Tag Archives: plastic extrusions

What Are the Differences Between Rubber and Plastic Extrusions?

At Universal Polymer & Rubber, we are industry leaders in both rubber and plastic extrusion. Although these types of extrusions share similar qualities, their key distinctions make them well-suited for different applications.

In this blog, we’ll clarify the similarities and differences between rubber and plastic extrusions as well as outline some of the more prevalent uses of each material.

Rubber Extrusions

During the rubber extrusion process, manufacturers build a die in the shape of the required cross section, then force the rubber through the die. The immense pressure under which this takes place makes the rubber soft and pliable, enabling manufacturers to shape into the appropriate form. After shaping the rubber, manufacturers vulcanize it, causing it to harden into the desired shape.

Rubber extrusions are ideal for applications that must account for compression set properties. They work well in very harsh environments, including at high temperatures and in places where the part will be in motion. Depending on the application, and especially to assist in high-temperature environments, silicone can be incorporated into the rubber to improve its performance.

Rubber is very tear-resistant, and its excellent strength capabilities mean that it can last a long time in many applications. The automotive and trucking industries in particular rely on rubber extrusions, as they form essential components such as tarp straps. Concrete pipe layers also use extruded rubber to create high-strength pipe gaskets, and rubber sees many uses as grips and other parts of outdoor power equipment.

Plastic Extrusions

Plastic is extruded somewhat differently from rubber. During plastic extrusion, the plastic is melted and then forced through the die. After the die has shaped the molten plastic into the desired form, it cools into a solid form and is sliced to the appropriate length.

Plastic differs from rubber in that it offers opportunities for recyclability. Rubber will retain its shape even under extreme heat, whereas plastic can be melted and reused after it has fulfilled its intended purpose.

Plastic’s tendency to melt at high temperatures makes it unsuitable for applications in hot environments, but it is useful for other applications that place a higher value on hardness and rigidity. Plastic can take on many different forms; depending on the formula used to build the plastic, it can be as stiff or malleable, light or as sturdy, etc., as needed.

A range of applications use plastic extrusions. For example, many types of window seals and window channels are made from extruded plastic. Plastic also forms the basis of many consumer products, including souvenirs and toys. The medical industry makes heavy use of extruded plastic tubes and tubing.

Rubber and Plastic Extrusions From UP&R

Rubber and plastic extrusions each offer unique advantages for their respective suitable applications. Rubber extrusions are ideal for high-heat applications and those that place the extrusion under significant loads. Plastic extrusions are better if you’re looking for light weight and stiffness. Users should consider the temperature and performance demand requirements of their application when deciding between extrusions.

Whichever extrusion type you aim to choose, Universal Polymer & Rubber can help with your next project. We’ve been making high-quality custom rubber and plastic extrusions since 1970, offering a wide array of polymer solutions to clients around the world.

We manufacture parts to Mil-spec and ASTM standards, and you can find our extrusions at work in the architectural, construction, transportation, automotive, electrical, and industrial markets.

To learn more about the rubber and plastic extrusions that we offer at Universal Polymer & Rubber, contact us or request a quote today.

Universal Polymer & Rubber: Examining our Acquisition Strategy

Who Did We Recently Acquire?

UP&R is proud to announce that we have just completed our fifth overall acquisition, and third in the last four years. Our continuous acquisition strategy has cemented our position as one of the largest non-mixing polymer fabricators in the United States. At UPR, we are always actively looking for additional polymer parts manufacturers that fit our perpetual approach.

Who did we acquire this time? Gasko Fabricated Products of Medina, OH! Gasko is a high-volume, die-cutting converter of polymer and hybrid materials for gaskets, seals, and diaphragms. Such modules are used for power take-off and transmission, and engine management/fuel delivery system applications in the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment markets.

Over time, the Medina facility will transition to our Tallmadge, OH facility, attaining synergies, economies, and shared die-cut expertise.

John Zielinski, our Executive Vice President, commented, “Customers and prospects have been asking for a wider variety in our converting, and through this acquisition, we will now be able to provide for the market’s need.”

What Sets Us Apart from the Competition

 With about two handfuls of competitors within a 50-mile radius, we unremittingly set our self apart from the many other polymer companies in Northeast Ohio. Acquisition numbers from our wide-range of capabilities allow us to achieve a high-level stature. Our competitors include other rubber molders who tackle tarp straps, but similar manufacturers have limited capabilities that lead to our success as a business. At UPR, we have four different types of tarp straps including our own brands, and multiple layers to each brand.

Through our assortment of brands comes a fluctuation in price point too. Businesses, both small and large, will be able to find an answer that fits their needs.

Additional competitors include extrusion and molding, but the competition only supports one focal point – either, or – not both. Here, at Universal Polymer, we have the support to focus on rubber molding, rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions, tarp straps and gaskets, because of the diversity of our qualified, in-house, team experts. We are a one-stop-shop for all of your polymer solutions for the transportation and cargo control market, construction and pipe manufacturers market, automotive OE supply chain as a Tier II and Tier III, and the general industrial market that comprises several well-known global manufacturers.

Our one-stop-shop doesn’t only serve the end product of a tarp strap, a pipe gasket, window gasket, tire or more. When we say everything is done in-house, we mean it. From die-cutting to fabrication, both your polymers and rubbers start and end with us. UPR beats out the multiple stops that you would have to take to buy extrusions from one manufacturer and your required molded parts from another.

As a robust and elite manufacturer, there’s no worry, no wasted downtime, no hassle. All of our different parts are preplanned, engineered, designed, and already taken care of with you in mind. Every piece you need already fits perfectly together. With UP&R, you get all of the aspects of a small business manufacturer with the quality of a big manufacturer, meaning all of your bases–quality AND quantity, are covered “under one roof.”

With the Gasko acquisition, we continue to supply and have increased supplies for the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment industries, plus further industrial markets too.

Immediate customer-facing benefits include:

  • Both locations, Medina and Tallmadge, have historically specialized in fast turn-around, high-mix, high volume production, making them highly complementary. Plans include the move of Medina’s manufacturing into our Tallmadge location, an IATF-16949 and ISO-9001 certified production facility.
  • A Stronger Product Line for Customers – The Gasko product line, when added to our already broad product line, will enhance the total basket of goods that UP&R offers to our current customer base, and further, to market.
  • Enhanced Capabilities – While UP&R and Gasko have shared similar historical focus’, each excels in specific, but complementary areas. We look to offer Gasko customers a more full range of offerings – molded and extruded rubber parts, and die-cut parts, from IATF16949 certified facilities – that will provide vendor consolidation opportunities in a lean manufacturing world.

Our Ideology at UP&R

Because we put continuous improvement into our day-to-day, we get better each day. Started in 1970, we have continuously operated since inception. In 2018, our staff is proud to say that we are wiser today then we were just yesterday. And with additional resources now onboard, we’ll be able to continue forward with our successful business model.

Today, UPR stands ready to help your company compete and grow. At UP&R, we are committed to providing you first-rate service, timely service, and quality – every single time!

How We’ve Grown Since the Beginning

 Universal Polymer & Rubber started out as a tarp strap and pipe gasket manufacturer. We have remained true to our roots by building upon that initial foundation. Starting off as a smaller size business, we leveraged our expertise in pipe gasket development and manufacturing, to gain business in other interwoven product applications including window gaskets, tote gaskets, and tires. Currently, we have branched out into other markets, and through our market diversity and versatility, we have been able to learn from all markets to apply best practices from each market application to the next.

To this day, we remain one of the largest suppliers of pipe gaskets in North America.

Look for more information on the many industries that we cover by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. We update them almost daily!

For any questions on our wide array of gaskets, moldings, extrusions, or company in general, simply contact us today. We look forward to connecting with you soon!