Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs): The Rubber You Can Mould


Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) offer the best of both worlds: the flexibility of rubber and the moldability of plastic. Therefore, this unique combo makes them perfect for all sorts of cool products, from toys to car parts.

How TPEs Work

Thermoplastic Elastomers are a mix of a hard plastic (like the stuff Legos are made of) and a soft, stretchy rubber. Sometimes, other ingredients get added to create a special recipe! The result is a material that’s strong, flexible, and easy to work with.

Why TPEs Rock

In the past, rubber parts were tough to make and couldn’t be recycled. Consequently, Thermoplastic Elastomers changed all that! Here’s why they’re awesome:

  • Easy to Shape: No special processes needed – TPEs melt and form like plastics.
  • Any Color You Want: TPEs can be made in almost any shade!
  • Super-Bond: TPEs stick well to other plastics for cool combinations.
  • Planet-Friendly: TPEs can be recycled, unlike many traditional rubbers.

Types of Thermoplastic Elastomers

There are lots of different Thermoplastic Elastomers, and importantly, each has its own special skills:

  • TPE-O (Thermoplastic Olefins): A great all-rounder.
  • TPE-S (Styrenic Compounds): Perfect for soft-touch items (like comfy tool grips).
  • TPE-V (Vulcanized PP/EPDM Compound): Handles heat and chemicals well.
  • TPE-E (Copolyester): Super strong and tough.
  • TPE-U (Thermoplastic Polyurethane): Resists wear and tear like a champ.
  • TPE-A (Thermoplastic Polyamide): The best at resisting chemicals.

Where You’ll Find TPEs

Thermoplastic Elastomers are everywhere! Look around and you might spot them in:

  • Soft-touch stuff: Tool handles, toys, toothbrush grips.
  • Car parts: Seals, floor mats, airbag covers, dashboard pieces.
  • Building materials: Roofing, cable insulation, seals.
  • Sports gear: Grips, shoe components, and more.

The Thermoplastic Elastomers Masterminds

Many companies specialize in making awesome Thermoplastic Elastomers. Additionally, some of the biggest names in the industry include Kraiburg, Ravago, DuPont, and DSM.

The Bottom Line

Thermoplastic elastomers are a seriously cool invention! They make it easier than ever to create strong, flexible, and colorful products in a sustainable way. So, who knows what amazing things Thermoplastic Elastomers will do next?

Enjoyed learning about this material? Even though we don’t carry it, we’re experts in a wide range of plastics. Let’s discuss the right material for your specific needs!