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TPO and COPE Gain in Auto and Construction Sectors

SpecialChem / Jan 10, 2006

Two thermoplastic elastomers - thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) and copolyester elastomers (COPEs) - are capturing an increasing share of automotive markets. Meanwhile, TPOs are challenging other materials in construction applications, particularly roofing. The key to the healthy growth of both materials lies in their physical and chemical properties, which mesh well with current trends in automotive and construction industries. TPOs, for example, can impart a soft-touch to many automotive interior parts, a consumer-friendly feature that many auto manufacturers are emphasizing. The all-olefinic composition of TPOs also makes them easy to recycle, another plus in today's environmentally conscious age. As for COPEs, they resist embrittlement, even at temperatures down to -40° C, a property that makes them ideal for automotive airbag covers, which must remain flexible under all driving conditions.Like all thermoplastic elastomers, TPOs display rubber-like elasticity, but can be processed like thermoplastics.

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