TPU Properties

Thermoplastic Polyurethane: A Brief Introduction
Considered a material that falls between rubbers and plastics, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an elastomer that softens when heated and solidifies when cooled. This makes it ideal for melt-processing manufacturing methods such as extrusion, molding, vacuum-forming and solution-coating.

 

TPU has a unique molecular structure that provides good compression set and high resilience, along with resistance to impacts, abrasions, tears, weather and more. In addition, it can be formulated with either polyester or polyether segments for two different property sets. More information on TPU properties can be found here. Need more information on whether TPU is right for your needs? Send an e-mail to tpu_techdesk@basf.com.

 

Polyether-based TPU is preferred for:

Excellent hydrolytic stability

Low-temperature flexibility

Microbial resistance

Resistance to weak acids/bases

 

Polyester-based TPU is the choice for:

Oil/solvent resistance

Weather (UV) resistance

Abrasion resistance

High-temperature resistance

Enhanced mechanical properties

 

TPU also offers a number of distinct advantages
over potential alternative materials.

 

Benefits over copolyester elastomers:

More versatile

More cost-effective

Performs better at low temperatures

 

Benefits over cast urethane:

More cost-effective

Recyclable

Has a shorter cycle time for better productivity

 

Benefits over PVC:

Properties more stable in the long term

More versatile over broader temperature range

Less material is required for same tasks

Less discoloration due to heat

Contains no chlorine

Does not contain plasticizer

Better resistance to solvents, fuel, abrasion, fatigue

Higher tensile, tear and puncture strength

 

Benefits over olefinic elastomers

Properties more stable in the long term

Flexibility can be chemically controlled

Better resistance to abrasion, fatigue, ozone, set and creep

Higher tensile, tear and puncture strength

Better pigment dispersion and paintability

Less material required for same tasks