The StarBond® TPE product line offers excellent soft-touch overmolding materials, with a wide range of hardness and grip and excellent adhesion to polar substrates such as polycarbonate, nylon, SAN, ASA, ABS, and polyester. The combination of soft, flexible TPE material and more rigid substrates allows for tremendous design flexibility, especially when it comes to adding color, grip, and overall feel and visual appeal to your product.
Common uses include toothbrush grips, rifle straps, tool grip handles, game consoles, caster wheels, utensil handles, razor blade handles and many more.
What are Thermoplastic Elastomers?
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are flexible, rubber-like materials that are highly stretchable and useful in a variety of industries. They can be stretched to more than twice their original size and shape while still maintaining their structural integrity. TPEs are true thermoplastics, and do not require vulcanization or curing. Thermoplastic elastomers are used in a variety of processes from injection molding to 2-shot molding, blow molding and extrusion. On the hardness scale, they range from rigid and firm to soft and gel-like.
TPEs can be colored, making them useful in a range of products from toys to medical equipment. Rubber balls, shoe insoles and motorcycle grips are just a few of the examples of TPEs in action. Unlike their counterparts, TPEs can withstand temperature extremes without warping or cracking. Because of their ability to absorb shock, TPEs are often used as handlebar grips and in prosthetic devices.
TPEs are tear-resistant yet soft to the touch. They offer noise reduction and vibration minimization, making them especially useful in the automotive industry. TPEs are the most commonly used polymer in grippy plastics like those that are commonly found in exercise equipment. Thermoplastic elastomers dominate products all around us. The rubber grips on toothbrushes, dog chew toys and the handles on garden tools are all examples of thermoplastic elastomers in action. This versatile polymer blend is great for a variety of uses and can be customized for your manufacturing needs.