urethane vs polyurethane wheels

Urethane vs Polyurethane Wheels – Is There Any Difference?

In the case of choosing a caster or wheel, almost everyone suffers from the most prominent confusing differences between urethane vs polyurethane wheels. Of course, there are many exceptional reasons for this, but one of the most common reasons is that polyurethane is called the polymer version of urethane, due to which both wheels are made of almost the same common materials.

Though many features and materials are similar, there are several differences between polyurethane vs urethane in terms of built quality, durability, and usability. That’s why in this comparison guide, we arranged all the main differences, features. Also, we suggest to you which one is suitable for your work. So let’s first get acquainted with both wheels differently.

Urethane Wheels

urethane wheelsUrethane caster wheels are basically a wide range of usable caster application wheels. It has higher resistance features as well as excellent load capacity. The urethane wheel is mainly used in higher sturdy interior surfaces because it has excellent resistance to abrasion. You can see many types of urethane wheels of different designs, including steel, plastic, and rubber, for use in various fields.

Polyurethane Wheels

urethane vs polyurethane wheelsPolyurethane comprises a group of multiple urethanes, so it is another version of urethane and almost the same materials. Also, polyurethane is called a polymer. However, polyurethane has many advantages, which we will discuss below.

Difference Between Urethane vs Polyurethane Wheels

In this section, we will discuss some of the most essential features of both wheels, as well as try to highlight the differences between both urethane and polyurethane wheels.


Undoubtedly, urethane caster wheels are slightly ahead of polyurethane wheels in terms of durability. Though urethane is used as an alternative term for polyurethane, urethane wheels are the first choice in any industrial applications wheels, trolleys, or other items for higher sturdy work. Urethane wheels are usually designed from TDI-based high-quality urethane, which is chemically bonded with steel or aluminum core.

Polyurethane wheels are built with pigment combined heated liquid polyurethane, then dried to strengthen it; after that, it is fixed to make wheels of different sizes and designs. It is also much more resistant, sturdy, and great for using as outdoor wheels, such as trolleys, luggage, and skate wheels.

Load Capacity

The different urethane caster wheels are mostly used in large sectors like industrial in different heavy loads containers and trolleys. Because it has a higher load capacity, also the bearing can take a higher load than regular casters.

On the other hand, the polyurethane wheel’s load capacity is also good, but specialists do not recommend it in higher load work. However, most manufacturers are currently designing polyurethane wheels for use in all fields.

Noise Reduction

If you are searching for casters for carpets to work in a very pleasant and noise-free environment, then polyurethane caster wheels are an excellent choice for that place. Because compared to the urethane wheel, this wheel rolls in a very quiet way in any environment. Due to which polyurethane wheels are much ahead in the field of noise reduction rolling.

Higher Resistant

One of the great advantages of urethane wheels is that it is perfect for use in salt, grease, blood and other harsh environments. Also highly corrosion, rust-resistant to last for many years.

On the other hand, though polyurethane wheels are not perfect for harsh chemical environments, they are highly UV resistant, which is why polyurethane wheels are the most suitable choice for outdoors. Moreover, both urethane and polyurethane wheels are higher temperature resistant; that’s why both wheels can withstand any kind of adverse conditions.

Floor Protection

Polyurethane is much better than urethane in terms of protecting the rougher surfaces, concrete, tiles floors. Because polyurethane is a much softer material, it can roll smoothly without any type of damage to the floor. On the other hand, urethane also protects the floor but not as much as polyurethane.

Is polyurethane stronger than rubber?

Polyurethane is made using higher load capacity bearing and harder materials. Due to which it is torn, cut resistant, and has higher abrasion. In terms of durability and strength, polyurethane is stronger than natural rubber and synthetic rubber.

Are polyurethane wheels better than urethane?

It is difficult to say which is better on both wheels. Because two wheels are manufactured from almost the same materials, they have different advantages and are suitable for different purposes. Such polyurethane wheels are the most useful in floor protection; on the other hand, urethane is a great option for higher resistance and heavyweight work.

Are polyurethane wheels suitable for roller skates?

Usually, polyurethane wheels are much more flexible, durable and give maximum grip on any rough road. Polyurethane caster wheels are also an excellent choice for bad roads, as well as because of the UV resistance, the sun’s UV rays can not damage this wheel; that’s why many skate manufacturers now use polyurethane wheels in roller skates to get outstanding performance compared to urethane.