From foam insulation in home construction and packaging to moldings for sprockets and skateboard wheels, polyurethane is extremely versatile as it can be manufactured to varying levels of hardness, stiffness, and density. Polyurethane is used widely due to its low tooling cost, resistance to abrasion and extensive wear, its excellent tear strength, color acceptability, elasticity, and solvent resistance. It also operates at minimal noise levels, can be cast, molded, and machined. It can be made sponge-soft or iron hard and can withstand extensive temperature changes. It is this versatility as well as its durability that makes polyurethane such a desirable material in so many industrial applications.
Polyurethane molding, in particular, offers incomparable durability in a lightweight substance. This combination is ideal as decreased weight without sacrificing strength is often a key to economic success in applications such as construction and transportation. In addition to combining the advantageous qualities of rubber, metal, and plastic, polyurethane molding products are also resistant to high temperatures and pressures. This means a long working life with little wear and tear. For instance, sprockets in conveyor belting are made to tight-tolerances and must maintain strength under continual use at high temperatures. Polyurethane moldings are used predominately for sprockets like these because of their long term durability.