Polyurethanes for High Temperature Seals
Some leak tests require high temperatures depending on the product being tested. This can be particularly challenging as many synthetic materials, like thermoplastics and rubbers, are highly sensitive to immense levels of heat. Understanding a material’s temperature resistance early in development can assure optimal efficiency and reliable performance. Otherwise, the material may lose its original shape and ultimately fail to hold a tight seal. To prevent any catastrophic failures, an excellent material to consider with high resistance to temperature is thermoset polyurethane. This unique material offers product designers the flexibility to design what they envision without compromise. Below, we will discuss the temperature resistance of thermoset polyurethanes and important considerations for your product leak test seal.
Polyurethanes Exposure to Temperature
Thermoset polyurethanes are naturally resistant to high temperatures due to their unique chemical structure. Depending on the chemistry employed, standard polyurethanes can withstand temperatures ranging between -80°F to 200°F, while custom chemistries can offer a higher tolerance to temperature, as high as 300°F. Outside of these temperatures, thermoset polyurethanes can tend to weaken or degrade over time but never melt like their counterparts. To learn more about polyurethane temperature range, click here.
Temperature Resistance in your Leak Test Design
Heat and high temperatures can be very destructive to many product leak test seals. When your application involves these factors, it's important to select specific heat-resistant materials to meet stringent leak test requirements. Take combustion engines as an example. This critical system is designed with exploding gasoline to power moving objects at extreme temperatures. Because of this, automakers are required to test for leaks and mimic the same operating temperatures to validate performance. If a leak is present, the exploding gasoline could either damage the engine or propagate – leading to machine downtime or significant harm to the end user. To assure reliable results in high-temperature environments, it is recommended to avoid materials like rubber or thermoplastics as they will melt. This reason alone is enough for product designers to consider thermoset polyurethanes for their high-temperature test systems. For extreme temperatures, silicone may also be a good candidate to consider. While silicones may exhibit greater temperature resistance over thermoset polyurethanes, it is often very difficult for this material to exhibit superior properties like abrasion resistance or tensile strength.
If you find thermoset polyurethanes are a key requirement for your high-temperature test setup, this can easily be customized by your thermoset polyurethane manufacturer. For material assistance, complete our design tool here, or click the button below to start your custom polyurethane seal today.