TPE: Thermoplastic Elastomers
What are Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs)
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers (TPR), are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. While most elastomers are thermosets, thermoplastics are in contrast relatively easy to use in manufacturing, for example, by injection molding. They also can be recycled! These polymers resemble elastomers in that they are highly resilient and can be repeatedly stretched to at least twice their initial length with full rapid recovery, but are true thermoplastics and thus do not require curing or vulcanization as most rubbers.
All TPEs are composed of hard and soft segments
Hard segments contribute typical Engineered properties
- Tensile Strength
- Thermal stability
Soft Segments contribute elastomeric properties
- Compression Set/Tensile Set
- Low Temp Performance
Common Thermoplastic Elastomer Applications
- Door Seals, bulb seals, window seals, garage door seals, gaskets
- Custom shapes/profiles
- Wire and Cable: Power cables, Auto, elevator, shipboard, oil field
- Footwear: Sole, midblock, upper, heel, foamed pads
- Soft-grips: overmolded to Nylon, PP, PC, ABS
- Electronics: Smartphone case, backing, ear buds, Non slip feet
- Industrial: Hose and tubes
- Sports: Equipment soft grips, eyewear soft grips
- Automotive: Panels, knobs, floor mats, controls, vents, trim, seals
- Medical: Catheters, connectors, bags, tubes, instrument-handles
- Consumer: Personal care
Aurora Plastics produces TPE compounds that impart superior versatility, strength and performance. Our thermoplastic elastomer brands include AuroraLite™, AuroraFlex™ and AuroraGuard™, offering a broad line of soft-touch and abrasion-resistant materials for the medical, packaging, consumer, industrial, automotive and non-automotive transportation markets.
Our TPEs are designed for overmolding, injection molding and extrusion. We also offer high-performance specialty grades, including:
- Clear and oil-free options with exceptional tensile and tear strength properties
- Highly resilient TPEs for various strap and tubing applications
- Scratch- and mar-resistant materials for dampening pads and bumpers.
- Odorless, phthalate and latex free materials
The comprehensive line of overmold grades can be modified for any soft touch requirement and are highly sought-after compounds in consumer and industrial markets.
AuroraLite™ TPEs are expandable compounds designed to be lightweight and dimensionally stable in a variety of applications, including footwear and other injection molding applications.
Unlike rigid PVC, AuroraFlex™ SBS and SEBS compounds utilize multiple TPE/TPR chemistries to impart high-performance properties for durability and easy processing. TPE options are available as low as 10A* up to 50D durometer hardness. Some of our TPEs are offered in clear, as well as oil free grades.
Our AuroraGuard™ TPEs combine the properties of TPO (thermoplastic olefins) with the added flexibility, good low temperature characteristics and oil resistance of PVC. They can have high-heat, low-smoke zero-halogen and flame-retardant properties. Our line includes a wide variety of grades that are tailored towards specific markets that require these performance characteristics, including wire and cable, appliance and electrical.
AuroraGuard™ TPEs provide the low temperature (Brittle Point range of <-50C) and flexibility (58A to 68A) properties that are perfect for wind turbine applications, while those same compounds work well in robotic applications because of their flexibility and oil resistance.
These materials have many of the same properties as vulcanized rubber, but can be molded and extruded using conventional thermoplastic process equipment. Thermoplastic processing provides advantages over vulcanized, thermoset rubbers which are processed using a slower and more costly curing process. Most of our TPR formulations are 100% recyclable and are
Our experts will work with you to create the right formulation, considering factors that include plasticity, color, UV resistance, durometer requirements, chemical resistance and the need to accommodate certain temperatures.