Polyurethane (PUR or PU) is a thermoplastic compound commonly used as a jacketing material for cables in a variety of applications. Polyurethane combines the best attributes of rubber and plastic.
A PUR jacket is often specified when polyvinyl chloride (PVC) jackets will not withstand the environment in which the cable is being used. This is typically the case when flexibility, durability and chemical resistance are of greater importance than resistance to flame and high temperatures.
PU jacketed cables offer excellent flexibility, abrasion resistance and “memory” properties along with outstanding resistance to oxidation, oil and ozone. The typical temperature range for polyurethane is -55°C to 80°C. There is a PUR compound that is flame retardant; however, strength and surface finish is sacrificed when choosing this option.
Due to its flexibility and memory properties, polyurethane cables are ideal for retractable cords and other continuous flexing applications. Because PU will remain flexible at low temperatures, it is frequently used in low-temp military applications. It can also be a solid compound choice for products that are prone to salt spray. Industries that typically utilize PUR cables include, among others: Military, Communications, Aerospace, and Oil & Gas.
The main disadvantage of selecting polyurethane is its poor electrical properties. This is why it is mainly used as a jacketing material instead of insulation. Also, polyurethane is a flammable compound, so it should not be used in high temperature environments.
If you think polyurethane is the right solution for the cable in your application, or you would like to determine if it is a viable option, Galaxy Wire & Cable is a trusted industry partner with engineering and design support. We can also supply the finished cable, and offer value-added assembly services to complete the scope of work as required. Contact Galaxy for future assistance with PUR cable and wire.