Cast Polyurethane Elastomers in the Mining Industry

Cast Polyurethane Elastomers in the Mining Industry
5/31/2016 2:46:39 PM

There are very few industries that rely more on tools and machinery than mining.

We’re talking hazardous, dirty, dusty or damp working conditions.

We’re talking equipment pushed to the limits the law, and/or mother nature will allow.

Mark Tool makes equipment for the mining industry with two key features in mind: durability and resiliency.

It’s usually not a large, catastrophic equipment failure that can bring a mining operation to a grinding halt. Instead, the single point of failure is usually a relatively small component that’s supposed to prevent two or more larger components from coming in direct contact with each other.

The weakest points on most machines are places such as joints, pivot points and other high friction areas. If these critical pieces are not routinely inspected, lubricated or otherwise maintained, they too will all too quickly succumb to the very pressure they were designed to protect against.

In these types of harsh environments, where operating time is the most valuable commodity, mining equipment designers and manufacturers are increasingly paying more attention to many of the "little things” that go into making their big machines go longer.

For example, cast polyurethane components, long known for their high load bearing capacity, impact strength, resilience and abrasion resistance, are becoming very popular in a wide variety of applications to help increase the performance and longevity of mining equipment.

One of the major benefits of using castable urethane components is flexibility, not just in terms of the items physical performance as a rubberized material, but also because the components are liquid, allow configurations to be mixed, metered and dispensed with almost infinitely variable precision.

This unique process allows components to be made in any shape, size, weight or density, while still insuring the piece remains completely uniform and homogenous throughout the entire run.

Other advantages of cast urethane, when compared to other elastomers and plastics, include greater strength, toughness, durability and versatility. These cost effective and dependable elastomers that combine some of the performance advantages of engineering plastics, metals and ceramics along with the resiliency and flexibility of rubber.

Again, the adjustable nature of the chemical properties of polyurethane can be easily adjusted to provide many new opportunities to address performance problems that other materials could not solve.

Lastly, cast polyurethane components will also deliver a much better long term value for end customer. Unlike other materials, urethane components are much less likely to fail due to cracking, swelling, breaks, tears, abrasion and deterioration.

Another unique characteristic of cast polyurethane products is that they also can be molded and bonded to many different types of substrates, including steel, aluminum, fiberglass. Providing additional strength and rigidity if necessary. Alone, urethane components can be molded to meet various durometer hardnesses to accommodate the requirements of different applications.

Cast urethane components for mining and many other demanding industries created at Mark Tool & Rubber can be custom molded for both high and low volume production and are available in a variety of hardnesses from Shore 10A to Shore 80D. In addition, parts can be cast that are as small as a few ounces or as large as several hundred pounds.

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