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 Type L42 L100 L167 L315
Hardness, Durometer Value (ASTM d676-59T) 80A 90A 95A 75D*
Specific Gravity 1.07 1.10 1.13 1.21
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) 800 450 400 270
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 9 40 10 – 10
Resilience, % Rebound (Bashore) 45 40 45
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) 110 175 400 435
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.
Chemical Rating Chemical Rating
Acetic Acid, 20% B Ammonium Hydroxide Solutions A
ASTM Oil #1 (70°C/158°F) A ASTM Oil #3 (70°C/158°F) B
ASTM Reference Fuel A A ASTM Reference Fuel B (50°C/122°F) B
Barium Hydroxide Solutions A Borax Solutions A
Boris Acid Solutions A Butane A
Calcium Bisulfate Solutions A Calcium Chloride Solutions A
Calcium Hydroxide Solutions A Carbon Dioxide A
Carbon Monoxide A Castor Oil A
Copper Chloride Solutions A Copper Sulfate Solutions A
Cottonseed Oil A Cyclohexane A
DOWTHERM A B Ethylene Glycol B
Freon – 11 B Freon – 12 A
Freon – 113 A Fuel Oil B
Gasoline B Glue A
Glycerin A n-Hexane (50°C/122°F) B
Hydraulic Oils B Hydrochloric Acid, 20% B
Hydrogen A Isooctane (70°C/158°F) B
Isopropyl Ether B Linseed Oil B
Lubricating Oils B Magnesium Chloride Solutions A
Magnesium Hydroxide Solutions A Mercury A
Mineral Oil A Naphtha B
Naphthalene B Oleic Acid B
Palmitic Acid A Phosphoric Acid, 20%-70% A
Potassium Hydroxide Solutions B SAE #10 Oil (70°C/158°F) A
Seawater A Soap Solutions A
Sodium Hydroxide, 20% A Sodium Hydroxide, 46% B
Soybean Oil B Stearic Acid A A
Sulfuric Acid, 5-10% A Sulfuric Acid, 10-50% B-C
Tannic Acid, 10% A Tartaric Acid A
Tricresyl Phosphate B Trisodium Phosphate Solutions A
Tung Oil B Water (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.