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Polyurethane Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is a key physical property often specified with elastomeric materials, including thermoset polyurethanes. This versatile material provides engineers the flexibility to customize a wide range of tensile strength properties based on design specifications. In this post, we will further uncover tensile strength, discuss tensile strength of polyurethanes compared to other materials, and how you can use them in your product design.

Tensile Strength

What is Tensile Strength?

Tensile strength is a physical property used to demonstrate how a material will react under a pulling force. For example, tug of war consists of two teams pulling at opposite ends of a rope. Depending on the material, or in this case, how the rope reacts is defined using tensile strength. 

How to Measure Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is often measured using material specimens and instruments that apply calibrated forces to a specific material. Although testing may be performed with a handheld device, consistent results are best achieved through standardized testing methods, such as ASTM D638. Typically, the data collected through testing provides three common measurements, including: ultimate strength, yield strength, and breaking strength. 

Ultimate Strength Is the maximum stress a material can withstand while being pulled
Yield Strength Is the maximum stress before showing permanent deformation
Breaking Strength Is the maximum stress at which the material breaks

Tensile Strength of Polyurethane Compared to Other Materials 

MPC Tensile Strength TestingThermoset polyurethanes come in many forms and durometers, which exhibit varying levels of tensile strength. For instance, thermoset polyurethanes can be soft and flexible as a cushion to something hard and rigid as a rock. While some materials, such as metals, may exhibit greater tensile strength properties when compared thermoset polyurethanes, specific values typically cannot be achieved. Unlike metals, rubber, and plastics - thermoset polyurethanes can be chemically altered to meet exact tensile strength requirements. Because of this, product designers often prefer this versatile material for its unlimited design freedom and other list of benefits. To further explore how thermoset polyurethanes can improve your product’s performance, download our white paper, here, or click the banner below.

How to Use Tensile Strength in Your Design

Tensile Strength is a key physical property for products and components that face frequent force in operation. Applications in fitness & recreation, military & defense, and medical devices to name a few, will typically encounter various levels of stress that can impact performance and longevity. Take fishing lines as another example. This product, generally constructed of nylon, uses a pulling force to reel in baited fish. Depending on the maximum stress applied on both ends, fishermen can sometimes be left with snapped lines and freed fish. Although rubber, plastics, and metals are commonly used materials, thermoset polyurethanes should be considered for its customizable properties to improve performance and lower maintenance costs.


Tensile strength measures the amount of stress it takes with pulling forces. By determining the necessary tensile strength requirements for your application will be key in identifying the right material for your product design. If you find specific tensile strength values are key requirements in your product design, take our design tool, here, to start your custom product design or download our material data sheets, below, to learn more. 

Download Our Durethane Material Data Sheets

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