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Plastics & Elastomers
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Plastics & Elastomers
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KRAIBURG TPE at Fakuma’15: To Unveil Drinking Water Compliant TPE for Hoses

Published on 2015-09-22. Author : SpecialChem

WALDKRAIBURG -- Especially in sanitary facilities and household appliances the components and functional elements come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water. Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), due to their elastic properties and the economical processing methods of injection molding or extrusion, open up diverse possibilities for manufacturers of drinking water applications – at the same time, the materials must pass stringent controls, due to the extreme requirements of this market for quality and safety.

KRAIBURG's TPE Used for Hoses in Showers
Fig. 1: KRAIBURG's TPE Used for Hoses in Showers

Especially for drinking water applications KRAIBURG TPE has developed TPEs with different grades of hardness that contain no softeners and comply with the European standards in Great Britain (WRAS), France (ACS) and Germany (KTW and W270). Within the scope of the German guidelines for plastics in drinking water issued by the Federal Environmental Agency the new compounds are approved for drinking water applications. Approvals according ACS and WRAS are in progress and will be confirmed shortly. The formulation of the new drinking water compliant series had been optimized according the increasing requirements of the market: the economical thermoplastic extrusion process allow use of the material for the manufacture of supply hoses for showers or dishwashers, for example.

In the development and manufacture of drinking water compliant TPEs KRAIBURG TPE focuses on the stringent regulations from Great Britain, France and Germany. After all, drinking water is considered a foodstuff and must be of high quality to prevent damage to health through its consumption or use. All raw materials used must therefore conform to these regulations. On its way from the waterworks to the consumer’s tap the quality of the water must not be impaired with respect to flavor, odor, color, concentration of pathogens, etc.

TPE compounds for use with drinking water

The requirements of the European drinking water standards are mandatory for TPE manufacturers such as KRAIBURG TPE in the development of new compound series. Thermoplastic Elastomers are manufactured for the most part on the basis of styrene block copolymers, which also form the raw material basis for developing compounds for use with drinking water. The market-oriented portfolio of KRAIBURG TPE includes three series that are specially adapted to the requirements of the drinking water market. The secret of drinking water compliant TPEs is the special formulation of the compounds. The growth of microorganisms is prevented without the addition of biocides. However, the special materials not only fulfill the requirements for drinking water compatibility, but also feature the special advantages of a high-quality TPE: due to a hardness spectrum between 50 and 90 Shore A and the capability for precise coloring, which has no effect on the drinking water certifications, they can be used in numerous applications.


KRAIBURG TPE is a global manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers. From its beginning in 2001 as subsidiary of the historical KRAIBURG Group founded in 1947, KRAIBURG TPE has become one of the pioneers in TPE compounds. With production sites in Germany, the US, and Malaysia the company offers a broad range of compounds for applications in the automotive, industrial, consumer, and for the strictly regulated medical sectors. The established THERMOLAST®, COPEC®, HIPEX®, and For-Tec E product lines are processed by injection molding or extrusion and provide numerous processing and product design advantages to manufacturers. KRAIBURG TPE features innovative capabilities as well as true global customer orientation, customized product solutions and reliable service. The company is certified to ISO 50001 at its headquarters in Germany and holds ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications at all global sites. In 2014, KRAIBURG TPE, with over 440 worldwide employees, generated sales of 138 million euros.


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