Differences Between PU & PVC

Most buyers can NOT tell the difference between PVC and PU.

Some customers may even be deceived by some evil suppliers, using PVC leather instead of PU leather to produce soccer balls.

Today, we are going to break down the differences between PVC and PU, and You will never be deceived.

So, Let’s begin.

PVC is Polyvinyl chloride, PU is Polyurethane, they are totally the different materials.

PVC raw material
PU raw material

The raw material of PVC and PU is different.

The main differences between PVC and PU are as follows:

  • The high temperature resistance is different: the maximum temperature of PVC is 65 °C, and the maximum temperature of PU can reach 90 °C.
  • The wear resistance is different: the PU material is more wear-resistant, but PVC worse.
  • The PU is softer and the PVC is relatively harder unless the plasticizer in the PVC is added a lot.
  • Plasticizers are an additive that makes PVC softer, but there are strict requirements for plasticizer content in food industries, so can’t be added too much.
  • The manufacturing process is different either.

In the manufacturing process of PVC leather.

We will firstly heat the plastic particles and melted into a past.

And uniformly coated on the base of the T/C knitted fabric according to the specified thickness.

And then foam it in the foaming furnace to make it suitable for the needs of other products.

To produce a variety of different products, different requirements of softness, surface treatment at the same time of the release (dyeing, embossing, polishing, matting, grinding, etc., mainly in accordance with specific product requirements).

For soccer balls, we may need it Shiny, or matte, or dyeing.

And we may require different thickness.

For example, 1.6mm PVC for promotional soccer balls, 1.8mm PVC, 2.0mm PVC, 2.7mm PVC for regular playing, 3.0mm PVC for amateur training.

All kinds of different thickness means different quality.

Generally speaking, the thicker, the better.

PU leather is more complicated in manufacturing process than PVC leather.

Since the base fabric of PU is a canvas material with good tensile strength, in addition to being coated on the top of the base fabric, the base fabric can be included in the middle, to make it invisible to see.

Stir well
Painted on paper
pattern paper
PU material production
stock
Synthetic leathers

The physical properties of PU leather are better than PVC leather.

With better resistance to tortuosity, softness, tensile strength and gas permeability (PVC don’t).

The pattern of the PVC leather is formed by hot pressing of a steel pattern roll;

The pattern of the PU leather is different.

It’s first pressed on the surface of the semi-finished leather with a pattern paper, and the paper is separated after cooling down, and then deal with the surface for some special treatment.

The price of PU leather is more than double that of PVC leather.

The price of PU leather with special requirements is 2-3 times higher than that of PVC leather. 

Generally, the pattern paper required for PU leather can only be used for 4-5 times;

But the PVC pattern roll is much longer, so the cost of the PU leather is higher than that of the PVC leather;

For soccer balls, generally speaking, we will recommend our customers to use PU leather to produce training or match soccer balls,

Because it’s very comfortable and soft to touch.

At the same time, it looks very high-grade and has an excellent texture.

And, for PU leather, we are generally used for laminated soccer balls, so that we can meet the requirements of customers for quality and appearance.

How to tell the difference?

That’s easy.

1st Touch it: PU leather is much softer than PVC leather, Generally PU looks more “expensive” than PVC leather.

2nd PVC leather is harder, you will know this in cold days.

3rd Burn it: Both PVC and PU can be burned with fire. PVC leather smells stinky, PU leather smells like feathers burnt.

Should you have any questions, let me know at [email protected] or visit our website www.ifansports.com