Polyurethane Properties

The diverse properties of castable polyurethane make it the leading choice of engineers looking for long lasting materials for their high load, high stress environments. Polyurethane routinely outperforms plastic, rubber and steel in its overall ability to resist harsh environmental factors such as abrasion, heat, solvents, oil and acid. In addition, polyurethane‘s noise abatement ability makes it the preferred material in chain-drive designs, conveyor belt systems and assembly line environments. In today’s manufacturing environments where the cost of downtime is measured in thousands of dollars per hour, polyurethane’s incredible durability actually increases your company’s profitability.

This page includes detailed information on polyurethane properties.

Collage of urethane parts

Physical Properties Of Polyurethane

The physical properties of polyurethane are considerable. Polyurethane performs well for hardness, tensile strength, compression strength, impact resistance, abrasion resistance and tear strength. The chart below show the physical properties of polyurethane.

Typical Physical Properties of Compounds of Polyurethane

Polyurethane TypeL42L100L167L315
Hardness, Durometer Value (ASTM d676-59T)80A90A95A75D*
Specific Gravity1.
Tensile Strength, MPa (psi) (ASTM D412-61T)20.7 (3,000)31.0 (4,500)34.5 (5,000)62.0(9,000)
Elongation At Break, % (ASTM D412-61T)800450400270
100% Modulus, MPa (psi) (ASTM D412-61T)2.8 (400)7.6(1,100)12.4(1,800)32.0(4,650)
Compression Set, % Method B (ASTM D395) Method A (ASTM D395)**45 –27 940 10– 10
Resilience, % Rebound (Bashore)454045
Impact Resistance, Izod notched J/m (ft.lb./In) (ASTM D256) 24 Degrees C ( 75Degrees F) -40 Degrees C (-40 Degrees F)Flexed –Flexed –Flexed –800.7(15) 58.7 (1.1)
Solenoid Brittle Temp., Degrees C (Degrees F) (ASTM D746-57)Below -80 (Below -120)Below -70 (Below-94)Below -70) (Below -94)-64 (-83)
Abrasion Index, NBS, % (ASTM D1630, Nat’l Bureau of Standards Abrader)110175400435
Tear Strength Split, kN/m (pli) (ASTM D470)12.2(70)13.1 (75)26.2 (150)192.2 (110)
* The D Scale is used to measure durometer hardness above 95A by Shore, Rex, or Wallace durometers. ** Measured at 9.3 MPa (1,350 psi)

How Hard is Polyurethane?

auchart33sm The graphic on the left shows the relative hardness ratings available with polyurethane versus rubber and plastic. As you can see polyurethane is an extremely versatile substance. Best of all, polyurethane parts have longer service lives than those made from rubber and plastic. Click On The Graphic For An Enlarged Image

Polyurethane Chemical Resistance

The chemical resistance of polyurethane is broad across multiple substances. The table below shows the oil,chemical & solvent resistance of polyurethane to a sampling of substances.
Acetic Acid, 20%BAmmonium Hydroxide SolutionsA
ASTM Oil #1 (70°C/158°F)AASTM Oil #3 (70°C/158°F)B
ASTM Reference Fuel AAASTM Reference Fuel B (50°C/122°F)B
Barium Hydroxide SolutionsABorax SolutionsA
Boris Acid SolutionsAButaneA
Calcium Bisulfate SolutionsACalcium Chloride SolutionsA
Calcium Hydroxide SolutionsACarbon DioxideA
Carbon MonoxideACastor OilA
Copper Chloride SolutionsACopper Sulfate SolutionsA
Cottonseed OilACyclohexaneA
DOWTHERM ABEthylene GlycolB
Freon – 11BFreon – 12A
Freon – 113AFuel OilB
GlycerinAn-Hexane (50°C/122°F)B
Hydraulic OilsBHydrochloric Acid, 20%B
HydrogenAIsooctane (70°C/158°F)B
Isopropyl EtherBLinseed OilB
Lubricating OilsBMagnesium Chloride SolutionsA
Magnesium Hydroxide SolutionsAMercuryA
Mineral OilANaphthaB
NaphthaleneBOleic AcidB
Palmitic AcidAPhosphoric Acid, 20%-70%A
Potassium Hydroxide SolutionsBSAE #10 Oil (70°C/158°F)A
SeawaterASoap SolutionsA
Sodium Hydroxide, 20%ASodium Hydroxide, 46%B
Soybean OilBStearic Acid AA
Sulfuric Acid, 5-10%ASulfuric Acid, 10-50%B-C
Tannic Acid, 10%ATartaric AcidA
Tricresyl PhosphateBTrisodium Phosphate SolutionsA
Tung OilBWater (50°C/122°F)A

Typical Polyurethane Applications

The excellent load-bearing and shock absorbing qualities of urethane, as well as improved cost/performance make it the material of choice in the manufacture of escalator and elevator tire tread.


Polyurethane replaces wood and plastic elastomers in the manufacture of cutting sticks and die-cutting pads for use in printers, paper cutters and embossing machines.


Reduced production costs, improved wear and abrasion resistance, and noise abatement makes polyurethane the wise choice in chain-drive design for small business machines.


Polyurethane eliminates the costly process of machine fitting metal bearing-adapters into the metal tubes used on airport conveyor systems.


Polyurethane eliminates the common problems associated with rubber and plastic compounds in the fabrication of paper-moving rollers that require high traction, non-marking surfaces.


The excellent load bearing capacity and wide range of resiliency make polyurethane the ideal material for the manufacture of shock-absorbing, gun mounts.