Teknor is strongly supporting its Sarlink TPV brand through technology and capacity expansion.
Since its acquisition of the Sarlink thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) elastomers business of DSM (U.S. office in Evansville, Ind.) just five years ago, Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I. has significantly strengthened its support for the brand, which has had 20 years of commercial success.
According to Teknor, this has been taking place as other major compounders of TPVs have been cutting costs by rationalizing and commoditizing their product portfolios and limiting service levels. Despite these current trends in the TPV marketplace, Teknor has seen fit to do the opposite, with a focus on building strong relationships with its customers. “This is fundamental to our philosophy as a privately-held company focused on custom compounding. While companies often lose the personal touch as they grow, this has not happened with Teknor Apex. When you call us, you get a live person to talk to,” says Nicholas Sandland, director of sales for Teknor’s Thermoplastic Elastomer Division.
Within the last five years, Teknor has expanded the Sarlink brand to include many customized TPV formulations as well as compounds based on new technologies, such as those for styrenic TPEs and special blends. It has also boosted its customer service and technical support capabilities significantly.
Automotive constitutes the largest market for TPVs. Sandland says that Teknor now has an entire team of specialists in place devoted to Sarlink for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Moreover, the company has invested in an extensive in-house application development laboratory for trials and testing, and a staff of engineers that provide support from design through scale-up to commercialization. Adds Sandland, “Depending on the customer’s needs, we can provide offsets to competitive products or unique materials specifically designed for complex and demanding applications.”
Among the most widely used families of TPV products, is the Sarlink 4100 Series, which ranges in hardness from 45 Shore A to 47 Shore D and spans the full spectrum of physical properties required in the market. This series of materials boasts over 40 automotive OEM approvals covering a broad range of applications. In the case of Sarlink 4165, a typical 65 Shore A “workhorse” TPV, the physical properties closely match that of a long-established competing product (see table), and in most cases can be used as a drop-in replacement.
Sarlink TPVs are characterized by faster crystallization compared to competitive TPVs, according to Sandland. In injection molding, this translates to parts that solidify faster and can be de-molded earlier and at higher temperatures, resulting in shorter cooling and faster cycle times. The Sarlink 4100 Series TPVs, available in natural and black, can also be processed by extrusion and blow molding, and can be used in such automotive applications as ducts, boots, bellows, grommets, seals, and gaskets, and in components in industrial and consumer goods.