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Thermoplastic polyurethane TPU

Thermoplastic polyurethane TPU

TPU thermoplastic polyurethane is abbreviated as TPU or TPE-U. It is a polymer made up of a chain of organic units connected by carbamate (urethane) links.

TPU materials come in many types, depending on the composition of the polyols and isocyanates used. Thermoplastic polyurethanes based on esters are distinguished by high resistance to mineral oils and wear. They are also characterized by high tensile strength and high elasticity. By using other raw materials such as polyester, it is possible to significantly increase the resistance of the material to low temperatures and hydrolysis. Other changes allow to increase the resistance to the action of biodegradable oils, such as synthetic esters. The gas permeability of thermoplastic polyurethane is comparable to that of IIR rubber.

What does the abbreviation TPU stand for?

The abbreviation TPU comes from the English language. It stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, i.e. thermoplastic polyurethane.

Trade names under which TPU / P is hidden:


  • Ultrathan


Thermoplastic polyurethane – properties

TPU has a heat resistance of up to around 80 degrees. Special materials achieve a heat resistance of up to 100 Celsius, short-term even up to 120 degrees.

Its resistance to low temperatures reaches even 45 degrees Celsius below zero.

Moreover, Ultrathan is not brittle in the face of low temperatures. Thus, O-rings made of it are not damaged by mechanical stress, even below the glass transition temperature.

Characteristic properties of TPU are also: good flexibility and elasticity, the ability to deformation back, shock and shock absorbing properties, tear and crack resistance, good abrasion resistance.

TPU chemical resistance


  • Pure aliphatic hydrocarbons such as propane, butane, and naphtha)
  • Mineral oils and greases
  • Water up to 50 degrees Celsius
  • Ozone action and aging


Contaminants such as moisture, alcohols or a combination of acids and bases can adversely affect thermoplastic polyurethanes chemically.

However, it is not immune to:

  • Esters, ethers, ketones, alcohols and glycols
  • Hot water, steam, acids, bases and amines

TPU thermoplastic polyurethane – Application

Thanks to its wide range of properties, thermoplastic polyurethane is readily used in many industries and sectors. In the automotive industry, it is used to make seals, membranes and shock absorbers, as well as strips, housings, wedges and much more.

Also used in the production of cables and wires, as power and transmission cables, power cables and hydraulic hoses.

In mechanical engineering, it is indispensable for the production of slats, conveyors, seals, rings, belts, handles and damping elements.

Also used in the sports and recreation industry, from which hockey shoes, ski, hiking and climbing boots, roller skate wheels, edge protectors for surfboards, soles for sports shoes and tennis racket covers are made.

It is also used to create shoe heels, foils, toys, medical elements such as coils or hoses, and even tags for animals’ ears.

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