PVC and PUR in direct comparison

Shery George | 14 September 2021

If a cable seems unspectacular to many at first glance, a look behind the scenes shows that we would be completely lost without the innovative cable technology.

Many people are not even aware of how often we come into contact with different lines in our everyday life.

Whether in industrial production systems and machine tools, in household appliances, computers or smartphones. You can find cables with a wide variety of parameters everywhere.

One of these parameters is the outer jacket. This plays a crucial role. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at the outer jacket today. We focus on PVC and PUR in direct comparison.

The right outer jacket

Different applications have very individual requirements for the cable used. Basically, the overall structure of a line is always decisive for the corresponding use.

While data, electricity and signals are transmitted inside the cables, the cables from the outside must be resistant to heat, cold, mechanical forces or chemicals. The outer sheath is therefore an important line parameter with decisive effects.

The material of the outer jacket

Different materials are used for the outer sheath in order to be able to use the cable according to the requirements. The outer sheath is therefore one of the 7 basic rules for good conduction.

The most frequently used cables have a sheath material made of PVC or PUR. Visually and at first glance, there is no difference between the two types of jacket. But what makes the difference between the two materials?

The PUR outer jacket

The sheath material PUR consists of polyurethane and is particularly oil-resistant and notch-tough.

PUR outer sheaths are therefore often used in mechanical engineering and the automotive industry. The sheathing made of polyurethane (PUR) remains flexible even in continuous use, withstands high mechanical loads and is also resistant to many chemicals and oils.

In the case of PUR cables, a distinction is made between flame-retardant and non-flame-retardant PUR. The flame retardancy is required to equip the cable with the necessary UL requirements . This is particularly important in the international sector.


The PVC outer jacket

Cable sheaths made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) have the reputation of not being quite as resistant to high mechanical loads.

Since the right mixture is very important with PVC, this is not that easy to confirm. A PVC cable can be adapted to the respective requirements much better than a PUR cable through different mixing ratios. That is why cables with PVC sheaths are mainly used in the food industry and in wet areas. A PVC jacket is also the right choice in the typical area of handling.



In the case of PVC and PUR in a direct comparison, it is not possible to define a “better” immediately. Rather, it also depends on various factors. The right cable for a specific application can only be selected by looking at the overall picture. Please also read our application examples of hybrid cables in automatic drilling machines and measuring system cables for large machining centers. You don’t know which sheath material you need for your cable? Ask us we like to help you!

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