Category: Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomer

Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer, also known as TPU, is a type of (AB)n block linear polymer. A represents a high molecular weight (1000~6000) polyester or polyether, and B represents a diol containing 2~12 straight chain carbon atoms. The chemical structure between AB segments is diisocyanate. Thermoplastic polyurethane rubber relies on intermolecular hydrogen bonding cross-linking or mild cross-linking between macromolecular chains. With the increase or decrease of temperature, these two cross-linking structures have reversibility. In the molten state or solution state, the intermolecular force between molecules weakens, and after cooling or solvent evaporation, strong intermolecular force connects them together to restore the original solid performance. Typical TPU includes spandex, etc.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane for Mobilephone Case
PECOAT® Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomer

Brief Introduction

Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU) is a type of elastic material that can be plasticized by heating and dissolved by solvents. It has excellent comprehensive properties such as high strength, high toughness, wear resistance, and oil resistance, as well as good processing performance. It is widely used in industries such as national defense, medical, and food.

With its excellent performance and wide application, thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer has become one of the important thermoplastic elastomer materials. Its molecules are basically linear and have little or no chemical cross-linking. There are many physical cross-links composed of hydrogen bonds between linear polyurethane molecular chains, and hydrogen bonds play a role in strengthening their morphology, thereby endowing many excellent properties such as high modulus, high strength, excellent wear resistance, chemical resistance, hydrolysis resistance, high and low temperature resistance, and mold resistance. These excellent properties make thermoplastic polyurethane widely used in many fields such as footwear, cables, clothing, automobiles, medical and health, pipes, films, and sheets. The final product generally does not require vulcanization cross-linking, which can shorten the reaction cycle and reduce energy consumption. Since it is basically a linear structure polymer, the same technology and equipment as thermoplastic plastics can be used for processing, such as injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, and calendering, especially suitable for mass production of medium and small-sized parts. Waste materials can be recycled and reused, and different additives or fillers can be used in the production or processing process to improve certain physical properties and reduce costs.


Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers can be divided into two types: polyester type and polyether type. They are white irregular spherical or columnar particles with a density of 1.10~1.25g/cm3. The relative density of polyether type is smaller than that of polyester type. The glass transition temperature of polyether type is 100.6~106.1℃, while that of polyester type is 108.9~122.8℃. The brittle temperature of both polyether and polyester types is lower than -62℃, and the low-temperature resistance of polyether type is better than that of polyester type.


The outstanding characteristics of thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers are excellent wear resistance, extremely good ozone resistance, high hardness, high strength, good elasticity, and low-temperature resistance. They also have good oil resistance, chemical resistance, and environmental resistance. In humid environments, the hydrolysis stability of polyether type is far superior to that of polyester type.

New Technologies and New Uses

TPU is a rapidly developing industry, with new technologies, products, and applications emerging constantly. TPU has been widely used in various industries, including footwear, clothing, pipes, films and sheets, cables, automobiles, construction, healthcare, defense, and sports and leisure. TPU is recognized as a green and environmentally friendly new type of polymer material with excellent performance. Currently, TPU is mainly used in low-end consumption, while high-end consumption is dominated by some multinational companies, including Germany’s Bayer and BASF, and the United States’ Lubrizol and Huntsman, which are increasing their research and development efforts on new products. High value-added TPU products are constantly being developed and put into the market, and TPU materials have become one of the fastest-growing thermoplastic materials.

  • Footwear: sports shoe logos, sports shoe air cushions, hiking shoes, snow boots, golf shoes, ice skates, and fabric and lining materials.
  • Clothing: ski jackets, raincoats, windbreakers, cold-proof jackets, field uniforms, diapers, physiological pants, and fabric composite materials (waterproof and breathable).
  • Medical: surgical gowns, hats, shoes, hospital pads, ice bags, bandages, plasma bags, surgical bandages, masks, and fabric and lining materials, surgical bed airbags.
  • Defense products: aircraft fuel tanks, weapon storage films, tent windows, military water bags, life jackets, inflatable boats, and fabric and lining materials, airbags.
  • Sports equipment: soccer surfaces and inner tubes, inflatable beds, water bags, ski gloves (waterproof bags), diving suits, ski jackets, swimsuits, skis, logos, airbags, sports shirts, slimming clothes, and fabric and lining materials.
  • Industrial products: speaker drum paper rubber edges, waterproof strips, sound insulation materials, fireproof materials, fireproof clothing, fireproof cloth, and fabric and lining composite materials, wire and cable outer sheath materials.
  • Other uses: mobile phone keys, plastic inflatable toys, bed sheets, tablecloths, shower curtains, furniture fabrics, aprons, pianos, computer keyboards, film coatings, and fabric and lining materials.

ETPU Beads (Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane) for Sale

ETPU Beads (Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane) for Sale

ETPU Beads is short of Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a versatile polymer that belongs to the class of thermoplastic elastomers. It combines the properties of rubber and plastic, making it highly suitable for a wide range of applications. TPU can be processed using various methods, including injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding. One specific form of TPU is expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) beads. E-TPU beads are created through a foaming process that involves expanding the TPU material.Read More …

ETPU Foaming Materials Have Some Shortcomings

ETPU beads Foaming Materials Have

Traditional EVA foam materials have poor resilience, and after wearing for a period of time, the material will collapse and dent. Modifying the material with POE, rubber, and other materials can adjust and improve the material properties, but the improvement is limited. At the same time, there are issues such as high shrinkage and difficulty in molding. The production process uses chemical foaming, which not only causes pollution to the environment but also produces harmful residues to the human body.Read More …

Advantages and Disadvantages of ETPU Materials

Advantages and disadvantages of etpu materials

ETPU (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer) is a thermoplastic elastomer material composed of polyether polyols and polyisocyanates. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of ETPU material: Advantages: 1. Strong wear resistance: ETPU has higher hardness and strength than traditional rubber and plastic, so it has strong wear resistance and durability. 2. Oil and water resistance: ETPU has good oil and water resistance, and can be used for a long time in humid or oily environments without being easily damaged. 3. Good processability:Read More …

The future Opportunities for E-TPU Popcorn Material

The future Opportunities for E-TPU Popcorn

Adidas pioneered the application of E-TPU Popcorn After opening the shoe material market, the future opportunities for E-TPU “popcorn” lie in its unique properties. E-TPU, the world’s first foamed thermoplastic polyurethane, was developed by BASF in 2007. Since its inception, it has been recognized as a “magical particle” by the industry. E-TPU is non-toxic, odorless, and biodegradable, making it more environmentally friendly. It also possesses high strength, heat resistance, and abrasion resistance. Additionally, it is lightweight, comfortable, has high resilience,Read More …

Aliphatic TPU solve the yellowing problem of ETPU shoes soles

Aliphatic TPU solve the yellowing problem of ETPU shoes soles

ETPU is a kind of TPU material formed by supercritical foaming. Because its appearance is similar to popcorn, the midsole made of ETPU is called popcorn midsole. It has excellent resilience, extremely low compression permanent deformation, good wearing experience, and environmentally friendly and efficient processing. Adidas is the earliest sports brand to use popcorn midsole, and its Boost series shoes were once popular in the market. Due to the excellent performance of ETPU midsole, more and more sports brands haveRead More …

TPU 3D Printing has advantages in mass production

TPU 3D Printing has advantages in mass production

Advantages of TPU 3D printing For the finished product: Flexibility,Excellent wear resistance,Good oil resistance,High strength,Semi-transparency,Can withstand 176°F (80°C),Abrasion resistance During the manufacturing process: Low shrinkage rate TPU 3D printing for mass-producing shoes TPU 3D printing for mass-producing shoes challenges the traditional belief that once the production quantity of a single order exceeds 10,000 units, it is more cost-effective to switch to injection molding or other traditional manufacturing methods. However, additive manufacturing has unique characteristics. TPU 3D printing for mass productionRead More …

TPU Film – Advantage and Disadvantage

TPU Film - Advantage and Disadvantag

TPU film is made by processes such as calendering, extrusion, blowing, and coating based on TPU pellets. It is widely used in sports shoes, such as trademark decoration, airbags, cushions, and oil bags on the sole and upper. Nowadays, there are two trends in the application of TPU film in sports shoes. One is the popular trend of women’s sandals, which uses high-transparent TPU film directly cut, screen printed with color, or laminated with fabric to form a mesh fabric,Read More …

TPU Phone Case: Advantage and Disadvantage

TPU phone case advantage and disadvantage44

Many users will equip their phones with a “coat” (phone case), which can greatly reduce damage if accidentally dropped. There are also many types of materials for these phone cases, such as silicone, plastic, resin, TPU, etc. What is TPU phone case made of? Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU), also known as polyurethane rubber, is a type of elastic polymer material that contains a large number of amino acid ester groups (-NHCOO-) in the molecular chain. It is a plastic materialRead More …

ETPU Shoes are definitely worth considering

ETPU Shoes midsole

ETPU (Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is a type of foam material that is commonly used in the manufacturing of athletic shoes. ETPU foam is known for its excellent energy return, durability, and lightweight properties. These characteristics make ETPU shoes a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. One of the main benefits of ETPU shoes is their energy return. When you run or jump, the foam material compresses and then quickly rebounds, providing a spring-like effect that propels you forward. ThisRead More …

EVA vs ETPU – Shoe Midsole Materials

EVA vs ETPU - Shoe Midsole Materials

The Function of Shoe Midsole A typical sports shoe is divided into three parts: the upper, midsole, and outsole. The midsole provides cushioning and rebound, absorbs the impact generated during exercise, provides protection, and a gentle and comfortable foot feel. It can be said that the midsole is the soul of sports running shoes, and the material and foaming technology of the midsole are the signs that distinguish the core technology of major brands. What is the difference between EVARead More …