A strategic alliance between Teknor Apex, Pawtucket, RI, and Arkema, King of Prussia, Penn., is expected to broaden the range of breathable films by combining the former’s Terraloy bioplastic compounds with the latter’s Pebax engineering-grade TPE, and enable housewrap film manufacturers to increase their product offerings and expand their commitment to sustainability.
At Teknor’s exhibit at the 2015 NAHB International Home Builders Show in Las Vegas, held Jan. 20-22, the partners jointly introduced the first of a family of compounds comprised of a blend of PEBAX polyether-block-amide TPE with Teknor’s Terraloy bioplastics, which are derived from plant-based, renewable sources. Teknor has developed multiple grades of the blend by varying the Terraloy biopolymer content, so that films with various levels of moisture permeability can be products. Such films can be bonded with nonwoven fabrics to form housewraps that allow moisture vapor to escape from homes, preventing mold and mildew, yet remain waterproof.
Pebax TPEs combine the advantages of thermoplastics with the elasticity of rubber. When extruded into a thin film or laminated to a substrate, they offer excellent permeability to moisture vapor while remaining waterproof. They do not require an adhesive or bonding agent to adhere to synthetic nonwovens. “Adding biopolymer to Pebax has broadened its breathability characteristics while maintaining good adhesion to fabric,” says Laurent Cartier, Arkema’s Pebax TPE sales and business development manager.
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