WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two suppliers recently introduced three lines of styrenic TPEs for a wide range of uses. First, Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers, Inc. (aka Star Thermoplastics), Broadview, Ill., has come out with a family of StarPrene TPEs that are said to mimic more costly TPVs of PP/EPDM. StarPrene reportedly has flow similar to TPVs but offers better tensile strength and elongation, is easier to color, and does not need predrying for aesthetic applications. StarPrene is available in numerous stock grades and can be custom formulated to “clone” any TPV at lower cost.
In addition, Alliance Polymers & Services, LLC (APS) introduced two new Maxelast TPE series, produced by Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. in China. The soft Maxelast A-Series for overmolding has 10A to 85A Shore hardness and can be molded onto PC, ABS, PC/ABS, or copolyesters. They are said to allow lower temperatures and injection pressures than competitive products. They boast excellent grip characteristics and good compression set. Translucent and clear grades are available.
APS also offers the new Maxelast P2 series of low-cost grades for less demanding applications in tool and pen grips, other stationery products, personal-care items, and luggage handles (see photo). Available in hardnesses of 20A to 90A, they are said to cost up to 30% less than competitive products. They can be used in stand-alone or overmolding applications.