The Universal Selection Source:
Plastics & Elastomers

Soft-Touch Elastomers Gain Traction in Automotive Markets

SpecialChem / Jan 17, 2005

Automobile manufacturers looking for cost-effective ways to differentiate their models from the competition are increasingly turning to soft-touch thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). Such materials impart a luxurious feel and an esthetically appealing appearance to many interior car structures. Among the fastest growing automotive applications of soft-touch TPEs are instrument panel skins, seat backs, door trim, arm rests, handles, knobs and airbag doors. In some cases, soft-touch elastomers are replacing harder plastics or rubber. In other cases, they are replacing other soft-touch materials containing PVC, which is being phased out by some automakers for environmental and legislative reasons. A major driving force for TPE soft-touch materials made of thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) is the movement toward recycling. Recycling is simpler and less costly when all the plastics in a vehicle are from the same chemical family, such as olefinics. Whatever their compositions, elastomers for soft-touch applications may be used alone or in laminated structures produced by overmolding techniques.

Be the first to comment on "Soft-Touch Elastomers Gain Traction in Automotive Markets"

Leave a comment

Your email address and name will not be published submitting a comment or rating implies your acceptance to SpecialChem Terms & Conditions
Fluoropolymers and chemistry that make a difference
The Chemicals Sales & Marketing Toolbox
Channel Alerts

Receive weekly digests on hot topics

Back to Top