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Difference between TPE and TPU material


TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomers. These polymers are also called thermoplastic rubbers. They are a class of copolymers. A copolymer is a polymer made from more than one type of monomers. Most elastomers are thermosets, but TPE is thermoplastic. Therefore, these materials do not need any curing or vulcanization processes, unlike thermoset elastomers. TPE can be stretched repeatedly without any permanent deformation.

TPE is a rubber-like material. This material can be easily processed via thermoplastic technologies such as injection moulding, extrusion, etc. TPE is made by adding suitable components such as oil, fillers to a soft rubber material. These components are known as additives.TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane. It is a type of thermoplastic elastomer. Hence, it is elastic and melt-processable. It has many favorable properties such as elasticity, transparency, resistance towards oils and abrasion resistance.

TPU is a form of block copolymer (contains soft and hard segments).

TPU can be colored through a number of processes, and it is also extremely flexible. This is mainly due to the composition of hard and soft segments. The hard parts are either aromatic or aliphatic. They are generally aromatic, but the aliphatic hard segments are preferable when the color and clarity retention in exposure to sunlight is more important.

Similarities between TPE and TPU

- Both are thermoplastic polymer materials.

- Both are types of elastomers.

- Both are temperature sensitive.

Difference between TPE and TPU

- Harness: TPE is soft and feels more delicate, while TPU products feel rougher with strong friction.

- Abrasion Resistance: TPE has a moderate abrasion resistance. TPU has high abrasion resistance.

Comparative Table


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