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NPE2018 a showcase for TPEs

Thermoplastic elastomers makers Kraiburg TPE and Elastocon TPE technologies Inc. — as well as specialty resin maker Sekisui Plastics USA — will be at NPE2018 with new materials.

Kraiburg (Booth S31181) has expanded production capacity by installing new compounding lines at its three manufacturing sites in Germany, Malaysia and the U.S. — including adding almost 9 million pounds of annual production capacity in Buford, Ga.

"NPE provides us with the best platform to showcase our expertise, technical capabilities and innovative solutions within the TPE sector," U.S. Managing Director Jeff Frankish said in a news release.

At NPE, Kraiburg will present its EPDM Adhesion series. The series is targeted to automotive exterior components as a material solution for applications requiring high UV and weather resistance and optimal adhesion to rubber.

In a recent phone interview, Kevin Gase, Americas sales ​ and marketing director, said "the EPDM Adhesion materials offer very good initial adhesion allowing for quicker ejection of the part and resulting in cycle times that are 10-15 percent faster."

With the AD/EPDM/UV series, customers benefit from low processing temperatures that guarantee short cycle times, officials said. Further advantages include long-term process stability and ideal initial adhesion, which is needed for the ejection of parts. Typical applications include corner molding, doorsills, glass run channels and window encapsulations.

For consumer electronics, Kraiburg, based in Waldkraiburg, Germany, is focusing on its VS/AD/HM series, which offers smooth surfaces that feature high scratch and abrasion resistance, excellent durability and resistance against chemicals. The series has been specially developed for applications that require "a silky and velvety surface," officials said, along with excellent adhesion to polar thermoplastic compounds such as PC, ABS, nylon 6 and nylon 12.

Kraiburg TPE Kraiburg's new Buford plant in Georgia opened in May 2017, replacing a smaller plant in Duluth, Ga.

The VS/AD/HM series is available in natural color and black. Example applications include controllers for game consoles, remote controls and headphones. Gase said the materials formally were launched two years ago but now are "starting to gain traction" in the market.

Kraiburg also is aiming its FC/HT series at applications that need high transparency, such as seals in food packaging, toothbrush handles, detergent pods and toys. These compounds offer excellent adhesion to polypropylene as well as high-flow processing. They're also ideal for applications requiring custom pigmentation or vibrant colors, officials said.

Kraiburg's new Buford plant in Georgia opened in May 2017 replacing a smaller plant in Duluth, Ga. The new plant has three twin-screw extrusion lines and, according to Gase, "has opened up new opportunities" for the firm.

"The new capacity allows us to have a lot of flexibility in production," he said.

TPE maker Elastocon TPE Technologies Inc. (Booth S29029) of Springfield, Ill., will introduce two new medical grades of TPEs in their 8000 series at NPE. Both grades are suited for respirators and other medical products and have passed USD Class VI testing.

Elastocon officials described the new grades as "colorable and rubberlike with good surface finish." They added that the firm can provide small and large lots of TPEs during current shortages of these compounds.

Getty Images/iStockphoto Window encapsulations are a growing market for TPE materials.

For Sekisui Plastics USA, a Mount Pleasant, Tenn.-based unit of Sekisui Plastics Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, NPE is an opportunity for the business to showcase products based on its unique foam processing and polymerization technologies, officials said.

Sekisui (Booth S14147) will focus on its Piocelan-brand moldable foam resin, a hybrid resin technology offering the combined benefits of olefin and styrene. The material is used in automotive components for energy absorption and weight reduction. Piocelan hybrid foam also offers improved heat resistance, fire retardancy and strength.

The foam also is used as an effective packing material for transporting automotive components and consumer goods such as electronics or furniture.

"We have a proprietary polymer technology which significantly improves the shock resistance, chemical resistance and abrasion resistance with the addition of polyolefin," President Thomas Pontiff said in a news release. These characteristics "were previously regarded as weak points of expanded polystyrene foam."

Pontiff added that a major feature of Piocelan foam is that parts can easily be molded using conventional EPS molding equipment.

"Design freedom allows even the most complex part geometries to be matched to the shapes of materials, parts and packed contents," he said.

Sekisui also will highlight several developmental products such as Elastil-brand elastomeric foam resin and ST-Layer, a carbon fiber composite solution. Pontiff said that Elastil's low density, high elasticity and outstanding resilience compared to expanded thermoplastic polyurethane make it "the ideal material" for a wide range of industries, including sports equipment, athletic apparel, shoes, medical applications, toys and automotive.

ST-Layer composites offer high strength at a maximum point load. With combinations of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics and foam core moldings, ST-Layer composites have improved vibration-dampening, stiffness, heat and noise insulation and design flexibility, Pontiff said.

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» Publication Date: 10/04/2018

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