Polyurethane materials are often used in casting because they create production-level quality parts without requiring the use of expensive hard-tooling processes.
As more and more businesses turn to polyurethane casting to meet their production needs, the importance of quality product design is becoming more apparent. You can't expect a successful outcome when casting polyurethane materials if you don't start the process with a detailed and reasonable design.
Account for Shrinkage
If you plan to rely on casting for the production of any items that need to maintain precise dimensions, you must account for shrinkage in the design phase. The amount of shrinkage you can expect during the casting process depends on the type of material being used, the accuracy of the model, and the basic geometry of the part itself.
You should anticipate that your polyurethane products will have a shrinkage rate of at least 0.15% and factor this into your design process to compensate for shrinkage in the dimensions of your end product.
Maintain Wall Thickness
Another critical factor to consider during the design phase of any polyurethane casting project is the thickness of the walls throughout the design. It's ideal to maintain a uniform wall thickness throughout the entire product so that the urethane materials will flow into the finished mold evenly.
An even flow of casting materials allows the part you are producing to cure at the same rate. Your end-products will be more durable and reliable when you make it a point to maintain uniform wall thickness as you design your cast products.
Consider Production Costs
Cost can be a deciding factor when it comes to seeing a polyurethane casting project through to fruition or having the project be abandoned. You can control production costs by taking cost into consideration during the design phase.
Determine if your end product will need finish. Design with the intention of applying a standard finish to avoid the cost of a custom finish.
You should also be sure that your product design is simple enough to allow the casting process to be completed with ease. A design that is too complex could result in additional production costs that put the casting project over budget.
A quality design will always produce a quality polyurethane casting. Take your time during the design phase to consider all major factors that will impact the casting process. Doing so will help you produce a higher quality casting at a more affordable cost.
Talk to a company that deals with polyurethane casting materials to learn more.