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TPEs can potentially replace TPVs in exterior seals and trim

TPEs can potentially replace TPVs in exterior seals and trim
Teknor Apex (Pawtucket, RI) has expanded its "polymer-neutral" product offering for automotive exteriors by developing styrenic thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) with alternative cost/performance profiles to those of widely used thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs).

New TPE grade is employed in hood-to-cowl seal.

The new Sarlink® ME-2200 Series styrenic TPEs reportedly exhibit higher flow than comparable TPVs, enabling molders of exterior components such as gaskets, seals, and trim to process complex, intricate designs while shortening cycles through reduced packing and cooling time. In applications where TPV compounds are over-engineered, these new TPE compounds also provide a cost savings while still meeting the performance requirements of the part.

Like TPVs, the Sarlink ME-2200 series compounds are less dense than EPDM and PVC, yielding weight savings of up to 15 and 23%, respectively, for replacement of solid EPDM sealing.

Offered alongside Teknor Apex's well established Sarlink TPV compounds, Sarlink ME-2200 Series styrenic TPEs are available in hardnesses from 65 Shore A to 40 Shore D. They exhibit excellent UV stability, provide good flexibility over a wide temperature range, and yield a Class A surface appearance. The compounds are readily colored and, unlike many TPVs, do not require pre-drying prior to molding.

"Sarlink ME-2200 Series TPEs are already in commercial use for static seals, cowl vent seals, and mirror gaskets," said Jeffrey E. Dickerhoof, senior marketing and sales manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. "These new products are the latest examples of a Teknor Apex program to offer a wide-ranging, polymer-neutral portfolio, one that enables us to recommend a compound not because it happens to be what we make but because it is exactly the right material for a customer's application."

All compounds in the series are available worldwide in both black and natural formulations. Besides the new compounds for exterior parts, other styrenic TPEs recently introduced by Teknor Apex for automotive applications include Sarlink ML-1100 and ML-1600 Series for molded interior components; and a super high-flow series, Sarlink ME-2600, for window encapsulation.

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