What are Thermoplastic Elastomers?

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are flexible and rubber-like materials that process like plastics. TPEs are true thermoplastics, which do not require vulcanization or curing. TPEs are processed using a variety of plastics equipment such as injection molding, extrusion and blow molding. TPEs offer part design flexibility and lend themselves to advanced processing such as overmolding and two-shot molding to other thermoplastic substrates. TPEs can undergo secondary operations such as welding and bonding to different materials.

TPEs can be colored easily to suit the application needs. Products such as consumer goods, medical equipment, power tools, housewares, shoe insoles, and motorcycle grips are just a few of the examples of TPEs in action. 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 damping, making them especially useful in the automotive applications. TPEs are used in grips like those that are commonly found in exercise equipment. TPES dominate products all around us. The soft grips on toothbrushes, dog chew toys and the handles on garden tools are additional examples of TPE applications.

Star Thermoplastics can customize our portfolio of thermoplastic elastomers for your product end use needs. We offer a wide range of hardness from gel-like products in Shore OO, to soft-touch in the Shore A range, to harder Shore D products.

STAR THERMOPLASTICS TPES CAN BE FORMULATED TO BE:
  • Chemical and UV resistant
  • Colorful
  • Grippy
  • Tear resistant
  • Resilient
  • Soft to the touch
  • High-flow for easy molding
  • Lightweight or dense
  • Safe for human consumption for chew toys
  • Flame Retardant
  • Extremely clear
  • Pliable in cold weather
  • Vibration damping and noise-reducing

The use of thermoplastic elastomer resin in manufacturing has several advantages, namely improved strength and flexibility of this material. The main difference comes from the morphology of the material, making it more likely to bend without breaking or cracking. Higher levels of elasticity come from the molecular architecture of the polymers used.

Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers, Inc. is a manufacturer of soft and hard thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), thermoplastic compounds and alloys. TPEs are a family of low modulus and low hardness “rubber-like” materials that are processed by thermoplastic means and can be reprocessed over and over again. TPEs offer the benefits of low-temperature flexibility, easy processing with modern high-speed processing techniques and exceptional grip and hand “feel.”

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