Urethane Casting Material Options & Considerations

When to use Urethane Casting: Urethane Casting is most commonly used during the prototyping process, and can generally be expected to hold +/- .010″ tolerances with +/-0.0015 in/in (parts larger than 20″ may result in tolerances even beyond those stated).

Urethane Casting Considerations

Soft Tool CastingRequires a master pattern and a silicone tool be made.
Master PatternsUsually CNC machined master patterns that last up to one year for most geometries, though masters can break during the making of the silicone tool. 3D printed (e.g. PolyJet or SLA) masters have a shorter shelf life. Masters are destroyed after their useful life.
3D Printed ToolsTools are good for up to 20 parts for most geometries and can deliver quality parts up to 90 days from being made—tools are destroyed after their useful life.
OvermoldComplex parts such as overmolds can be achieved, however casting process does not result in a very strong chemical bond between shots, regardless of material selection. Parts should be designed to maximize mechanical bonding between shots.
ColorParts can be casted in color and will approximately match specified Pantone color, however, paint is recommended for show models (greater cosmetic result) and parts that require exact Pantone color matching.

Rigid Materials

Standard MaterialsShore ValueColor OptionsNotesRecommended Production Method After Prototyping
ABS-Like85 DCan be Colored for Near Match to PantoneCommon Material ChoiceInjection Molding
UL94VO Rated74 DCan be Colored for Near Match to PantoneUL94VO Rated Material Meets Specified Flammability StandardInjection Molding
Polypropylene-Like80 DCan be Colored for Near Match to Pantone-Injection Molding
High Temp80 DLight Tints are Very Difficult As Resin is Naturally An Off WhiteGlass Transition (Tg) At Over 120°CInjection Molding
Clear High Temp87 DClear OnlyRequires A High Polish To Achieve Water Clear Finish, Glass Transition (Tg) At 110°CInjection Molding

Soft Materials

Standard MaterialsShore ValueColor OptionsNotesRecommended Production Method After Prototyping
Silicone20A-50 ACan Be Colored For Near Match To PantoneCannot Paint, Food GradeCompression Molding Or Liquid Silicone Injection Molding
Rubber-Like20-90 ACan Be Colored For Near Match To PantoneCannot PaintInjection Molding, Compression Molding, Or Liquid Silicone Injection Molding
Clear Rubber-Like30-80 AClear, Can be tinted to Achieve TransparencyClear, Cannot Be PaintedInjection Molding, Compression Molding, Or Liquid Silicone Injection Molding

Urethane Casting enables designers and engineers to get production-like material parts in their hands quickly, whether a company is in the midst of the prototyping phase of product development or needing finished looking parts for final tests and presentations.

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