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The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers
The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs)

Key Application Areas of TPEs

TPE is a potential material for consideration where an elastomeric or flexible material is needed for the application. The TPEs have advantages over conventional thermoset rubbers and plasticized thermoplastics, which include reduced costs, more consistent / higher quality products, improved toxicity and safety while still giving performance that matches the application requirements.

Overview

Key Applications

A variety of TPE technologies are available that offer a wide range of mechanical properties and end-use performance. Their development and use in all market sectors have led to a very wide range of proven applications as shown in the table below.

Markets Applications
Automotive Weather seals, shock dust boots, bumpers, exterior & interior parts, exterior & interior trims, instrument panels, air ducts, pipe grommets, glass encapsulation, drive belts, high/low pressure pipes, mats for motor scooters, O-rings
Construction Extruded seals for doors and windows, simple or co-molded hydraulic seals, glazing seals, pipe seals
Industrial Anti-vibration mounts, inlet pipes and exhaust manifolds, seals, drum suspension bushes, shock absorbers, roof membranes
Consumer Magnetic seals for refrigerators, power tools handles, remote control covers, mobile phone covers, push-button panels, shock absorbing protections for vacuum cleaners
Medical Breathing tubes, syringe seals 7 tips, ventilation masks and bags, seals, valves, catheters
Electronics Sheaths for condensers, plugs and loose sockets, specialty cables, mobile phone components
Footwear & Sporting Goods Items for diving (flippers, snorkels, masks) and skiing (ski pole handles, ski boots), sports goods, shoe soles

In many cases, the performance range of different TPE products overlap and can make specific grade selection difficult. Defining the end-use requirements, environment, temperature, longevity, specific performance requirements is key to knowing which material/product can be selected for a specific end-use application.
TPE is well established in consumer electronics applications such as mobile phones, computer mice, and controllers
In automobiles, TPEs are contributing to lighter vehicle weight for better fuel efficiency.
Thermoplastic elastomers are widely used for the soles of sports shoes

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1 Comments on "Thermoplastic Elastomers 101: An Ultimate Guide"
Mário C Jul 22, 2021
Very interesting description of these materials.

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