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What Is The Difference between Thermoplastic Elastomer And Thermoplastic Polyurethane?

Views: 261     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-08-25      Origin: Site


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What Is The Difference between Thermoplastic Elastomer And Thermoplastic Polyurethane?

For extrusion and injection molding applications, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) are both great substitutes for natural rubber latex, silicone, and other materials. TPE and TPU are used in several important industry sectors for crucial purposes, including surgical tubing and automobile parts.Learn more about the characteristics of TPE and TPU, as well as some of their most typical applications.

What is TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)?

Many of the qualities of natural rubber latex are offered by thermoplastic elastomers, which also have the processing speed of plastics. TPE is a top option for the medical and food and beverage sectors since it has desirable qualities including flexibility, dimensional stability, and chemical inertness, among others.

What is TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)?

TPE includes thermoplastic polyurethane as a subset. TPU is a flexible polyurethane of the soft polyether type that comes in various hardness ratings. TPU is the perfect material for items like outdoor and medical equipment that must have strong abrasion resistance, great chemical resistance, and clarity.

TPE & TPU Similarities

Compounds of TPE and TPU share a number of notable similarities. TPE and TPU are both block copolymers, although there are distinctions between their hard and soft segments. TPU is a subset of TPE. Excellent colorability, clarity, flexibility, and elasticity may be found in both TPE and TPU.

Many of the same industries favor TPE and TPU. TPE and TPU are used extensively in the automotive and medical device industries.Since TPEs and TPUs are all synthetic, they don't contain any proteins that may cause an allergic reaction like real rubber can. They are therefore a common option in healthcare settings.

Extrusion, injection molding, and other plastic molding techniques work well with TPE and TPU. Both TPE and TPU retain their structural integrity after being treated, making them both recyclable and allowing for the cost-effective reuse of production waste.

TPE & TPU Difference

TPU is a subset of TPE, and the two material classes share many characteristics. However, there are some significant variations between TPE and TPU, including their physical characteristics, resilience to the environment, and typical uses.


Compared to TPU, TPE is often lighter, softer, more flexible, and a little bit simpler to recycle. These great features, however, come at a cost: TPE is less abrasion, grease, oil, chemical, and high-temperature, especially cold, resistant than TPU.


TPU is a wonderful alternative to hard rubber since it offers greater resistance to high and low temperatures, ozone, grease, oils, chemicals, and abrasion. TPU is also capable of carrying more weight than the majority of similar materials. Though its stiffness is highly desirable in many applications, TPU is less flexible than TPE and less plush to the touch.

TPE Applications

TPEs are extremely adaptable and are utilized in a variety of applications. Medical devices, food and beverage tubing, and surgical tubing are a few significant TPE uses.TPU is also widely used in home products, athletic goods, and automobile components. TPE is also frequently used for tactile applications, such as mouthpieces, grips, and handles, as well as toys for kids and infants, because it is soft and comforting to the touch.

TPU Applications

TPU is frequently utilized in situations where great strength and durability are necessary. This covers functional parts, impact-resistant products, medical devices, high-pressure tubing, automotive components, and medical equipment. Additionally, because TPU's hardness can be easily adjusted, it may be utilized to create both flexible and stiff components.

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