Polyurethane has been in the automotive aftermarket for several years now and is the product to look out for if you want improved handling for your vehicle.
So what is it? In short it’s a plastic material manufactured to different densities to be rigid or flexible depending on what the end use requires.
Car performance after sales markets are using this Polyurethane in a big way to make a variety of bush sets for shock absorbers, axles and A frames. Basically anywhere there’s rubber think Polyurethane, yes engine mounts, anti roll bar, exhaust hangers, even dashboards, that’s how adaptable this material is. The car industry is utilising it evermore in their quest for efficiency because of its lightweight and durable characteristics.
In contrast to rubber that compresses and bounces the high density poly counterpart can absorb stress causing less vibration and movement meaning better control. Where poly exhaust, anti roll bar and engine mounts are used there is a tighter fit and no squash so again less movement during cornering and off-roading. Rubber unfortunately rots, softens and deteriorates with age but Polyurethane is resilient to salt, UV rays oil, fuel in fact most chemicals an engine can inflict.
Scientist have not yet finished with polyurethane developments, due to its adaptability, current tests are experimenting with the formula to create a heat resistant version, looks like it wont be long before we can use a 3D printer to replace various engine components.
The next time you are replacing bushes, consider paying a little bit more for the poly alternative, you will benefit in the long term.