3 ways 'Poly' beats rubber
At first glance, it is easy to see why rubber – or synthetic rubbers – are a popular choice for parts and spares. It’s cheap and it can do a job. But’s that about it and as they say, you get what you pay for. Let’s dig a little deeper and see if it actually pays to buy cheap and buy rubber compared to polyurethane products?
#1 – HOW DO THEIR RESPECTIVE LIFE SPANS COMPARE?
Answer: They don’t.
Rubber is bio-degradable and while that might be good for the environment, it won’t help you run your mine or plant! It is constantly wearing away and rotting in the face of the elements be those, sun, air or water. It’s also much softer so general wear and tear rates are high!
Polyurethane however has a MUCH higher tolerance to abrasion (so your wear and tear rates will be considerably lower) AND the properties of polyurethane make it resistance to a far higher range of UV, thermal and hydrological ranges so polyurethane’s ability to survive in the face of light, heat and water is a lot better than rubber.
#2 – HOW DO THEIR PERFORMANCES COMPARE?
Answer: There is a big difference.
Rubber has a limited ability to bear a load and much higher compression set percentages. What that means is that under a load, rubber will give in relatively quickly. A high compression set means that a rubber part will have its shape and structure permanently changed by a relatively low force and thus reduce the purpose of what it was originally intended to do.
Polyurethane on the other hand can tolerate a much higher load and the shape and nature of the part is far harder to alter than rubber making its compression set much better and hence, a more reliable part to perform under pressure!
#3 – WHICH PRODUCT IS MORE ADAPTABLE?
Rubber has a limited range of functions that it can perform well and if the job you need your part to do falls outside of that range, then rubber is going to result in a loss of performance and longevity. In essence, rubber performs well for only a select few parts and functions.
However, polyurethane parts can be manufactured to suit a wide variety of functions and roles. You can make it harder, softer, more resistant to abrasions – basically you can keep altering the formula at the production phase until you have the EXACT part and function you need.
So does rubber beat polyurethane? You might save on the initial invoice BUT when you consider the lifespan of your part, how well it will perform and your ability to mould it to exactly what you need, polyurethane comes up tops every time! The money you make from longer and better performance far exceeds what you save on the initial purchase.
Still not sure our polyurethane products will work for you?
That’s OK. We get it! It can be hard to trust a new supplier or product you haven’t had experience with before.
But rather than let your doubt dissuade you, why not download our free overview on how polyurethane improves results and performance and when compared against rubber products?