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Specialist Thermoplastic Elastomer Grades

SpecialChem / Aug 1, 2008

Thermoplastic elastomers are remarkably versatile, either used on their own or overmoulded to provide tactile or functional features on components moulded from other polymers. Material properties can vary considerably from one grade to the next, with the difference being down to the chemistry and the presence of filler materials or additives. One of the major advantages of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials today is that, unlike their vulcanised rubber counterparts, they can be recycled and reused. Modern TPEs are relatively easy to process by moulding, extruding and blow moulding, and the availability of clear grades means that they are found in a wide variety of applications. Furthermore, new grades are still being developed at a healthy pace, so there is a continual stream of innovative materials from which designers can choose to enhance existing products or create entirely new concepts. Towards the end of 2007, Arkema launched an interesting range of TPEs that are described as having a 20-90percent renewable carbon content.

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