At Chinaplas 2018 Kraiburg TPE showed two new applications of grades from the Thermolast K series. The producer of toothbrushes The First Thai Brush Co., Ltd. has chosen a FDA-compliant food-contact Thermolast K grade to enhance its Victory Toothbrush product line’s ergonomic factor, while adding new functionality with a soft-touch grip. Special benefits of the material for this application include its good adhesion to polar thermoplastics such as PC, ABS, and PETG, very good mechanical properties and transparency and its easy colourability with versatile effects.
Typical applications of Thermolast K include grip applications, functional and design elements, household articles, food and care packaging, seals, material for toys and many other functional applications. Established in 1938, The First Thai Brush Co., Ltd. is one of Thailand’s leading toothbrush and household brush manufacturers. Another interesting new application for Thermolast K is a shoe lacing system developed by the Korean company Shin Kyung Inc. The patented Freelock wire closure system includes an innovative mechanism for tightening, securing and loosening shoe laces by means of multiple wires contracted or released as needed by a simply twist of a rotary dial. This rotary dial is overmoulded with Thermolast K to provide both enhanced functionality and aesthetics. It is based on a two-component design comprising a polycarbonate base overmoulded with a TPE.
The thermoplastic elastomer compound was selected for its ability to combine very good processing characteristics with superior tensile strength and aesthetics. Key properties to be met included easy colourability in line with brand footwear shades, high flowability for short cycle times and long-term adhesion to the polycarbonate in order to withstand the frequent turning and tension applied to the rotary dial across the lifetime of the shoe. In addition, the TPE offers a pleasant soft-touch feel while retaining its firm grip. Apart from footwear, the Freelock system is well suited to other applications requiring convenient, safe and adjustable tightening, such as gloves, bags, hats, or medical pouches. Established in 1999, Shin Kyung, based in Busan, has specialised in the field of shoe part plastic injection.