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Comparing Urethane to Metal, Plastic, and Rubber in Industrial Applications

Urethane is one of the most versatile materials on the market and is often favored over metal, plastic, and rubber when it comes to industrial applications. Continue reading as we dive into the main advantages of urethane over other materials. 

Metal vs urethane

Abrasion, conductivity, pressure, magnetism, weight, and noise are often critical factors in industrial applications. If any of these factors are important to your application, urethane should be your preferred choice over metal.

When it comes to abrasion, for example, urethane not only lasts longer than metal, but it is also cheaper to produce and mold. Choosing urethane over metal also provides significant improvements to impact resistance, sparking, flexibility, fabricating costs, and more.

Urethane is the best choice for electrical conductivity as well for a few reasons: 

  • Its molecular composition will not corrode
  • It possesses considerable insulative properties
  • It can transmit conductivity by compositing or blending with conductive materials

Plastic vs urethane

Comparing plastic to urethane is a pretty close call. Both are available in numerous formulations and offer similar properties, however, urethane is better at impact/abrasion resistance, rebounding, and noise reduction than plastic.

Rubber vs urethane

While rubber is quite the exemplary material, it too is outshone by urethane–particularly in high-load bearing applications like bushings and spacers. Urethane also offers better resistance to grease, oils, ozone, abrasion, oxygen, and chemicals than rubber. 

Rubber parts often need replacement more frequently than urethane parts, resulting in decreased productivity and an increase in cost and downtime. If you’re planning an application that will be subjected to abrasion, impact, or wear and tear, urethane parts are likely your best bet. 

Mark Tool & Rubber’s custom cast polyurethane parts have been trusted in industrial applications all over the world for decades. Experience the Mark Tool difference for yourself and contact us today to request a quote!

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