Barriers to large-part thermoforming with TPOs reportedly have been overcome by a new material introduced at NPE 2006. Inspire EFP 500 is the first in a new family of TPOs planned by Dow Specialty Plastics & Elastomers, Midland, Mich. EFP 500 is based on patented Insite technologies in both PP and elastomers, according to Ben Matuska, North American market manager for plastic durable goods It reportedly provides an alternative to compression molded thermoset SMC and to glass-reinforced ABS and nylon in a wide range of interior and exterior applications in sporting goods, automotive, recreational vehicles, canoes, kayaks, and tractors. This 0.5 MFR material has a flexural modulus of 300,000 psi, 63 Shore D hardness, and notched-Izod impact of 13 ft-lb/in. (Low-temperature toughness is also said to be good.) Moreover, it allows use of up to around 40% regrind without sacrificing properties, according to Matuska. EFP 500 can be used alone or coextruded with a new complementary glossy cap layer of a proprietary "modified propylene polymer" that boasts excellent uv and scratch/mar resistance and allows the same level of regrind use. Cost of a fully compounded product is generally under $1.50/lb, according to Matuska.
Dow Chemical Company
200 Larkin Center Midland, MI 48674
Phone (517) 636-0782 Fax (517) 638-9925