TPU [material]

TPU is a block copolymer consisting of alternating sequences of hard and soft segments or domains formed by the reaction of (1) diisocyanates with short-chain diols (so-called chain extenders) and (2) diisocyanates with long-chain diols. By varying the ratio, structure and/or molecular weight of the reaction compounds, an enormous variety of different TPU can be produced. This allows urethane chemists to fine-tune the polymer's structure to the desired final properties of the material.

Properties of commercially available TPU include:

  • high abrasion resistance
  • low-temperature performance
  • high shear strength
  • high elasticity
  • transparency
  • oil and grease resistance
    The currently available TPUs can be divided mainly in two groups, based on soft segment chemistry:
  • polyester-based TPUs (mainly derived from adipic acid esters)
  • polyether-based TPUs (mainly based on tetrahydrofuran (THF) ethers).