What Does TPU Stand For & What is Thermoplastic Polyurethane?
Biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, is often considered a cross between rubber and plastic, as it has characteristics of both raw materials. It has the softness and flexibility of rubber, but the low toxicity of production and high strength of plastic. Because of both its flexibility and durability, TPU has applications in a wide range of industries.
In contrast to rubber and plastic, one of the primary advantages of TPU is that it is also recyclable and biodegradable, making it an ideal choice for raw materials for environmentally conscious manufacturers. Many consumer goods made from traditional materials are often not recyclable and therefore are sent to landfills at the end of their usable lives, and unfortunately, this is not sustainable over time. TPU on the other hand, is environmentally friendly and offers manufacturers an alternative, allowing manufacturers and individuals to reduce their environmental waste.
Is TPU Eco Friendly, Recyclable, & Biodegradable?Is TPU Toxic? Products made from TPU can be recycled into primary chemical components which can then be used to create additional raw materials, including more TPU. In addition, products made with TPU are biodegradable and can be fully broken down in approximately three to five years. Another key advantage is that TPU is non-toxic, and when it biodegrades, it does not contribute to pH changes in soils or groundwater during the biodegrading process.
Uses of TPU in Sporting Goods
TPU has many practical applications for various industries and is already found in products such as medical devices, automotive parts, inflatable rafts and footwear. Its durability and strength make it an ideal material for producing sporting goods that are subject to frequent hits, passes and bounces, and are exposed to a variety of indoor and outdoor stresses. Additional characteristics of TPU provide numerous advantages for sporting goods, including the following:
- Wear and abrasion resistant; will not show scratches or scrapes, or show age over time
- Lightweight and pliable; perfect for forming into non-rigid shapes such as balls and other sports equipment
- UV resistant; will not fade in sunlight
- Water and moisture resistant; holds up well outdoors in inclement weather
- Resistant to stains; allows end-products to hold up appearance even with regular and extensive use
- Resistant to high temperatures; will not melt or warp if exposed to high heat
Together these characteristics of TPU help meet manufacturer and customer expectations for high quality sporting goods products that will hold up well over time, and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Benefits of Using TPU in Manufacturing
Traditional manufacturing of thermoplastics relies on the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels resulting in end products made of toxic materials that are often non-biodegradable. TPU, on the other hand, is easily processed and relies on the use of core ingredients that do not deplete important natural resources. The result is a reduction in the amount of material required per product, benefitting manufacturers with lower processing and material costs, less waste during the manufacturing process, and a reduction in the the amount of energy required to produce each end-product. Because of these advantages, TPU has the potential to play a critical role in addressing many current environmental challenges in the manufacturing industry.
EcoSports and Its Commitment to the Environment
EcoSports is committed to encouraging sustainability by using environmentally responsible materials and reducing waste. EcoSports offers a full line-up of eco-friendly products made from TPU that offer the same quality and performance of products made with traditional materials, but with less waste. By using TPU in its manufacturing, EcoSports’ products are not only recyclable and biodegradable but also contribute to making our natural resources last longer. Buying EcoSports products can therefore be an important part of anyone’s plan to reduce their carbon footprint and maintain a greener lifestyle.