United Soft Plastics has announced the development of a TPE series which meet the eco-conscious needs of brand owners and consumers. The TPEs – currently under different stages of commercial development – are produced from renewable, post-consumer, post-industrial, and bio-based sources.
The first commercially available grades, based on SEBS, are made from recycled post-consumer and post-industrial sources up to 100%. These injection molding grades are available in 45-65 Shore A hardness for a range of consumer applications including personal care. Three other series are currently under commercial development. These SEBS grades include renewable products, consisting of up to 70 % of wood flour, rice hull, and/or hemp. They offer a limited performance threshold, which excludes use in highly engineered TPEs. Other TPEs in the commercial development pipeline are biopolymers which utilize non-fossil-based materials with up to 100 % content. These TPEs show the greatest promise in terms of market impact and carbon emission reduction, according to Herbst. Bio-based TPEs deliver almost similar performance as standard materials for injection molding applications, although available quantities are limited. Rounding out this TPE portfolio are bio-hybrid TPEs which can combine renewable, post-consumer, post-industrial, and bio-based content up to 100%.
USP’s product development efforts are centered at its manufacturing facilities in Lawrenceville, Ga., and Houston, Texas. The company is also conducting sampling and manufacturing trials with end-use customers in the consumer products and healthcare industries.