Plastics Technology

MAY 2012

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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(OBCs), said to provide good flow and mechanical properties, resistance to skin oils, and enhanced strength. They typically span the 60-80 Shore A hardness range and are are suited to overmolding onto glass-filled nylon for medical applications such as drug-delivery devices. Also new are TPE polar alloys that are said to provide a silky, non-stick surface along with good oil and chemical resistance and excellent bond strength to ABS and PC. Their viscosity can be adjusted from low to high flow for injection molding auto-interior grips and knobs or sporting equipment. They are also designed for cable extrusion, especially for consumer electronics headsets, where skin oil resistance and smooth surfaces are desired. Star Thermoplastics ( showed a line of TPEs that are said to mold and perform better than TPVs and are more attractively priced. Advantages cited for StarPrene TPEs vs. TPVs include similar flow properties but better color consistency, better tensile strength and elongation, and no need to dry before processing. Star claims it can "clone" or provide formulations that duplicate any competitive grade of TPVS for applications ranging from automotive, appliances, and electrical products to healthcare and packaging. Elastocon TPE Technologies ( featured a new high-impact, semi-rigid TPE. Available in black, 9050BX has a 50 Shore D hardness—one of the hardest grades on the market. It is offered as a cost-effective alternative to TPOs and TPVs for trim rings and panels for consumer electronics and transportation equip- ment interior instrumentation. Elastocon also has new addition to its 8000 series of multi-pur- pose TPEs. The 80 Shore A grade 8078NL boasts a high softness and superior scratch and mar resistance for uses ranging from automotive cup holders and storage bins to a broad range of con- sumer and industrial goods. Also new is the Elastocon STK56PA line of TPEs formulated for overmolding onto nylon, with improved durability, high scratch/mar resistance, and dry-touch feel. Alliance Polymers and Services, LLC (, the exclusive North American distributor of Maxelast SEBS-based TPEs made by China's Polymax Elastomer Technology Co., featured two new extrusion grades in the Maxelast D01-017G series. Available in Shore hardnesses of 70 A and 87 A, these grades are said to include high flexibility, built-in antimicrobial properties, and cold and aging resistance. They are targeted to replace plasticized PVC seals in refrigerators and freezers. Also new is Maxelast D01-0421, a non- toxic, odorless grade for cast film that is said to eliminate shortcom- ings of disposable PVC, PE, and rubber gloves. Lighter weight, softer feel, and no noise caused by friction are cited. Meanwhile, Kraton Polymers ( featured some of the many innovative applications that exemplify the shift in its Kraton SBS portfolio from traditional asphalt and roofing seal- ants and adhesives to a broad spectrum of medical, personal-care, wire/cable, automotive soft skins, and faux-leather uses. Included are new compounded grades aimed at replacing PVC in medical applications such as IV and blood bags, and a new SBC–based compound that is billed as a drop-in replacement for 44 MAY 2012 PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY PolyOne's new one-pass XLPE solution for photovoltaic wire and cable eliminates the need for separate PVC jacketing. PVC in slush molded auto airbag covers, consoles, and door trim. It offers improved processability and impact resistance, plus lower specific gravity that results in up to 40% weight reduction. Other slush-molding applications include an extrusion-coated Kraton/ polyolefin skin over PUR foam, featured in the seat of a golf cart and applicable to a broad range of other seating. 'GREENER' PLASTICS SHINE Brazilian chemicals behemoth Braskem ( was the sponsor of NPE's Sustainability Pavillion, which highlighted key sustainable technologies, including Braskem's sugarcane-based Green PE. Braskem products were processed by several companies at the show, including two running Green PE: Bekum America blow molding 10L bottles and Davis-Standard extruding cast film. Lubrizol highlighted Merquinsa's new line of Pearlthane Eco bio-TPUs that range in hardness from 70 Shore A to 55 Shore D with renewable material content of 24% to 80%. They are said to offer the same thermal, chemical, and hydrolysis resistance as standard TPU and have been tested in the sports and recreation, electronics, and transportation uses. TeknorApex Co. ( highlighted the progress of its new Biovinyl flexible PVC compounds made with Dow's non- phthalate Equilibrium seed-oil derived plasticizers, which offer better thermal stability and color hold than conventional PVC compounds. Trials with two developmental compounds for pro- files, seals, gaskets, and irrigation tubing showed the biobased plasticizers to be 10% and 16% more efficient than DEHP and DINP, respectively, allowing for lower plasticizer levels. Over 80 Biovinyl applications have been developed. Consum- er products were the earliest adapters, driven by the "green" movement. Among the first commercial uses in the U.S. are a line of "flip-flop" sandals by Okabashi Brands and a range of shoe welting made by custom extruder Barbour Plastics. Other

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