Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are elastomeric materials based on a co-polymer with a crystalline or amorphous solid phase and a flexible soft phase or an olefinic polymer compound of a rigid and an elastomeric polymer. When characterizing TPE the elasticity seems to be a self-evident aspect. In this study we present a basic approach to learn more about the elastomeric behaviour of TPE. Furthermore we look at the current ISO nomenclature of TPE and identify optimization potential.
New VDI guideline 2017 Medical Grade Plastics defines requirements for plastics in medical, diagnostics and pharmaceutical packaging
Safety for patient and user is an essential requirement for medical products, in-vitro diagnostics and pharmaceutical packaging. Subsequently, plastics grades used in medical have to fulfil particular requirements, i.e. constant properties, formulation lock or biocompatibility. Surprisingly, no standard has existed to define the requirements for medical grades so far. This gap has been filled recently by the new guideline VDI 2017 developed and launched by a work group of the German Engineer’s Society (VDI). This article addresses the development of the new guideline VDI 2017 “medical grade plastics” and presents the essential requirements to be covered by medical grade plastics (MGP).
Interview with wdk-President Anish K. Taneja
Anish K. Taneja, President Michelin Region Europe North, has been appointed as the new President of the Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e. V., wdk, the German Rubber Industry Association in November 2020. In the interview on the occasion of taking office, he talks about the role of the rubber industry in dealing with challenges such as the transformation of mobility, the energy transition and the circular economy, the impact of the pandemic on the rubber industry, and the necessary framework to enable a sustainable industry and the position of TPEs within the wdk.
Preview to the revised edition of the TPE nomenclature
Are you familiar with standardization? Of course you are. You can hardly find something in a technical area where there is no norm. Fortunately, on the ISO level an agreement has to be worked out that a standard is valid worldwide. To be a part of that International Standard Organization a person has to be delegated from a national association, e.g. DIN in Germany.
As in other industries, TPEs have penetrated auto interiors via drop-in replacement in existing applications (instrument panel skins, body/glazing seals, door trim, etc). Looking forward, non-TPE developments in the form of devices for sending and receiving electronic signals accompanied by a shift to electric vehicles (EVs) and (eventually) autonomous vehicles (AVs) will drive TPE usage and profitability in auto interiors well beyond drop-in replacement.
By Günter Scholz
There is a new milestone on the way to establish thermoplastic elastomers as a precisely defined independent family of materials. The revised edition of the ISO standard 18064 which defines the nomenclature and abbreviated terms, is available since April 2022. As TPEs exhibit a combination of the properties and characteristics of rubber and thermoplastic materials it is crucial that any classification system will be acceptable for both the rubber and the plastics industries. Members of the TPE Forum have been actively involved in the successful revision process.
The official definition of thermoplastic elastomers – TPE for short – is as clear as it is brief. The terms and abbreviations of the individual TPE families are specified in the nomenclature standard DIN EN ISO 18064.
Definition from DIN EN ISO 18064:
TPE is a material consisting of polymer or polymer blend which, at its service temperature, has properties similar to those of vulcanised rubber but which can be processed and reprocessed like a thermoplastic at higher temperatures.
By Robert Eller
The era of the electric vehicle (EV) has started and will enjoy very rapid growth. The EV is a classic example of disruptive technology. New systems with new performance requirements, both under-hood and in the vehicle-interior are being introduced and offer new growth and value opportunities for TPEs in new configurations with new performance requirements and engineering challenges. This paper identifies and explores some of these opportunities.