What is Polyurethane Moulding?
At Clifton Rubber we manufacture parts using Cast Elastomer Polyurethanes. Polyurethane Elastomers are a very versatile material used in a range of applications from common consumer goods to more complex industrial parts.
The Polyurethane Moulding Process
Polyurethane moulding is the process of manufacturing parts by casting a elastomer polyurethane system into a mould, the subsequent chemical reaction of the component chemicals forms a solid elastomeric material in the shape of the cavity.
At Clifton Rubber we process polyurethane elastomers using the two principal methods of open pour casting and closed injection moulding.
Each process has key benefits depending on order volumes, product complexity and the required physical properties of the component’s end use. This production flexibility means that we are best placed to provide our customer with an effective solution whether producing high volumes or single run bespoke items.
Our in-house precision engineering unit offers the capability to design and manufacture unique open and closed mould tools to meet all product requirements. Our mould tools are manufactured from durable alloys to ensure they produce quality products every time over many years of service.
Tooling is held at our premises in dedicated storage and maintained in top working order to ensure it can run as soon as our customer’s demand products.
The two main Polyurethane Moulding Processes are:
Closed PU Injection Moulding
Where liquid polyurethane is injected into a closed mould. A pressurised nozzle is used to fill the cavity of the mould.
A closed mould improves the flow of the polyurethane, allowing for the creation of far more complex shapes than the open cast process.
Injection moulding comes with additional upfront costs due to the complexity of the mould tools which need to withstand the heat and pressure involved in the process.
Consequently, the increased durability of the mould means that it can be used to create higher volumes of parts at speed, which drastically reduces the cost per part.
Open Pour PU Casting
Open cast moulding is a process whereby liquid Polyurethane elastomer is cast into an open-top mould. Once the mixture solidifies, the finished part is ready to be removed from the mould.
Open cast moulding is best used for batch production runs of simple and uncomplicated parts and has a lower initial cost of tooling due to the nature of the process.