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The difference between TPE and TPU

TPE and TPU are both soft materials with good rubber elasticity.Many customers who are not familiar with the thermoplastic elastomer industry will confuse TPU with TPE.

TPE is a special functional material with plastic plasticity and rubber elasticity.


TPE is the general term for thermoplastic elastomer.According to the difference of material composition and structural units, TPE elastomers are mainly divided into polystyrene elastomers TPS, thermoplastic polyurethane TPU, thermoplastic dynamic vulcanized elastomers TPV of PP mixed with epdm, and thermoplastic polyester elastomers TPEE.Because these types of thermoplastic elastomers are the most common, the most widely used, the largest amount of TPS thermoplastic elastomers.

TPU refers to thermoplastic polyurethane.

The main characteristics of TPU include: wide hardness range, and with the increase of hardness, its products still maintain good elasticity and wear resistance, high mechanical strength, outstanding cold resistance, good processing performance, oil resistance, water resistance, mold resistance, good recycling.

Application of TPU: automotive parts, machinery and other industrial parts, gears, shockproof parts, covers, connectors, rubber screens, printing cots, etc. Footwear: ladies' heels, ski boots, safety boots, high-grade soles, hoses, etc.

The difference between TPE and TPU:

1. Differences in hardness (range);The SEBS modified TPE has a wide range of adjustable hardness, which can vary from 0 to 100 on the ShoreA Scale, while the TPU hardness usually ranges from Shore60A to Shore70D(currently, soft TPU with a hardness of 45A appears abroad, but its price is quite expensive).Therefore, it can be said that TPE hardness range is medium and low hardness, while TPU hardness is medium and high hardness.

2. Combustion differentiation;TPE burning, with a special aroma with oil smell (oil smell is PP component burning smell), flame tip yellow, flame root blue (super soft and hard TPE, flame root yellow).TPU burning with a certain pungent odor, burning when there is a small explosion sound;

3. Differences in performance;TPU is superior to TPE in elasticity and elastic recovery (flexural creep resistance).Mainly TPU material structure is a polymer homogeneous structure, belongs to the polymer resin class.TPE, on the other hand, is an alloy material with multi-component blending and multi-phase structure. High-hardness TPE processing is prone to product deformation. However, TPU shows excellent elasticity within all hardness ranges, and the products are not easy to be deformed.

4. Difference in touch;Some packaged products, such as handles and wheels, may be TPE or TPU.TPU products have rough feel and strong friction resistance.And TPE material product, feel is more delicate and soft, the friction performance is weaker.

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