TPU VS TPE injection molding

What is TPU Injection Molding?

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a copolymer of polyester and polyether made by mixing diol, triol, and diisocyanate. The molecular weight of the molecules determines the properties of the polymer. TPUs can be easily molded into shapes such as grips, gaskets, caps, orthotics & prosthetics, as well as many other applications.

What Is TPU Material?

TPU material is a unique thermoplastic made of flexible, abrasion-resistant materials. Its flexibility makes it ideal for making cases and protective covers that are soft and flexible enough to provide a comfortable grip while maintaining the durability needed to absorb damage.

What is TPE Injection Molding?

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) combine rubber’s elasticity with the versatile properties of plastic. Baiwe injection Molding provides thermoplastic rubber injection molding services to help you design parts with these valuable characteristics. Our thermoplastic elastomer products are designed to perform for whatever application you need.

TPE Material Properties

TPE is a versatile material. Its properties make it suitable for various applications and markets, from automotive and leisure to medical, outdoor sports/gardening/hobby, and aerospace. TPE has excellent processability, high-temperature resistance, good solvent resistance, and low-temperature flexibility. It also provides good abrasion resistance with superior impact strength and elastic recovery.

TPU VS TPE injection molding

TPE ≠ TPU, TPE is a general term for all thermoplastic elastomers in a broad sense. It is classified as follows.

TPE catagory

However, TPE, as it is usually called, is made of SEBS/SBS + PP + naphthenic oil + calcium carbonate + additives blended, which is also called environmental soft plastic in the industry, but sometimes called TPR (more often called in Zhejiang and Taiwan).

TPU is a thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer; there are two kinds of polyester type and polyether type. At this level, TPU is just one of the categories of thermoplastic elastomer TPE.

TPE and TPU are both thermoplastic with rubber elastic material, the hardness is close to TPE and TPU materials, if only by the naked eye, sometimes it is still difficult to distinguish between TPE or TPU, but from the details, or you can analyze the differences and differences between TPE and TPU from many aspects.


The transparency of TPU is better than TPE, but it is not as easy to stick to the transparent TPE.

Specific gravity

The specific gravity of TPE varies a lot, from 0.89 to 1.3, while TPU is between 1.0 and 1.4. They are mainly in the form of blends in the process of use, so the specific gravity changes a lot!

TPE is heavier than TPU

Oil resistance

The oil resistance of TPU is better, while TPE is difficult to achieve oil resistance.


TPE burning has a faint, aromatic smell; burning smoke is more minor and light, TPU burning with a specific irritating odor, burning with a slight explosion sound.

Mechanical properties

TPU elasticity and elastic recovery performance (flexural creep resistance) are better than TPE, mainly because the material structure of TPU is a polymer homogeneous structure and belongs to the polymer resin class. In contrast, TPE is a multi-component blend of multi-phase structure aggregated alloy material. High hardness TPE processing is prone to product deformation, while in all hardness ranges, TPU shows excellent elasticity, and products are not easy to deformation.

TPU is better than TPE on elastic

Temperature resistance

TPE: -60℃~105℃, TPU: -60℃~80℃.

Appearance and hand feel

For some overmolding products, TPU material products, the feel is rougher, with strong friction resistance; while for TPE material products, the feel is more delicate and soft, and friction performance is weaker.

In summary, TPE and TPU are soft materials; both have good rubber elasticity. In comparison, TPE is more excellent in terms of tactile comfort; TPU is more presents excellent elasticity and strength.

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