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Thermoplastic polyurethanes: synthesis, fabrication techniques, blends, composites, and applications

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Abstract

Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) have attracted increasing attention from the scientific and industrial communities due to their rich chemistry and wide fabrication techniques, which open up a vast field of application. Incorporating other polymers or fillers in TPU composition further expands TPU applicability. TPU blends and composites have been explored in medicine, agriculture, textiles, electronics, aeronautics, food packing, sensors, and automobiles. Soft and hard segments of different compositions have been combined to produce TPUs with specific properties, such as soft touch, elasticity, transparency, impact strength, chemical resistance, and elastic memory. Although petroleum-based precursors are still the most applied, green sources of diisocyanate, polyol, and chain extenders have been increasingly exploited. This review first addresses the fundamental chemistry, synthesis, fabrication techniques, and structure of TPUs and further compiles works on TPU blends and composites.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to FAPESP (processes 2017/11366-7, 2018/26060-3, 20 19/27415-2, 2020/12501-8) and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, process 307933/2021-0, 140604/2022-7) for the financial support. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brazil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001 and 88887.512147/2020-00.

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Conceptualization, investigation, data collection, original draft writing, review, and editing were performed by EHB, SVH, LAP, NKM, and GFMM Methodology, data curation, and editing the table and figure were performed by EHB, SVH, and LAP Writing—review, supervision, and editing of the final draft were performed by LAP, FRP, and JM. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eduardo Henrique Backes or Samarah Vargas Harb.

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Backes, E.H., Harb, S.V., Pinto, L.A. et al. Thermoplastic polyurethanes: synthesis, fabrication techniques, blends, composites, and applications. J Mater Sci 59, 1123–1152 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-023-09077-z

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