TPU and rubber are both elastic plastic materials, which are both widely used in daily life and industrial field. But they are absolutely different materials.
TPU, with full name Thermoplastic polyurethanes, is a type of sustainable eco-friendly material. It’s a man-made material. While for rubber, it has two types: natural rubber and man-made rubber. Natural rubber is origin from Hevea brasiliensis.
Here we have different feature between TPU and rubber.
TPU has better abrasion performance than rubber. Besides, TPU is more breathable than rubber.
It’s just because of this good Abrasion , firefighting water hose is made of TPU not rubber.
For heat resistance, rubber does better job than TPU, which is said to adapt temperature at 400-500 degrees. But TPU also has good performance when it is put into where’s even at -50 degrees. Its elasticity and tenacity are still in an excellent status, while rubber will be broken at such a low degree.
Because of this, if this part works on high temperature environment, it must be Rubber material not TPU.
Rubber has much lower price than TPU. because of this difference, most the soft parts without special requirement, they are made of rubber.
TPU and rubber can be heated to process into any shapes. The shaped TPU can be re-heated to melt and re-process into another shapes, which can be recycled. However, rubber is a kind of thermosetting plastic. This is a type of plastic that can only be heated to shape one time. Rubber can melt when it heated at the first time. Then process into the shape you want. Finally, cooling it down and get a shaped rubber product. But the final shaped rubber product can not be melted again as TPU one. So rubber can not be recycled.
Because of this, you can never find rubber product made by recycled rubber.
And because of this difference, TPU can be made by blow molding, injection molding, and Rotomolding. but rubber can be made by heat-shaping machine.
TPU not only owns soft and flat surface but also has no smell, which does no harm to health. Thus TPU is widely used in products that press close to people. On contrast, rubber is felt sticky, especially for adsorb dirt, which is difficult to clean up.
Rubber has better elasticity then TPU.
So, The bounce bed is made by rubber band, not by TPU band.
No matter for TPU or rubber, they have their own strength and weakness. In different fields, opting the right material would make resources utilized sufficiently.
More important, TPU applicate on extrusion blow molding machine, injection molding and even 3D printing. but rubber cannot be produced by blow molding machine or injection molding machine or 3D printing.