TPE Magazine international

“Extremely exciting group of materials”

… that’s what Anish K. Taneja, the new president of the wdk, the German Association of Rubber Manufacturers, said, when he was asked about thermoplastic elastomers (p. 78). Such a statement from a “tyre guy” (Taneja is President & CEO Europe North at Michelin) makes me as editor of TPE Magazine extremely happy. It will be exciting to see how TPEs will further evolve together with the rubber industry on the one hand and as a truly independent group of materials on the other.

In this issue of TPE Magazine, we have again collected articles for you that prove how exciting TPEs are.

One important step on the way to an independent group of materials is the revision of the TPE nomenclature described in the ISO Standard 18064. Günter Scholz, Senior Expert of the TPE Forum, gives a sneak preview to the revised edition of the standard (p. 81).

The Italian TPE compounder Marfran reports about progresses in further advancing the use of TPEs in the additive manufacturing of customised parts for applications in the medical field (p. 86).

Pei-Zhen Jian and his team from Star Thermoplastics introduce new TPEs with excellent adhesion to polyamides (p. 92).

Christoph Zimmermann presents further results from a research project at the Institute for Plastics Processing at the University of Aachen, Germany. These results will be transferred into a modelling approach, which will enable a simulative representation of the visco-elastic material behaviour of TPV (p. 98).

Within Focus: Sustainability we present Sipol’s new biodegradable and compostable co-polyesters (p. 82). We have a look at Hexpol TPE’s first Impact Report (p. 84). And Kraiburg TPE together with start-up Cadios demonstrate how to pimp up your favourite coffee mug with a TPE lid in order to get a stylish and sustainable coffee-to-go equipment (p. 85).

Enjoy reading
Stephanie Waschbüsch


New Smithers market report on thermoplastic elastomers – Post-Covid TPE consumption to rise at 9.5 % year-on-year after 31 % drop in 2020

In 2021 the thermoplastic elastomer market is estimated to be 3.84 million t and is expected to grow to 5.55 million t by 2026. In 2021 the largest end use market is automotive which is estimated to be 1.69 million t. In 2026 the largest end use market will still be automotive which is estimated to be 2.46 million t. In 2021 Asia-Pacific had the largest share of the market at 49.63 % and this is expected to increase to 50.12 % of the market share by 2026.


Fatigue crack growth in rubber materials – New volume of the Advances in Polymer Science series

Both the development of new and the enhancement of existing technical systems place high demands on the resilience of the materials used. Technical requirements are growing permanently with their complexity. The specifications of performance increase steadily and along with them the demand for resource and energy efficiency. A comprehensive outline of the most recent findings in the field of fracture mechanics and endurance of polymeric materials is now compiled in the latest volume of Springer Natures Advances in Polymer Science. „Fatigue Crack Growth in Rubber Materials – Experiments and Modelling“ comprises twenty articles of well-respected scientists, who are involved in designing and developing novel systems and approaches for industrial test procedures and theirs coherent derivation from fraction mechanics. It gives a comprehensive outline of the most recent findings in the field of fracture mechanics and endurance of polymeric materials and is of interest in academic research and education as well as for industrial experts engaged in material design, processing and lifetime estimation. The editors are Prof. Dr. Gert Heinrich (TU Dresden), Dipl.-Ing. Reinhold Kipscholl (Coesfeld GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund) and Dr.-Ing. habil. Radek Stocˇek (PRL Polymer Research Lab und UTB Zlín, Czech Republic). „Fatigue Crack Growth in Rubber Materials – Experiments and Modelling“ has been published in March 2021.


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The ISO Standard 18064 – Preview to the revised edition of the TPE nomenclature

Are you familiar with standardization? Of course you are. You can hardly find something in a technical area where there is no norm. Fortunately, on the ISO level an agreement has to be worked out that a standard is valid worldwide. To be a part of that International Standard Organization a person has to be delegated from a national association, e.g. DIN in Germany.


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Focus: Sustainability

  • Biodegradable and compostable co-polyesters – Sipol achieves “OK compost INDUSTRIAL” certification for Technipol Bio 1160
  • Hexpol TPE: Publication of inaugural Impact Report
  • Good taste, no waste – Kraiburg TPE and start-up Cadios present reusable coffee cup lid


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The new frontiers of medical TPE – TPE as enabler of customized medicine

The new frontiers that we want to talk about is that of elastomeric, flexible and soft materials intended to be used in the production of both disposable and reusable medical devices or in pharmaceutical packaging. Marfran supplies a range of thermoplastic elastomers for a wide range of medical applications including 3D printable materials.


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Butadiene from biomass – Technique uses new artificial pathways and enzymes to create cells with excellent butadiene-producing ability

The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has announced that it has developed the world’s first technology capable of efficiently producing butadiene from a biomass. The breakthrough was achieved by the “Bio-monomer Production Laboratory” jointly established with the RIKEN and Zeon Corporation. Butadiene is a core raw material used to make synthetic rubber. Currently, industrial butadiene is produced as a by-product of naphtha pyrolysis. As such, the development of an independent butadiene production technology will help reduce dependence on petroleum and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.


Optimising performance and cost of recycled formulations – Elastron TPE impact modifiers supporting the circular economy

Recent events in the plastics world have challenged all of us to rethink how we source, select, and formulate materials for optimum performance and cost. A promising approach is to consider the benefits of thermoplastic elastomers as modifiers. Elastron Thermoplastic Elastomers has developed a line of cost effective TPE materials for impact modification and overall improved physical properties and performance optimization.


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A look at the current situation of TPEs in the automotive industry – What do I have to consider? When do I use thermoplastic elastomers?

Until the turn of the millennium, there were only few manufacturers of thermoplastic elastomers. The different types of material were limited and a product-specific material development for an application was usually not carried out due to cost reasons. Since TPE materials were relatively unknown, also to the automobile manufacturers, there were hardly any suitable material specifications. A lot has changed since then. This article presents examples of the use of thermoplastic elastomers in the automotive industry and addresses the questions of when it is advisable to use thermoplastic elastomers and what should be considered when using them.


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Successful production of paint protection films – Machinery and resin considerations

PPF is a thermoplastic urethane (TPU) based “self-healing” film applied to paint surfaces for added protection. Applications in the automotive, aerospace and electronic industries have already been highly successful. According to TPU industry reports, the global market for PPF is projected to reach 1.2 billion USD by 2026. This article summarises elements of a successful PPF production and how equipment suppliers such as Davis-Standard can help to engineer a solution on an existing line or new PPF line.

PPF was first developed and used by the US military during the Vietnam War to protect vulnerable parts on military transports. It proved very effective for protection of helicopter blades and other sensitive parts prone to damage by flying shrapnel and debris. Today, it is commonly used on automobiles to protect paint from stone chips, bug splatters and minor abrasions. The typical cost of PPF for full body coverage of a vehicle can range from USD 3,000 to USD 8,000. It is also used on airplanes, RVs, cell phones, electronics, screens, motorcycles and for many other purposes and even in specialty markets such as wind turbine blade protection.


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Shape memory thermoplastic natural rubber for novel splint applications

A team of scientists from the Prince of Songkla University together with researchers from Bangalore and Bangkok have developed interesting new shape memory polymers (SMP) based on blends of natural rubber and epoxidized natural rubber with polycaprolactone. According to the authors the resulting smart material has high potential to apply as a novel splint.


The elastomer industry considerably contributes to a sustainable economy – Interview with wdk-President Anish K. Taneja

Anish K. Taneja, President Michelin Region Europe North, has been appointed as the new President of the Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e. V., wdk, the German Rubber Industry Association in November 2020. In the interview on the occasion of taking office, he talks about the role of the rubber industry in dealing with challenges such as the transformation of mobility, the energy transition and the circular economy, the impact of the pandemic on the rubber industry, and the necessary framework to enable a sustainable industry and the position of TPEs within the wdk.


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Innovations in thermoplastic elastomers bonding to polyamides

New innovations in thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) have led to achieve significant bonding to wide variety of polyamides (PA) comprising of PA6, PA6.6, and PA12, and glass fiber reinforced PA. These innovative TPEs offer value compared with several competitive materials, with equivalent or better performance, and ease of processability. The softer polyamide overmolding grades have remarkably better oil resistance compared to leading competitive overmolding TPE grades. These TPEs are being evaluated in a wide range of polyamide overmolding applications.


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Experimental investigations of the effect of external mechanical and thermal stress on the relaxation behaviour of a thermoplastic vulcanisate

The material behaviour of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), especially of thermoplastic vulcanisates (TPV), shows a strongly directiondependent material behaviour due to the process-induced phase morphology. This affects the short-term material behaviour and has probably an impact on the long-term behaviour. In order to consider this direction-dependent material behaviour during the simulative design and construction of TPE parts, corresponding dependencies between various influencing factors have to be identified. Within the first part of a public funded research project for the modelling of the direction-dependent material behaviour of TPE, the main influencing factors (load level, load direction, temperature and stress state) are investigated with regard to the directiondependent material behaviour. The results of the investigations regarding the relaxation behaviour are presented in this contribution. Furthermore, corresponding dependencies are carried out.


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