What is TPU?
TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, which is also referred to as TPE or thermoplastic elastomer. It falls under the flexible material category. TPEs come in many compositions that are slightly different but TPU is the most commonly used among them. TPU is an elastic material that can be easily stretched and bent and is the easiest material to print with in the spectrum of flexible materials.
TPU can be best described as the even ground between hard plastic and silicon, because it combines the properties of both materials, which makes it flexible yet able to retain its form, and it hardly scratches.
TPU is flexible, elastic, stretchable, bendable, yet strong and it hardly scratches. TPU is also a great shock absorbent material.
TPU is used for flexible applications or applications that require rubber substitutions, because traditional rubber cannot be printed. Many vibration-damping installations, grips, and custom made shock absorbent pads are printed using TPU. The shoe industry commonly uses TPU as shock absorbent material for footwear, but it can be implemented in many other industries.