Thermoplastic polyurethane? or TPU? or TPE- U?

One material, many names, versatile properties.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU or TPE-U) consist of a soft segment and a hard segment. Depending on the composition of the hard and soft segments, both the pleasant haptic properties for surfaces and the outstanding mechanical resistance can be used. TPE-Us are often offered as an "aromatic" or "aliphatic" variant. Aromatic TPUs have better mechanical properties than aliphatic TPUs. Aliphatic TPUs, on the other hand, can prevent unwanted yellowing, as they have better UV stability than those with an aromatic structure.

It is also possible to combine other useful properties of the TPUs. For special demands on hydrolysis resistance, ether-based TPUs can be used.

As it has been observed, many biobased ECO TPUs provide better hydrolysis resistance than some of the classic thermoplastic polyurethanes.

The combination of an aliphatic structure and an ether-based backbone is also possible. This combination offers excellent resistance to yellowing and hydrolysis.

Especially in the field of multi-component processing, such as injection molding or extrusion, due to their adhesion properties TPUs are used in combination with other plastic materials (e.g. PC, ABS, PA).

As an thermoplastic elastomer, TPE-U is recyclable and can therefore serve as an element towards a more sustainable circular economy.

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