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Polyurethane laminate (PUL, thermal stretch,[1] fuzzy rubber[1]) is a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric to one or both sides of a thin film of polyurethane.[1][2] Polyurethane laminated fabrics have a wide range of applications in medical, automotive and garment uses.[2]

Most PUL fabric is made by laminating lightweight polyester interlock knit fabric to a 1 mil thick film of polyurethane. There are two processes used for lamination: solvent lamination, which fuses the fabric and polyurethane film into a single monolithic fabric, and hot melt, which uses heat-activated glue to adhere the fabrics together.


PU laminate cloth is waterproof, breathes and stretches somewhat, and is soft and flexible. It can usually be machine-washed and dried,[1] and cleaned with dilute bleach or alcohol.[2]

PU fabric is useful as a wind and/or water barrier in the construction of fluid-splash protecting garments, shower curtains, and outerwear clothing. It is used in watersports equipment.[1] It is used for upholstery, especially in cars and restaurants.[2]

Because it can be readily cleaned and sterilized, PUL is used for medical bedding, mattress protectors, reusable incontinence products, diapers/nappies, wet bags, and cloth menstrual pads.

Materials and degradability

There are many different polyurethane blends and resin types,[3] which vary in durability, resistance to heat, ambient humidity, and light,[2] and the maximum temperature they will stand (some, for medical use, are autoclavable).[1] Resistance is measured by accelerated aging in a harsh controlled environment; the number of weeks survived is expressed as a hydrolysis resistance in units of years (expected under normal conditions). [4]

If PUL is kept wet for a long time, it disintegrates into the water and sticks to itself, though it will probably go mouldy first.[5] If the polyurethane starts delaminating from the fabric, it may be possible to relaminate it with care and a hot iron. If the PU coating has decayed, it can be replaced.[6]

See also

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