About Polyurethane & Urethane Film

Polyurethane Film is also commonly referred to as Urethane film, PU film, and TPU film.

 

Durometer

Polyurethane material comes in a variety of hardnesses.  Durometer is the measure of the hardness of a particular material.  Most elastomers are measured on the Shore A Hardness Scale for durometer.  American Polyfilm offers Polyurethane Films that measure from 70 to 95 on the Shore A Durometer Scale.  Higher durometer grades yield a very tough product with high puncture and abrasion resistance and excellent chemical resistance.  Lower durometer grades exhibit a supple quality and feel soft against human skin, making it an ideal product for medical applications.


Elongation

One of Polyurethane Film's most desirable qualities is its elongation capabilities.  Some of our films are able to withstand over 600% elongation before breaking.   Polyurethane films also have excellent memory, meaning it will return to its original dimensions after being stretched.


Long-Term Durability

Polyurethane products are manufactured without the use of plasticizers, so it will retain most of its performance characteristics in long-term applications.  Not having plasticizers also means it will not leach hazardous compounds in the field.  This is of particular importance in the medical industry and in any products intended for use by children.


Low Temperature Flexibility

Polyurethane Film has excellent low temperature flexibility.  Most Polyether TPU products retain their flexibility even when exposed to temperatures as low as -60ºF, easily outperforming PVC and making it a perfect material for demanding environments.


Tensile Strength

Our PU films have tensile strength ratings ranging from 4000-9500 psi.  This strength enables Polyurethane Film to outperform a multitude of other materials. Because the material is so much stronger than other polymers, our Customers are able to use less material while maintaining, or even improving, the strength of the product.


Antimicrobial / Biocompatibility

Polyurethane film, in most applications, will not support anti-microbial growth while others can have antimicrobial compounds added to them, producing excellent antimicrobial results.  Test results can be viewed here.  Many of our films have passed stringent biocompatibility testing.


Environmental

Polyurethane is an Earth-friendly material. With the proper equipment, it can be recycled easily and does not release hazardous compounds when being processed or recycled.


Application Flexibility

Polyurethane is a thermoplastic elastomer, meaning it can be melted and re-melted numerous times.  This is of particular interest to companies doing work involving altering the film's shape.  Polyurethane rubber Film can be vacuumed or thermoformed and still retain its flexibility and performance.  The material can also be welded to form irregular shapes.


Abrasion Resistance

Polyurethane film materials handily outperforms many other common polymers when it comes to abrasion resistance.  Abrasion resistance is measured by weighing the amount of mass lost when a material is abraded with a grinding wheel.  Below is a table with comparative abrasion results.  Lower numbers are better.

 

Abrasian Resistance Comparison Chart

MaterialWeight Loss in Milligrams
Neoprene280
Plasticized PVC187
Natural Rubber146
Nitrile Rubber44
PTFE42
Nylon 1124
Polyurethane4
 

Comparison Chart of Polyurethane Film to Other Flexible Materials*

KEY: E = Excellent | V = Very Good | G = Good | F = Fair | P = Poor

APi Polyether TPU APi Polyester TPUNatural RubberNeoprenePEPVC
Mositure ResistanceVGGGGVGVG
BiodegradabilityGFPPPP
Ease of RecyclingEEPVGGVG
Chemical ResistanceVGVGGGEG
Clean IncinerationEEFVGFF
Overall StrengthVGEGVGFF
Abrasion ResistanceVGEFFFF
Low-Temperature FlexibilityEVGFGFP
Feel or HandEVGVGVGFF
Lamination CharacteristicsEEPGFVG

*This table should be used only as a comparative tool.  There is no substitute for real-world testing.  

Please contact us, and we will be happy to work with you to determine which material best suits your needs.