What are Thermoplastic Polyurethanes - TPUs?

What are Thermoplastic Polyurethanes?


Thermoplastic polyurethanes are high-tech materials with a unique combination of very useful properties. For example, our products display high wear resistance, good resistance to oils, greases and solvents, and extremely good weather stability, combined with high elasticity.

It is also said that TPU closes the gap between rubber and hard thermoplastics. On the one hand, thermoplastics are plastics that can be deformed plastically under the influence of heat even after their hardening. Rubber, on the other hand, is very elastic and exhibits good adhesion without sticking. Covestro´s thermoplastic polyurethane combines a multitude of those strengths characterizing rubber on the one side and thermoplastic materials on the other. They can, for instance, be deformed under tensile and compressive load, but afterwards return to their original shape. Furthermore, they can be stretched when heated, and when heated even, they can be melted and molded over and over again.

Covestro´s thermoplastic polyurethanes offer the following properties, making them very interesting for a broad variety of applications:

  • High abrasion resistance
  • Flexibility over a wide range of temperatures
  • High elasticity over the entire hardness rang
  • Excellent resistance to oils, greases and many solvents
  • Good resistance to weathering
  • Intrinsically soft, no plasticiser needed
  • Excellent resistance to high-energy radiation
  • Excellent rot resistance (special grades)

As a result, TPU is used successfully in numerous segments of the economy, such as in the sports and recreation industry and the automotive industry. Joining well known applications such as transparent ski boots from leading manufacturers, gear knobs and center consoles inside vehicles and livestock ear tags from Allflex, are some new applications such as foldable kayaks, leg ropes for surfboards and breathable textiles.

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