Kraiburg TPE: Thermoplastic elastomer hybrids

At Fakuma 2018, Kraiburg TPE introduced a new manufacturing technology for thermoplastic elastomer hybrids (TEH), featuring an application-specific combination and a modifiability that are superior to the options provided by classic thermoplastic vulcanisates.

Kraiburg TPE launched a new manufacturing technology for thermoplastic elastomer hybrids (TEH) at Fakuma 2018. (Source: Kraiburg TPE)

Materials made by mixing thermoplastics and crosslinked elastomers are mainly known as EPDM/PP blends. Although they combine application properties of elastomers with thermoplastic processability, they are limited when high performance is required such as contact with other media at high temperatures, says the company. This contrasts with an increased demand for materials that are suited for thermoplastic processing and, in particular, offer superior heat and chemical resistance. Kraiburg TPE classifies these materials as TEH to differentiate them from known TPV blends such as EPDM/PP.

According to the company, the application-engineered TEH materials are not only a response to the current and emerging challenges it faces in the market, but they are also a new performance class for thermoplastic processors. The new compounds can not only be used as an alternative to common crosslinked rubber solutions, they also offer appealing options for multi-component applications when bonded with technical plastics such as polyamides and thermoplastic polyesters, says Kraiburg TPE. They can be processed with common injection moulding machines and extruder lines, do not require any finishing and are completely recyclable. Black and natural are the standard colours.

“Our TEH manufacturing technology enables us to combine different mixtures of various elastomers and thermoplastics with respective crosslinked systems to form materials with unprecedented properties. Due to their performance, the new materials can be regarded as an alternative to corresponding rubber compounds. Their properties include high media and temperature resistances, which are adjusted to the requirements of each application. This technology gives us the flexibility to tailor the material’s property profile to the requirements of specific applications,” said Dr. Frieder Vielsack, Head of Advance Development at Kraiburg TPE.

The performance properties of these TEH materials include hardnesses from 55 – 80 Shore A, permanent operating temperatures of up to 150 °C (302 °F) and chemical stability against materials such as oils, lubricants, fuels and coolants. Thus they are particularly suitable for use in the environment of combustion engines, in heat management of drives and batteries for electric vehicles, as well as in lubrication and cooling systems of machines, process technology and buildings. Direct applications include seals and gaskets, plugs and connectors, lids and covers.

FC/AD/PA Thermolast K compounds offer good adhesion to polyamides. (Source: Kraiburg TPE)

In addition, Kraiburg TPE introduced the FC/AD/PA Thermolast K series at Fakuma 2018 that features outstanding adhesion to polyamides and complies with Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 for food contact. According to the company, the compounds of the new series are characterised by good processability and superior surfaces that require no finishing after leaving the mould. The materials can directly be injection-moulded onto PA 6 and PA 6.6 without any additional adhesive primer – translucent or precisely coloured. With hardness degrees ranging between 40 – 80 Shore A, they combine tactile properties such as soft-touch and non-slip grip even at low wall thicknesses. They also provide good tensile strength, elongation at break and abrasion resistance. The FC/AD/PA Thermolast K series is targeted at manufacturers and processors in the consumer and food industries. Typical examples of applications are tool components that comply with food regulations as well as handles and surfaces of household appliances such as coffee machines and juicers. Further possible applications include health care aids from interdental brushes to eyeglasses frames to hearing aids, along with a wide array of cosmetics and sports articles.

Applications for the FC/AD/PA Thermolast K series include, for example, handles and surfaces of household appliances. (Source: Kraiburg TPE)

Kraiburg TPE at Fakuma 2018
Hall B5, stand B5-5303