How is Polyurethane Used in Inline Skates?

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Roller skating was conceived as a way to transfer ice-skating onto dry land. The first skates were designed in 1760 by Belgian Joseph Merlin, they have since metamorphasised beyond all recognition
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Polyurethane was invented in the 1940s and has been used to make many things including the majority of inline skating boots and wheels. It is a relatively indestructible, resilient, flexible and durable plastic that can take on the properties of many materials including woven fabric, rubber, metal or wood. Polyurethane can provide fiberglass hardness, offer upholstery foam softness, give varnish-like protection, bounce with rubbery rebound or even adhere with glue's stickiness.

Since this plastic technology can be adapted in so many ways, it is used for a variety of things – like wheels, frames, boots and protective gear – in contemporary roller sports equipment development. The finished skating products can be scratched, crashed, dropped or bounced and will retain most of their properties.

Many of today’s recreational or fitness inline skates use polyurethane wheels attached to a polyurethane plastic, aluminum or bamboo frame. The frame with wheels is attached to a polyurethane molded boot. The brakes can be made of either polyurethane or hard rubber. Skating equipment that uses this ultra-tough material require minimal maintenance time and the cost of original and replacement parts is much less than they would be using other similar materials.

Other Advantages of Polyurethane

  • Parts made of polyurethane are resistant to abrasion.
  • Polyurethane is very resistant to oils, solvents, fats, greases and gasoline.
  • Polyurethane has a high load-bearing capacity compared to conventional rubber, which makes it an excellent material for wheels.
  • Polyurethane is much more resistant to rips and tears than rubber, which makes it useful for padding, liners, closures and cushions.
  • Polyurethane is very weather resistant and makes a good choice for skates and equipment that will be used outdoors.

Also Known As: plastic, urethane, thermoplastic