Medical | 2 MINUTE READ

NPE2018 New Technology Focus: More Customized TPEs Emerge

From satin-smooth for consumer goods to medical-grade materials, new TPEs are more targeted to customized applications. 


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Kraiburg TPE (S31181) is featuring its custom-engineered TPE solutions, including new grades and target applications within the consumer, industrial, automotive and medical markets. There is also a focus on local support to its customers in the form of a distinctive service bundle; a spectrum that includes project-tailored advice on which engineered plastic compounds to use, including the color and application-specific and processing requirements. What’s more, the company is highlighting its global production capacity expansions, including the newly-built Buford, Ga. plant, where capacity went from about 13 million lb/yr to 22 million lb/yr.

Product innovations include the newly launched VS/AD/HM series, said to offer silky, satin-smooth surfaces that feature high-scratch/abrasion-resistance, excellent durability and resistance against chemicals such as sebum oil, creams and common household detergents. The series is designed for consumer electronics applications. The VS/AD/HM series has been specially developed for applications that require a silky and velvety surface, along with excellent adhesion to polar thermoplastic compounds such as PC, ABS, PC/ABS, PU, ASA, SAN, nylons 6 and 12. Available in natural color and black, the compounds also reportedly have impressive processing properties. Applications include controllers for games consoles, remote controls and headphones, toys, protective covers for mobile phones, tablets and cosmetics packaging.

Also showcased is Kraiburg’s FC/ht series of highly transparent materials for applications such as food packaging seals, tooth-brush handles, detergent pods and toys. This series of TPEs is characterized by its excellent adhesion to PP as well as its high-flow processing behavior. It boasts a smooth, non-sticky feel and due to its high transparency, is said to be ideal for applications requiring custom pigmentation or vibrant colors, a forte of Kraiburg TPE.

Turkey’s Elastron (S16013), a global producer and marketer of TPEs for over 35 years, recently announced that it will open a North American headquarters in Gainesville, Ga. Last year, the company announced a partnership with thermoplastics distributor M. Holland Co. to provide an alternative source of TPVs and other TPEs to the North American wire & cable market. The two have been qualifying Elastron TPEs ahead of the new 32,000 ft2 Gainsville compounding facility, due on stream in third quarter. The facility will produce a broad range of thermoplastic elastomers including TPV, TPO, SBS and SEBS. Elastron USA will serve all major markets including automotive, industrial, construction, medical, consumer and E/E.

Elastocon TPE (S29029) is unveiling its latest grades of compounds for medical grade applications. Having recently passed USP Class VI testing for respirators and other medical product applications, these two grades—Elastocon 8028N and Elastocon 8068N—can be injection molded, extruded or over-molded. Properties include high flow to enable complex part design and flexibility with Shore A hardness of 28A and 68A. The grades are odorless and said to offer excellent cold weather and UV stability. Elastocon reports that they have good surface finish and provide resistance to chlorine and most sanitizers as well as many cleaning products.

As such, these new grades offer designers, manufacturers and marketers of medical and industrial as well as consumer products and particularly respirators a full complement of design flexibility. The firm also can develop custom grades for specialized applications.

Star Thermoplastics (S37075) is focusing on its expanded StarSoft line of super clear TPE compounds that now include an array of super soft gel-like materials. There will also be newly enhanced flame retardant and conductive TPE compounds, as well as an expanded line of TPEs for extrusion profiles and sheet.

PolyOne (Room S230BC) is featuring its low VOC/FOG and odor OnFlex LO TPEs for a range of automotive interior components.