want to take advantage of as many competitive edges as possible.
Anything that raises confidence in your end-product or shortens the production cycle is a great way to stand out.
Urethane casting can help you do just that. This process involves time-tested molding and can be used to manufacture parts almost as flexibly and quickly as 3D printing, and with the added beauty and strength that comes with injection molded parts.
Urethane casting works by producing a model of the part that’s being manufactured, then using it to make a silicone mold and filling that mold with urethane. It’s a great choice for show models and early prototyping due to its affordability over injection molding.
Here are some additional benefits of using cast urethane and ways it can be used to improve manufacturing:
When it’s time to test your product, you need to know that the parts you test are actually representing those that will be used in the final product. Accurate parts are vital to an accurate understanding of how your final product will perform.
There are many prototyping options out there, however, the accuracy that comes with cast urethane is unmatched. It has a very low shrinkage rate when curing, allowing for these parts to very closely match the pattern they were created from.
Cast urethane is highly resistant to extreme temperature, wear and tear, vibration, abrasion, UV rays, and more–making it an ideal choice for manufacturing parts that will be subject to heavy use or harsh environments. This sturdiness offers a major competitive advantage in today’s world of low-cost disposable products.
Cast urethane can be formulated to have a wide range of physical properties, such as flexibility, rigidity, and tensile strength. This allows manufacturers to create parts that are tailored to the specific requirements of their application.
Cast urethane can be cast into virtually any shape or size, with various finishes and consistencies. It can be customized to be transparent or color-matched and have a variety of textures and hardnesses. There are many additives available for use with cast urethane to create features like fire retardancy, heat and chemical resistance, ESD protection, and more. Inserts can also be added during the molding process.
All the customization options available allow for cast urethane molding to produce prototypes that greatly resemble injection molded end products and can even produce low-volume finished parts.
Cutting production time is always a great cost-saver. That’s why urethane casting, with its quick turnaround time of 2-4 weeks (and first parts available even earlier if necessary), is highly favored when it comes to manufacturing. This speed offers a tremendous competitive advantage if you’re in a rush to get to market or display a concept.
Injection molding, on the other hand, can take a minimum of 6 weeks to generate the first parts. And the longer it takes for a part to be produced, the longer you’ll have to wait to test it.
Cast urethane is often more cost-effective than traditional materials like metal or plastic, making it an ideal choice for manufacturers looking to reduce production costs.
The tooling needed for cast urethane is relatively low compared to the tooling for other materials, and can be used to produce a variety of different parts, which can help manufacturers with a high production rate save money.
By switching to cast urethane, manufacturers can enjoy improved durability, flexibility, accuracy, endless customization options, fast production, and cost-effectiveness in their products and manufacturing process.
At Mark Tool & Rubber, we’ve been worldwide leaders in urethane casting for decades. There’s a reason why we’ve been trusted by so many for so long. Contact us today to request a quote for your next custom urethane project.