TPU Cable: Applications, Comparisons and Production

Having an understanding of the properties and intended use of cable materials helps electrical projects run efficiently. In view of its outstanding strength and flexibility, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) cables are increasingly the recommended choice in demanding situations. Consequently, we will delve into great detail regarding features, applications, and differences between other types of cables. Selecting the best cabling solution is made simple by being aware of the fundamental features of TPU cables.

What is TPU cable?

TPU cables are encased in a unique thermoplastic polyurethane coating for greater bendability and durability. As an insulation material, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) has excellent mechanical properties, such as strong wear resistance, flexibility, and chemical resistance. As a result, Tpu is favored by many different industries for outdoor applications in mining, construction, and automation.

TPU cable

Next, we will delve into the distinct properties that underscore their functional excellence and set them apart in the cable industry.

Properties of TPU cable

What exactly is the reason why tpu cable is widely used in various industries? Next we will address the issue to carry out in-depth analysis:

  • Exceptional Strength and Durability: TPU cables are characterized by their outstanding durability, effectively resisting wear and tear. Therefore, they are the fitting helpers when we are faced with situations that require frequent bending or pulling.
  • Chemical Resistance: It can offer excellent resistance to oil, grease and various chemicals. Therefore, they have emerged as the preferred choice in industrial environments where there is frequent exposure to chemicals.
  • Flexibility and Elasticity: TPU flexible cables maintain a high degree of elasticity. So it can perform well in tight spaces or corners without compromising structural integrity.
  • UV and Weather Resistance: On the other hand,  it has strong UV resistance. It maintains longevity and consistent performance in outdoor and exposed environments.
  • Abrasion Resistance: In the presence of physical abrasion or susceptibility to tearing, TPU jacketed cables provide additional protection.
  • Flame Retardancy:  Flame retardant properties are also a key feature of TPU electric cables. It minimizes the risk of fire in electrical applications. Similarly, LSZH cables have excellent fire resistance and are therefore more common in many public places.

Some of the above mentioned properties become an advantage for the use of thermoplastic polyurethane wires in a variety of applications. In particular, it becomes a versatile and reliable choice for applications that require high levels of environmental compatibility and durability. Let’s take a look at when polyurethane sheathed cables would be most advantageous to go for.

When should I use TPU cable?

The selection of TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) cables is particularly well-suited for specific applications where their unique properties offer significant advantages. Below are some common uses of TPU electrical cables:

1.Adaptable to Movement and Flexibility: TPU cables excel in scenarios like robotics and automated systems, where constant motion and flexing are the norm. They are the preferred choice in such dynamic environments due to their resilience and flexibility.

2.Resistant in Tough Industrial Settings: They are characterized by rugged chemical resistance and heat resistance. Therefore they can be ideal for use in industries that come into contact with chemicals, oils and intense heat or cold.

3.Suitable for Outdoor and Challenging Climates: With their UV resistance and capacity to endure diverse meteorological conditions, TPU electrical wires are perfectly suited for outdoor installations, including applications requiring direct burial.

4.Environments Focused on Safety: The flame retardant properties of TPU power cables play a particularly important role in public infrastructure and transportation systems. In these systems, fire protection is a fundamental requirement.

5.Eco-Friendly and Green Applications: TPU cables are becoming more and more popular in environmentally friendly projects. Due to its recyclability and low impact on the environment, it aligns itself with the growing emphasis on environmental awareness.

Having examined the appropriate applications for TPU cables, it becomes important to evaluate how they stack up against other frequently used cable materials.

TPU vs TPE vs PVC cable

TPU or TPE or PVC? The choice of such three materials has become a confusing issue for many people, then the following detailed comparison from different levels can provide useful reference to our question.

1. Material Composition and Flexibility:

TPU: TPU stands out for its remarkable stretchability and outstanding resistance to wear and tear. Its exceptional pliability is beneficial for uses involving regular flexing or movement.

TPE: TPE combines the properties of rubber with the reusability of the cable material. Much like tpu, it can be overmolded and molded, making it ideal for custom cable needs.

PVC: PVC cable is less flexible compared to TPU and TPE. However, it is still widely used due to its low cost and good enough flexibility for a range of applications.

Also read more about PVC cable:PVC Cable: A Comprehensive Buying Guide For 2024

2. Durability and Resistance:

TPU: It has excellent durability and resistance to oil, chemicals and abrasion along with good UV resistance for outdoor use.

TPE: TPE wire offers good resistance to environmental factors and moderate resistance to chemicals and abrasion. It’s generally more resistant than PVC but less so than TPU.

PVC: PVC cables are resistant to chemicals and reasonably long-lasting. However, if extra protection isn’t applied, its sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light may prevent it from being used outside.

3. Temperature Range:

TPU: TPU cables can withstand a wide range of temperatures. It can able to operate effectively in temperatures ranging from as low as -40°C to as high as +125°C. It also means that they are particularly suitable for a wide range of challenging working environments.

TPE: TPE cables have a relatively wide temperature range(-30°C to +150°C). However, they are slightly inferior to TPU cables. It’s suitable for varying temperature conditions.

PVC: PVC insulated cable has a narrower temperature range compared to TPU and TPE(-10°C to 70°C). It can become brittle at low temperatures. Conversely, it may appear to degrade at high temperatures.

4. Cost Implications:

TPU: Generally more expensive due to its superior properties and performance. Its price range notably positioned at $5,700 to $7,100 per ton.

TPE: Cost varies based on the specific type but is generally moderate while balancing cost and performance. TPE prices range from $1,800 to $5,700 per ton.

PVC: On the more economical side, PVC is priced between $850 and $1,000 per ton. It is the most cost-effective option of the three materials and is widely used for its balance of performance and affordability.

5. Typical Applications:

TPU: TPU wires are well suited for the industrial, medical and automotive industries. These areas require high levels of durability and resilience.

TPE: It is widely utilized for consumer electronics and some medical equipment for its adaptability and reasonable resistance to the environment.

PVC: For general applications where durability isn’t the main concern, as well as for power wiring and construction, PVC cable is highly recommended.

TPU VS TPE VS PVC

When in doubt about whether to use any of the three materials, we must carefully consider their suitability for the particular needs of the application at hand. Let’s now focus on their production procedures in more detail.

How TPU cable is made?

Creating thermoplastic polyurethane cables involves a sequence of important steps. The thorough method secures the produced cables excel in durability, versatility, and eco-friendliness, adhering to strict standards. Following is a breakdown of the typical process used to manufacture TPU-coated cables.

Step 1: Raw Material Preparation

First of all, the manufacture of cables starts with thermoplastic polyurethane particles. It is a unique theroplastic elastic body that blends the properties of rubber and polycloroethylene. These particles are carefully designed to ultimately protect the formation of the specific physical and chemical properties required for cable products.

Step 2: Extrusion of the Insulation and Jacket

The TPU granules are introduced into an extruder and melted at precise temperatures. Molten TPU is then extruded to envelop the cable’s conductor, creating the insulation. Following the insulation, a second layer of TPU is extruded to form the outer TPU cable jacket. This double extrusion process is essential to make certain the durability and performance of the cable.

Step 3: Curing and Cross-linking

Some TPU cables undergo a curing process, where the extruded material is cross-linked. The process enhances the cable’s thermal stability, chemical resistance, and mechanical strength. The cross-linking can be achieved through various methods, including chemical or radiation processes.

Step 4: Cooling and Winding

After extrusion and curing, the cables are usually cooled using a water bath. Cooling process solidifies the TPU cable jacket material, maintaining its shape and properties. Once cooled, the cable is wound onto spools for further processing or packaging.

Step 5: Quality Control and Testing

Once finalized, TPU cables undergo a series of rigorous evaluations to conform to industry norms and benchmarks. Assessments focus on verifying their dimensional precision, tensile solidity, flexibility, electrical characteristics, and their resilience to chemical and environmental stressors.

Meticulous attention to detail and stringent quality compliance throughout the production process are indispensable to crafting TPU cables that are dependable, secure, and apt for their designated uses. It can make certain consistent performance across a range of challenging conditions, from heavy-duty industrial equipment to exterior applications.

Conclusion

TPU cables are a synthesis of sturdiness, adaptability, and environmental resilience, positioning them as a top choice for rigorous applications. To make an informed choice of cable for a specific requirement, we must be well informed about its properties, practical applications and comparison with alternative materials such as TPE and PVC. Therefore, choosing the right type of cable, installing it correctly and selecting a quality cable manufacturer becomes an important initiative.

In this context, the importance of choosing a distinguished TPU wire and cable provider cannot be overstated. Among the notable contenders in the sector, ZW Cable distinguishes itself through its commitment to crafting superior quality TPU wires. Emphasizing innovation and stringent quality assurance, ZW Cable presents an extensive array of TPU control cables, each engineered to fulfill diverse operational demands and the evolving needs of the industry.

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About Me
Richard Zi
Richard Zi

My name is Richard Zi, and serve as the General Manager of ZW Cable. With a deep and extensive background of more than 15 years in the cable industry, I am excited to share my wealth of knowledge and experience.ZW Cable is a renowned company in the field of cable manufacturing in world, we specialize in selecting the best cable sizes and effectively solving all your cable challenges. If you have any questions or needs regarding cable solutions, please contact me and I assure you of the highest standards of personalized and effective guidance and support.View All My Posts >>

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