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The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers

Taking TPEs to the Next Level – New Developments Round-up

Payal Ahuja – Jan 21, 2019

Taking TPEs to the Next Level – New Developments Round-up The global market for thermoplastic elastomers is estimated to have grown at a compound average rate (CAGR) of 5.45% in 2012-17, even though it is an increasingly mature market. It is also expected to grow at about the same rate for 2017-22, with a CAGR of 5.58%.

There are several reasons driving the global thermoplastics elastomers market, like, intense competition in the market is leading to development of value-added products through increased investments in the R&D. Other trends shaping the thermoplastic elastomers market include:

 − Increasing applications of thermoplastic copolyesters and TPVs 
 − Incorporation of soft-touch TPE in consumer electronics and appliances 
 − Rapid growth in application segments in APC & ROW

Hence, there is an emergence of polymers that are cost-effective and more functional. Additionally, stringent environmental regulations have given rise to bio-based TPEs.

Let’s check out the latest advances in thermoplastics elastomers segment seen recently answering the growing demand in the industry...

Trend-Setting Thermoplastic Elastomers Hybrids are In

Application-engineered TEH Materials - The Powerful Synergy of Two Worlds

KRAIBURG TPE has developed an application-engineered TEH materials which combine different mixtures of various elastomers and thermoplastics with respective crosslinked systems to form materials with unprecedented properties. Their properties include:

 − High media and temperature resistances, which are adjusted to the requirements of each application
 −  The flexibility to tailor the material’s property profile to the requirements of specific application
 − Hardness from 55 to 80 Shore A
 − Permanent operating temperatures of up to 150 °C (302 °F), and
 − Chemical stability against materials such as oils, lubricants, fuels and coolants 

Thus, they are particularly suitable for use in the environment of combustion engines, in heat management of drives and batteries for electric vehicles, as well as in lubrication and cooling systems of machines, process technology and buildings. Direct applications include seals and gaskets, plugs and connectors, lids and covers.

The resulting compounds can be used as an alternative to common crosslinked rubber solutions that is economically convincing and processable like thermoplastics. They also offer appealing options for multi-component applications when bonded with technical plastics such as polyamides and thermoplastic polyesters. They can be processed with common injection molding machines and extrusion lines, do not require any finishing and are completely recyclable.

Trend-Setting Thermoplastic Elastomers Hybrids
Trend-Setting Thermoplastic Elastomers Hybrids

Nylon-based ‘Hybrid’ Engineering TPEs

At NPE 2018, Nylon Corporation of America, Inc. (NYCOA) highlighted its NY-FLEX® elastomer range - a class of nylon (polyamide) based engineering thermoplastic elastomers (E-TPE). These materials are block copolymers of nylon (polyamide) segments and polyether segments. The nylon (polyamide) block is the hard segment and the polyether block is the soft, flexible segment.

These hybrid materials offering a unique combination of rubber-like elastomeric properties and thermoplastic-like processing capabilities and hence claimed to deliver on performance and cost.

 − Excellent flexibility at low temperature 
 − Superior retention of properties to elevated temperature 
 − Exceptional toughness and resilience
 − High creep resistance
 − Strong resistance to flex fatigue
 − Good abrasion resistance, and 
 − Superior resistance to greases, oils, and solvents

 » Continue reading to learn some more advances in cost-effective, functional thermoplastics elastomers for demanding applications! 

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