TPE, or thermoplastic elastomers, are materials with features (strength, ductility) similar to rubbers, while they can be processed using plastic-processing technologies (rolling, extrusion, injection, press moulding). These remarkable features are caused by interconnecting (co-polymerization) two different parts – the solid and hard part (melting of which enables processing of the material) and the elastic part (which causes strength of the material and its softness on touch).
The advantage of TPE is a wide temperature range of its use, which distinguishes it from regular plastics. These materials have also good resistance against mechanical stress. The new generation of TPE materials is based on polyolefins. These materials represent an alternative to softened PVC in applications such as water-proofing foils, profiles, or hoses.
TPE’s application field includes:
Consumer industry – soft and flexible parts of tools such as toothbrushes, shavers, ball pens.
Electro-technical industry – sheathing of electric cables, soft headphones.
Building industry – insulation foils.
Sports – snowmobile belt pulleys, in-line skates, ski accessories.