Polyurethane gaskets: production and applications

Polyurethane is a material that is widely used in industry and is also known by the initials PU or PUR. Part of the group of urethane plastics, this material is made from alcohols (diols, triols, polyols) and isocyanates (isocyanates or polyisocyanates). The particular chemical reaction between the substances results in the creation of a particularly versatile material that is well-suited to all applications that require resistance to stress and wear.


There are a multitude of varieties of polyurethane, each of which offers unique characteristics and possible uses. These include TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, also used in GBL departments for the manufacturing of high-performance polyurethane gaskets.



Polyurethane: a material with excellent properties

The chemical processes for the development of polyurethane can result in the manufacturing of thermosetting polymers, elastomers or thermoplastics, with different mechanical qualities and possible applications. What, in particular, are the characteristics of thermoplastic polyurethane?



The characteristics of thermoplastic polyurethane

TPU is a thermoplastic material whose chemical composition can vary according to whether it is made from polyester or polyether. As a result, it can also offer a range of properties (physical, chemical, mechanical) and varying behaviour when subjected to external forces. The longer the chain, the more TPU has characteristics similar to natural rubber, and its workability makes it perfect for use in extrusion processes, injection, compression or blow moulding.


What properties does it have?

  • Elasticity, flexibility and excellent expansion ratio.
  • Excellent resistance to abrasion and tearing.
  • Resistance over time to open air and to the elements.
  • Resistance to impact.
  • Positive resistance to oils, grease and weak acids.
  • Odour free.
  • Deformability and the capacity to return to its original shape once pressure is released.
  • It offers excellent properties in the -40 to +80 degrees Celsius temperature range (and also performs excellently at low temperatures).
  • It is easily coloured, sterilised, moulded, cut or die-cut.
  • On the contrary, it is unable to resist chlorine, many organic solvents or hydrolysis with hot water and steam.

Uses for polyurethane
Considering that TPU is flexible and has a wide range of hardnesses, it sits more or less in between plastic and rubber and can serve as a valid soft thermoplastic material or as hard rubber.

It is therefore useful in cases that require flexibility and malleability, but also sturdiness and durability. As a result, TPU is perfect as a material for seals and for the production of made-to-measure gaskets that are highly reliable and efficient. In what fields can it be applied?


The most frequent areas of use are:

  • the automotive and mechanical industry.
  • material handling.
  • the pneumatic industry.
  • construction of joints and gaskets in microcellular expanded polyurethane.
  • components and housing for electronics.
  • solid elastomer wheels.

At GBL, we make thermoplastic polyurethane gaskets that are, above all, dedicated to the hydraulic sector.



Thermoplastic polyurethane: the production opportunities offered by GBL

We choose TPU in particular because of the characteristics that it offers and its flexibility in terms of quality and application. All the materials used in GBL production processes are sourced from Italian or European suppliers with the most stringent quality and security certification. In any case, raw materials are first subject to rigid checks on arrival and are meticulously tracked from the moment they enter the plant until the finished product is made, and they are stored in dedicated air-conditioned environments to preserve their properties.


At GBL, our know-how allows us to always respond to market demands, as well as to satisfy the demands of each and every client with personalised proposals. What sets us apart is our ability to formulate new materials and identify solutions that adapt to highly specific uses.

One of our most successful case studies is, for example, the formulation of DESMOBLEND R90, a polyurethane with incredible characteristics in terms of resistance to temperature, the result of careful experimentation carried out in our laboratories.



The Desmoblend case study

To create Desmoblend, we began with classic thermoplastic polyurethane with the following characteristics:

  • 94 Shore A hardness.
  • A density of 1.2 g/cm3.
  • A load capacity of 55 N/mm2.
  • 100% module of 12.5 N/mm2.
  • Elongation to failure of 500%.
  • Laceration at 110 N/mm2.
  • Elastic performance of 29%.

The material was subjected to particular tests and treatment with air, water, and ASTM 1 and IRM 903 oil, obtaining a clear variation of the parameters listed above that was perfectly in line with the needs of the client.



GBL for your polyurethane gaskets

The GBL brand is a proud member of the GB Srl group, which, since 1976, has been committed to offering professional solutions for the made-to-measure gasket sector. In particular, GBL is specialised in the creation of high- and low-pressure fluid power and hydraulic seals made through the processing of rubber, rubberised fabric and thermoplastics, such as TPU.


The experience of our qualified technicians is backed up by an internal laboratory and a machine inventory dedicated to injection and compression moulding, which is enhanced by equipment for product finishing, adapting to the widest-ranging needs of companies. As a guarantee of our investment in full quality, we have requested and obtained UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 certification.


Thanks to our extensive experience with a range of products, we are able to provide support for clients from the widest-ranging sectors, from automotive to earth-moving machines, to hydraulic pumps and dosage pumps for the food production and chemical-industrial sectors.


Do you want to work with us? Contact us and tell us about your project; we will offer you our skills to obtain the results you want!