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All The Information You Need To Know About Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Views: 245     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-10-19      Origin: Site


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All The Information You Need To Know About Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Thermoplastic polyurethanes, also known as TPUs, are a unique category of plastic created via polyaddition reactions between diisocyanates and one or more diols.

The term "thermoplastic" describes a substance that melts and becomes malleable when heated and solidifies when cooled. The structural integrity of thermoplastic materials may be repeatedly melted, moulded, and treated without deterioration.

Urethane monomers, which result from the interaction of an isocyanate and a polyol, hold together a useful class of polymer known as polyurethane.

Characteristics of Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Thermoplastic polyurethane combines the practical qualities of polyurethane goods with the simplicity of use and reprocessability of thermoplastics to create a plastic perfect for use in a variety of disciplines and industries. TPU is easily produced since it can be extruded or injection-moulded using standard thermoplastic manufacturing equipment.

The abrasion resistance, elasticity, resistance to oils and greases over a wide range of temperatures, impact resistance, and flexibility of TPUs are just a few of the obvious benefits and practical qualities they possess. For low-temperature applications requiring flexibility and abrasion resistance, TPU is the best thermoplastic.

The two primary varieties of thermoplastic polyurethanes are those based on polyester and those based on polyether. Polyester-based TPUs usually use polyesters made from adipic acid esters, while polyether-based TPUs usually use tetrahydrofuran ethers. The soft part of the chain is different between the two types of TPUs. When selecting the best thermoplastic, it is also possible to take into account the somewhat varied qualities of the two varieties of TPUs.

Benefits of Thermoplastic Polyurethane

One plastic polymer that is easily moldable at high temperatures is thermoplastic polyurethane. It has elastic properties since it is similar to rubber and solidifies after cooling. TPU can be processed by extrusion, injection, or compression. It can be applied to our daily lives to generate and develop various Like any other polymer, it possesses benefits that are exclusive to its class. The benefits of thermoplastic polyurethane are listed below: Every product has a positive and a negative side, but with impactful items, the positives exceed the negatives by a wide margin. With the benefits listed below, it can be said to be a perfect product.

Due to its widespread application in several spheres of life, thermoplastic polyurethane might be described as solution-coated. It is more akin to thermoforming, in which plastic is shaped into durable objects. It is perfect for many types of production, creativity, technique, or procedure.

1. The coloration of thermoplastic polyurethane is simple

Thermoplastic polyurethane is easily colorable, unlike other thermoplastic polymers. Even though it must go through a lot more steps to get its colouring just right, the end result is always superior to others.

2. Versatility at its best

TPU is incredibly adaptable since it has a variety of physical characteristics that make it suitable for a wide range of uses. Because thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) combines both the soft and hard segments, its products are very customizable.

The soft section will either be polyester or polyether, while the hard segment will either be a fragrance or an organic component.

3. Plasticizer is not for usage

Thermoplastic polyurethane doesn't use plasticizer. TPU doesn't require the addition of any substance in order to be flexible or pliable. This polymer naturally appears as rubber or plastic. Therefore, there is no need to add more substance to make it thicker or less malleable. Contrary to other polymers, it can be used as both an extremely hard rubber and a soft engineering material.

4. Processing ease

Processing thermoplastic polyurethane is fairly simple. It is simple to get rid of germs and other microbes by sterilising it. It is simple to carry out procedures including fusing its components through melting, developing aesthetic features, imprinting designs on it, and even dyeing it.

5. It is biocompatible

When used, thermoplastic polyurethane always reacts well to its host. This is so that it can function at low temperatures. It is stable, doesn't dissolve quickly, and is also fire-resistant.

6. Impact resistance

The high level of durability of thermoplastic polyurethane is one benefit. It can endure pressure from the outside, including adverse air conditions, hydrocarbons, and any compression or friction. It is built in a fantastic way to survive its significant negative effects.

Thermoplastic polyurethane has several benefits that have already been mentioned. These benefits demonstrate how adaptable and versatile this material is.

How Thermoplastic Polyurethane Is Made?

This type of urethane is made when a polyol (long-chain diol), a short-chain diol (which acts as a chain extender), and a diisocyanate react chemically. As a result, a chain of alternating hard and soft blocks of substituents is produced.

A shorter, hard block section of TPU is made up of the chain extender and the diisocyanate. This section is what gives the material its rigid, polar backbone. Mechanical rigidity and durability are the outcomes of this. The most commonly used diisocyanate for TPUs is methylene diisocyanate (MDI), while the most popular chain extender is 1,4-butanediol (BDO).

Because the hard block segment is frequently crystalline or pseudo-crystalline, the polymer develops a three-dimensional network of cross-links. This network is made up of covalent bonds, which provide exceptional durability and wear resistance.

Cross-links break down when heated, making it possible to mould and extrude TPUs using conventional production methods. The long-chain diol that makes up the soft block part gives the TPU additional flexibility. The physical characteristics of the TPU in question can be changed by altering the proportion of soft blocks to hard blocks or by altering the identification of the blocks.

Features of Thermoplastic Polyurethane Material

This polymer has a variety of characteristics or properties, which allows for a wide range of applications. So what distinguishes them?

1. Repelling fluid

Thermoplastic polyurethane has a distinctive appearance because it maintains its appearance while protecting objects from liquids. It cannot combine with stains or oil and instead resists them.

2. Strong capacity for load

It has the ability to support enormous loads; hence, it has the strength to withstand heavy loads that are imposed on it.


TPU is a bendable material since it can quickly absorb impacts and shocks.

4. Powerful

Compared to other polymers on the market, TPU material is the strongest. This material has a good deal of strength. It will be challenging to bend it normally as a result. Any TPU material will need to be bent with a lot more force.

5.Abrasion support

It has the ability to withstand abrasion since it keeps its physical appearance even after being scraped or scratched.

Uses and Applications of Thermoplastic Polyurethane

TPUs are put to use in a wide range of applications and different kinds of products. TPUs are required for market applications that require plastics that are both flexible and resistant to the effects of the environment. These applications include products such as wheels, footwear, hosing, piping and tubing, rafts, and phone cases, amongst others.

Because it can be melted and then extruded, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a useful material for the developing field of 3D printing. In addition, TPU can be extruded as a filament through a printer head and deposited using fused filament deposition printing. Additionally, it can be used for processes like selective laser sintering or 3D inkjet printing.

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