Advantages of Cast Urethane Parts
Vacuum casting; can be a cost-effective means to produce multiple prototypes of end-use quality or low-volume production parts. It produces cast urethane parts made of polyurethane, a versatile material used for fabricating custom rubber-like and plastic parts. Also known as cast urethane molding, it’s widely used for rapid prototyping to create high-quality components for various applications and industries.
Is vacuum casting best for your project? Knowing the benefits can help you make an informed choice. Here are some of them:
Urethane molding can be used for making alpha and beta builds, engineering verification designs, pre-production parts, and functional prototype components. The process can also be configured for fast and reasonably priced low-volume part production.
Reduce part and tooling costs
Cast urethane parts are typically more cost-effective in terms of price per piece than additive manufacturing. That’s especially true when you require a larger volume of prototypes. If your project requires multiple builds, vacuum casting can continuously build it instead of building it in stages. Moreover, compared to injection molding, cast urethane significantly costs less because it uses silicone molds, which are far less expensive than steel or aluminum.
Vacuum casting can deliver production-quality parts without the lead time and cost associated with production tooling. Tooling lead times are shorter than conventional injection molding, too. It contributes to a faster turnaround to bridge the gap between deadlines and productions. It can be beneficial to manufacturers to introduce their products ahead of their competition.
Flexibility in design
Silicone molds and soft tools are used for making cast urethane parts, and those are flexible materials that can easily accommodate design changes according to customer feedback. Silicone molds can last a certain amount, typically 25 to 30 per mold, so it’s quicker to implement design changes from one mold to another at reduced costs.
Polyurethanes are used in urethane molding to mimic injection mold-grade plastic. There are many different materials to suit a range of colors, specifications, and durometers, and most of them can be custom-colored to match Pantone numbers. FDA, UL, and MR clear materials are also available for cast urethane parts.