A new family of styrenic-based TPEs has been added to the Sarlink line of TPV automotive compounds from the Thermoplastic Elastomer Div. of Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I. These are the first TPE-S materials to carry the Sarlink name. Four series of new Sarlink TPE-S compounds reportedly offer improved economics to automakers for sealing systems and other components, as they are not affected by variations in the price of EPDM rubber, a key component of TPVs, and expand performance options.
Relative to TPVs, the Sarlink TPE-S compounds are said exhibit comparable strength and elasticity; provide smoother part surfaces; equivalent or better long-term UV stability; and a broader processing window in injection molding. Whereas standard TPVs come in natural or black, TPE-S compounds are available in a variety of custom-matched colors. Unlike TPVs, they generally do not require predrying. On the other hand, TPVs exhibit better resistance to hydrocarbon fluids and have a higher service temperature—239 F/115 C vs. 212 F/100 C for TPE-S compounds. The four series of Sarlink TPE-S compounds are:
•High-performance extrusion compounds for functional parts such as sealing systems. Hardnesses range from 55 to 75 Shore A, and they are formulated for good surface appearance, elasticity, chemical resistance, and excellent UV stability.
•General-purpose extrusion compounds for non-functional parts such as semi-rigid supporting components for sealing system backbones, with a hardness range from 40 Shore A to 50 Shore D.
•High-performance injection molding compounds for window encapsulation and exterior trim. Their hardnesses range from 55 to 70 Shore A. They boast a broad processing window, smooth surfaces, and excellent heat and UV stability.
•General-purpose injection molding compounds for under-hood and interior components. In a hardness range from 40 Shore A to 50 Shore D, they have a broad processing window and exhibit lower odor and fogging than other TPEs.
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