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Smooth Touch TPEs to Debut at Fakuma

Addressing new standards in haptics, Smooth Touch TPE compounds debuting from Kraiburg TPE at Germany’s Fakuma show are a perfect fit for the design and packaging markets, according to the supplier. Optimal slip is another characteristic provided by the soft surface of the Smooth Touch TPEs. Because of their adhesion to polyolefins, the TPEs are suited for multi-component injection molding.

The compounds also meet the requirements of international standards for food-contact applications and are available in customer-specific colors. Immediate applications include cosmetics packaging products as well as two-component parts for electronic systems and household items.

In booth 5303 in hall B5 at Fakuma, Kraiburg TPE will shine the spotlight on several other TPE developments targeting critical challenges. These include Thermolast K compounds incorporating recycled content — TPEs with 20 to 40% of recycled material from post-industrial resources (PIR), providing ozone stability, weatherability, and temperature resistance to 90°C for automotive exterior applications.

The RC/UV compounds enable weight savings of up to 25% compared with conventional TPEs. Application examples include wheel arch liners, drip rails, and window encapsulations. They are available in hardness degrees from 50 to 90 Shore A, adhere to polypropylene, and their PIR content contributes to a circular plastics economy.

Kraiburg is also showcasing TPEs filled with 3M glass bubbles for extremely weight-saving components in automotive and unmanned aerial vehicle applications. They also find potential uses in power tools, sporting goods, and outdoor items.

In contrast to expandable materials, these lightweighting TPE solutions enable very thin-walled moldings with high load capacity and surface quality. Along with UV stability, specially developed grades also provide a particularly low compression set. Another series of these TPE materials is targeted at eliminating the need for bonding agents in multi-component parts with polyamide.

Supersoft TPEs represent the next generation of particularly soft, resilient ,and durable materials for an increasing variety of demanding injection-molding and 3D-printing applications, according to Kraiburg. Supersoft materials minimize oil bleeding and provide a pleasant, skin-like touch. The newly developed TPEs are suitable for para-medical products, such as orthotic devices; the first successful applications in the sports sector include gel pad inlays for cycling shorts.

Rounding out the technical innovations at Kraiburg’s stand are electrically conductive TPEs with well-defined electrical properties for the future market of intelligent applications ranging from innovative vehicle sensor systems to sportswear and other attire. They are said to combine sealed, homogeneous surfaces with tack-free touch and provide adhesion to various thermoplastics, including polyamides.

Fakuma runs from Oct. 12 to 16, 2021, at Messe Friedrichshafen in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

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