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A guide to thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU)

Views: 273     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-08-23      Origin: Site


A guide to thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU)

Thermoplastic polyurethane is often abbreviated as TPU.It is a thermoplastic elastomer that can be melted. It possesses traits of both rubber and plastic. As a result, it demonstrates qualities including robustness, adaptability, and exceptional tensile strength. It meets the requirements of several demanding applications. These include coatings for textiles, wires and cables, sports, and automobiles.

What is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)?

High durability and flexibility may be found in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a melt-processable thermoplastic elastomer. For demanding applications, it offers a variety of physical and chemical property combinations. Automotive, wires and cables, breathable films for leisure and sports, textile coatings, weatherable, non-yellowing films, etc. are a few examples.

It possesses qualities that fall between those of rubber and plastic. It offers various advantages that other elastomers cannot match because of its thermoplastic nature, including strong tensile strength, high elongation at break, and good load-bearing capacity.

How TPU is produced?

TPU is created when a certain type of polyaddition reaction takes place between a diisocyanate and one or more diols. A polyol or long-chain diol, an amino acid, and a fatty acid are the three fundamental raw ingredients needed to make a TPU. A diisocyanate, short-chain diol, or chain extender.

It is a block copolymer with linear segments that consists of both soft and hard segments. Polyol and isocyanate are the building blocks of the soft segment (polyether or polyester). gives flexibility and a TPU's elastomeric qualities. Chain extenders and isocyanates are used to build hard segments, whether they are aromatic or aliphatic. This is what gives TPU its physical performance and durability characteristics.

What are the properties of TPU?

TPUs allow industries to mainly benefit from the following combination of properties :

Abrasion/Scratch Resistance

In situations where abrasion resistance is crucial, TPU is the material of choice. Sports and recreation equipment, technological components, and specialized cables are a few of these. When compared to other thermoplastic materials, it exhibits exceptional results. The weight loss of a specimen during a conventional wear test is often used to gauge a material's abrasion resistance. TPU has better abrasion resistance than other materials like PVC and rubber.

UV Resistance

The colorfastness of your aesthetic pieces is guaranteed by aliphatic TPUs. They exhibit greater color stability and greater resistance to UV light. They also preserve strong mechanical characteristics in addition to these advantages. Aliphatic TPU is the ideal material for electronic applications because it offers the ideal property profile and adaptability.

Highly Breathable TPU Ensures Optimum Comfort

When designing sportswear or building and construction items, comfort is of the utmost importance. For maximum comfort, highly breathable TPUs are offered. Vapor transmission for conventional TPU is less than 1,500 g/m2/day. While grades that are extremely breathable might reach levels of 10,000 g/m2/day. You may combine breathable TPUs with traditional TPUs.

Combination of High Transparency with Abrasion Resistance

TPUs with excellent toughness and crystal clarity are readily accessible. This property enables the use of TPU in the extrusion of transparent films, tubes, and hoses as well as in the injection molding of technical, aesthetically pleasing parts, where transparency may be attained at a thickness of up to 6 mm.

What are the environmental benefits of TPU?

TPU is recyclable and biodegradable. Other advantages of TPU over PVC include environmental protection, the fact that TPU is resistant to abrasion while PVC can split over time, and durability. It is recognized as a safe substitute for PVC in medical equipment since it is more elastic and lighter than PVC. This is due to the fact that TPU healthcare grades don't include rubber accelerators or plasticizers, which can irritate the skin or lead to dermatitis.

Building, vehicle, and appliance insulators made of polyurethane significantly increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Because TPU materials are lighter than other metals, they improve fuel economy in cars.

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