Before we begin to talk about multi-durometer parts, it is essential that we take time to first discuss what a durometer is. A durometer is an instrument that is used to test and measure the hardness of various materials, including polymers, elastomers, and rubbers. The higher the number on the scale, the greater resistance the product has to indentation. Therefore, the harder you need a material to be, the higher the number should be on the durometer. Lower numbers on the scale indicate less resistance, and therefore, a softer material.
Polyurethane products also exhibit incredible resistance properties when exposed to materials such as water, oil, and grease. When you take the resistance properties of urethane products and then combine a softer elastomer with a harder one, you get an abundance of benefits, as your product now offers the flexibility of a soft material with the strength of a hard material. If you are not sure which multi-durometer product is best for your applications, then be sure to call ESCO Plastics today and let one of our trained specialists help you determine what is best for your needs.
WIDE RANGE OF HARDNESSES
When deciding on the level of performance that you need from the products used in your application, it is important to consider some of the benefits of multi-durometer parts. Polyurethane products have many amazing qualities that make them far superior to rubber, metal, and even plastic products. When it comes to a range of hardnesses, no other material surpasses molded urethane products. It is precisely this broad range of hardnesses that make it such a great candidate for combining the properties at both ends of the scale of to create a multi-durometer part. We can create the parts you need that will have the softness to seal in an application while retaining the hardness needed to provide the appropriate structural support.
Coupled with the property of hardness is the benefit of a high load-bearing capacity. When it comes to tension and compression, polyurethane products have proven to have a high capacity. These products may undergo an overall change in their shape under the pressure of a heavy load, but maintain their ability to return to their original shape once the pressure of the load is removed. In fact, the material indicates very little compression has set in when it is designed accurately for a specific application.
While there are certain non-polyurethane products available that are great performers, their durability is challenged when exposed to certain elements or environments. When you consider the applications in which your product will be used, there are a number of factors that should be considered to help you determine the part that you need manufactured. For example, if the product will be in an environment where it will experience severe wear from either abrasion or impact, then only a molded urethane product can provide the resilience and resistance you need. In processes where there will be high stress on a product that may put it at risk of tearing or breaking down, a polyurethane product will provide the qualities of high tear resistance and high tensile properties that you want.