At K 2013, Teknor Apex Company will introduce a restructuring of its well-known thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) brands that will enable it to serve as a single source of multiple compounds for European plastics processors in industries as diverse as automotive, medical, consumer products, and wire and cable. All TPEs applicable to a particular end-use sector will now be grouped under a single brand, regardless of how widely the compounds differ in terms of polymer chemistry. Teknor Apex employs the industry’s broadest range of TPE chemistries and for the first time can produce compounds spanning the entire range of these chemistries at its plants in Belgium and the UK. Included are many Teknor Apex TPEs developed in the USA and previously unavailable in Europe.
For example, the Sarlink® brand once consisted exclusively of thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) compounds but has been expanded to include styrenic and olefinic blends—until now produced by Teknor Apex only in the USA. “Today Sarlink represents a complete solution for the transportation market,” said Ger Vroomen, senior automotive market manager. “For designers of automotive sealing systems, in particular, Teknor Apex can provide a TPV or styrenic compound as an alternative to EPDM rubber, depending on customer requirements, and it is the only supplier in a position to do so.” Similarly, the company’s Elexar®, Medalist®, and Monprene® brands now include all TPE types designed for use in electrical/electronic, medical, and consumer-product applications, respectively. The newly restructured TPE brands from Teknor Apex include:
*Elexar® Elastomers for Electrical and Electronic Applications. These compounds are used for insulation and jacketing of power, communications, and data cable, and for molded plugs and connectors. Formulations are available with brittle points as low as -100°C, and continuous operating temperatures UL rated for 105°C and 125°C. A series of flame retardant formulations provides RoHS compliance, UL-V0 flame rating, and excellent performance over a wide range of conditions.
*Medalist® Medical Elastomers. Ultra-pure Medalist TPEs are pre-compliant with regulations and tested not only for physical properties but for fabrication, handling, and other characteristics critical in everyday clinical practice. Compounds range from a gel-like 25 Shore 00 to a ductile 85 Shore D. Clear, translucent, and opaque grades are available for injection and blow molding, multi-component molding, calendering, and extrusion of tubing, profiles, films, and wire coating.
*Monprene®: The Solution Consumers Trust. Developed in the U.S.A., the Monprene range may be the most versatile of all TPE families, with applications in a vast array of consumer products such as personal care items, toys, writing instruments, sporting goods, housewares, and wheels and casters. Compounds range from super-soft to hard and tough, from water clear to opaque, and from dry-to-the-touch to high-tack / resilient.
*Sarlink®: The Transportation Solution. While automotive manufacturers are well familiar with TPVs under the Sarlink brand, this range now includes the other TPE types mentioned above. Teknor Apex has increased access to its non-TPV elastomers outside North America, where they already have a long history of use in transportation, with many automotive OEM approvals. This is an important development for Europe, where a TPE compounder serving the automotive industry typically supplies either TPVs or other TPEs such as styrenics, but not both.