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Polyurethane (PUR and PU) is a polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. While most polyurethanes are thermosetting polymers that do not melt when heated, thermoplastic polyurethanes are also available.

Polyurethane polymers are traditionally and most commonly formed by reacting a di- or polyisocyanate with a polyol. Both the isocyanates and polyols used to make polyurethanes contain on average two or more functional groups per molecule.Polyurethane products often are simply called “urethanes”, but should not be confused with ethyl carbamate, which is also called urethane. Polyurethanes neither contain nor are produced from ethyl carbamate.

Polyurethanes are used in the manufacture of flexible, high-resilience foam seating; rigid foam insulation panels; microcellular foam seals and gaskets; durable elastomeric wheels and tires (such as roller coaster and escalator wheels); automotive suspension bushings; electrical potting compounds; high performance adhesives; surface coatings and surface sealants; synthetic fibers (e.g., Spandex); carpet underlay; hard-plastic parts (e.g., for electronic instruments); hoses and skateboard wheels.

It is a durable manufactured material that can take the place of paint, cotton, rubber, metal or wood in thousands of applications across virtually all fields. It can be hard like fiberglass, squishy like upholstery foam, protective like varnish, bouncy like rubber or sticky like glue. Since its invention during the 1940s, polyurethane has been used in a wide range of items, from baby toys to airplane wings, and it continues to be adapted for contemporary technology.Polyurethane is also used for moldings which include door frames, columns, balusters, window headers, pediments, medallions and rosettes.

Polyurethane products are stronger, tougher, and more durable than those made with conventional elastomers and plastics. They offer a remarkable range of properties, enabling them to outperform wood, metals, rubber, and plastics in many applications. Polyurethane can be machined on standard equipment, and the tools and molds this material requires are generally inexpensive to produce. It bonds to wood, metal, and most plastics.

Polyurethane stands up to a broad range of environmental factors, including moisture, radiation, sunlight, and heat. By incorporating flame retardants in the formulation, this material can resist fire as well.

Polyurethane (PUR) - Polyurethanes are a large family of polymers with widely ranging properties and uses all based on the reaction product of an organic isocyanate with compounds containing a hydroxyl group. Polyurethanes may be thermosetting or thermoplastic, rigid and hard or flexible and soft, solid or cellular with great property variances. Principal applications are in coatings, elastomers and foams. Polyurethane has excellent abrasion resistance but high hysteresis. Rigid polyurethane foams have become widely used as insulation materials because of their combination of low heat transfer and good cost effectiveness. Use as insulation and other applications are restricted by an upper temperature capability of about 250°F. Polyurethanes do not survive well in direct sunlight or in contact with most organic solvents. Two types of polyurethane are common: polyester based and polyether based, with these backbone structures actually comprising a significant part of a so-called polyurethane resin.

Key Properties

  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • High oil and solvent resistance
  • Excellent cut and tear resistance
  • High load-bearing capacity
  • Superior bonding ability

Standard Shapes and Forms

  • Sheet: .125” - 2” thick
  • Rod: .250” - 6” diameter
  • Tubular Bar: 1” - 6” OD / .50” - 5” ID
  • Other Forms:  Cast Square/Rectangular Bar, Flexible Tubing

The range of sizes and shapes are grade specific, order minimums may apply.

Grades and Colors

Durometers from 20A to 85D

Natural (amber) and colors

Fabric or metal reinforced sheet


Poor thermal capability

Poor weatherability

Attacked by most solvents

Utilize toxic isocyanates


Polyurethane Pictures