Although ship and boat building design engineers have traditionally specified parts made of rubber, plastic, or steel when durability is required, cast polyurethanes could be a good alternative, says manufacturer Argonics Inc.
Cast polyurethanes, also broadly referred to as urethanes, are tough, elastic materials that combine many of the performance advantages of high-tech plastics, metals and ceramics along with the resiliency and flexibility of rubber parts and are ideal for ship/boat building components.
Urethanes can be poured as a liquid mixture into less expensive, low pressure molds. Using this technique, complex mold cavities can be filled without high-pressure molds and presses. This provides a multitude of advantages, not the least of which are lower tooling and production costs than both rubber and plastic molding, the company says.
There are many formulations – some proprietary – that can be used to manipulate a range of variables such as hardness, resilience, spring rate, and chemical resistance. For this reason, ship/boat building design engineers interested in a possible switch to polyurethane from plastics, steel, ceramic or rubber parts are often best served by seeking out the assistance and guidance of experts in urethane formulation like Argonics, the company says.