TPU properties

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a unique category of plastic. This versatile polymer is soft and processable when heated, hard when cooled, and can be reprocessed multiple times without losing structural integrity.

As a malleable engineering plastic or a replacement for hard rubber, TPUs have high elongation and tensile strength, good elasticity and to varying degrees, a resistance to oil, grease, solvents, chemicals and abrasion.

Inherently flexible it can be extruded or injection molded on conventional manufacturing equipment to create components for footwear, cable and wire, hoses and tubes, film and sheet or other industrial products. It can also be compounded to make robust plastic moldings or processed using organic solvents to form laminated textiles, protective coatings or functional adhesives.

Three main chemical classes of TPU:


Polyester TPUs are compatible with PVC and other polar plastics. Unaffected by oils and chemicals provide excellent abrasion resistance; offer a good balance of physical properties; and are perfect for use in polyblends.

Polyether TPUs offer low temperature flexibility and good abrasion and tear resilience. Durable against microbial attack and providing excellent hydrolysis resistance they are suitable for applications where water is a consideration.

Polycaprolactone TPUs have the inherent toughness and resistance of polyester–based TPUs combined with low-temperature performance and a relatively high tolerance to hydrolysis. They are an ideal raw material for hydraulic and pneumatic seals

Two types of TPU: Aromatic and aliphatic


Aliphatic TPUs are light stable and offer excellent optical clarity. They are commonly employed in automotive interior and exterior applications, and as laminating films to bond glass and polycarbonate together in the glazing industry. They are also used in projects that require adhesion and surface protection

Aromatic TPUs are workhorse products for applications that require flexibility, strength and toughness.


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