USP: New range of TPEs based on renewable resources

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.

“With the market clearly focused on a circular economy, we are committed to the development of unique and innovative products that reduce carbon emissions and deliver sustainability advantages,” said Rudi Herbst, President and CEO of United Soft Plastics.

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.