The Properties of Tpu Material And Its Application In 3D Printing
What is TPU Material?
TPU is a thermoplastic polyurethane, which is a synthetic rubber material. It's an elastic polymer that is soft and flexible. Similar to silicone, it has the same feature of flexibility, but with less stress and strain when stretched. It can be used as a substitute for rubber or PVC on many applications like mobile phones, tablets, cases and so on.
TPU material can be easily molded into different shapes by using heat. When cooled down, it returns to its original shape. This property makes it very suitable for 3D printing as the printed objects can be designed with complex geometries and then assembled together during the printing process.
Classification of TPU
TPU is a class of thermoplastic polyurethanes. It has many different properties, but is used in 3D printing for its flexibility and elasticity.
The most common types of TPU are:
Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPE) - This material is soft, flexible and retains its shape. It's used in shoes, flip flops and clothing.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) - This material is hard and stiff when cold, but softens when heated up to 140°C (284°F). It's used for moulding parts such as car bumpers or smartphone cases.
Thermoplastic polyurea (TPU) - This material is similar to the TPE version except it can be extruded at high temperatures and can be used with high pressure compression molding machines.
Pros and Cons of TPU Material
TPU material is a thermoplastic polyurethane, which is a type of plastic that is often used in 3D printing. The main advantages of using TPU material are that it is flexible and can be easily molded into any shape.
The properties of TPU material are:
Flexible – The TPU material is flexible and can be easily molded into any shape. This makes it very useful for creating prototypes or small scale models.
Non-toxic – This material does not contain harmful chemicals which means that it does not have any side effects on the environment or human health.
Low melting point – The melting point of the TPU material is low compared to other types of plastics so it can be heated up quickly and easily.
Elastic - TPUs are very elastic which means they can absorb impact better than other types of materials would be able to do so without breaking apart or losing their shape over time when exposed to this type of stressor on a regular basis as well as lessening the amount.
High tensile strength and flexibility
TPU has a very high tensile strength, which means that it can be stretched to extreme lengths without breaking. In fact, it is one of the most flexible materials currently available, making it ideal for 3D printing. The material is also very elastic, meaning that it can stretch and return to its original shape without losing its ability to retain its shape. This property makes TPU extremely suitable for use in 3D printing as it allows any object created using this material to be formed with relative ease.
TPU has excellent heat resistance properties, which means that objects printed using this material can be subjected to high temperatures without risk of melting or deforming. This property makes TPU particularly useful where parts need to be functional at high temperatures, such as car parts or electronics components.
Application of TPU Material
The material was developed by DuPont who wanted to create a material that would have all the benefits of rubber but with the benefits of plastic. The result was a material that not only had great properties but could also be molded into any shape or size needed for any specific application.
TPUs have been used in 3D printing for years now. However, they have only recently become popular due to their low cost and ease of use. The material is also easy to work with because it does not require any special equipment or training to print with it.
Medical device manufacturing- Medical devices are normally made out of metal or plastic but using TPU allows them to be made smaller so they can fit into tight spaces while still being strong enough to support weight without breaking down over time.
The most common application for TPUs in 3D printing is for creating flexible enclosures for sensors or actuators. It’s also used as a coating on other materials such as ABS or PLA so that they have some flexibility or elasticity without losing strength or durability.
The unique properties of TPU also make it ideal for use in prosthetic devices such as artificial arms and legs where flexibility is important. A prosthetic limb made out of this material can be bent or moved without breaking or tearing apart like some other plastics might do in similar situations.