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Elastomers Delve into Diving Equipment

Protection against extreme temperatures among attributes.

Stephen Moore

October 15, 2020

2 Min Read

Engaging in diving and other recreational underwater sports is on almost everyone’s bucket list. Scuba diving is not only for the enjoyment of underwater vista, it also provides therapeutic, rehabilitative and physical workout benefits, as well as enhancing awareness on the underwater ecosystem and caring for the environment.

For an optimum underwater experience, essential diving gear must provide adequate protection against extreme temperatures; be able to withstand underwater pressure; be lightweight and fit comfortably.

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials meet the requirements in the manufacture of dynamic diving equipment and gear. These include flexibility, durability, versatility in design and colorization, safety, recyclability, and more.

Kraiburg TPE’s Thermolast K TPE is a suitable compound for diving equipment applications. 

Thermolast K TPE series exhibits excellent UV and weather resistance that suits a diverse range of diving equipment components. The compounds can be used to manufacture diving masks, fins, regulators, gloves, dive computers, snorkels, underwater lights and more, all of which are constantly exposed to sunlight and sea water.

In addition, grades are sebum-resistant for applications requiring a firm but user-friendly grip; and excellent sealing for gaskets and sealing applications.

Thermolast K TPE is also suitable for underwater diving lamp applications, whereby the housing is molded from polypropylene (PP) and overmolded with the TPE cover and seal.

Further, diving regulators can have a TPE cover that provides a molded-in seal and weight reduction. Since the regulator is smaller, it allows the diver to breathe easily.  

For diving fins, TPE compounds add a springy touch. The diver requires less energy to flap through water and it improves a diver’s speed. The compounds also provide the perfect sealing in watercraft dry compartments.

Kraiburg TPE compounds also provide consistent colorability and excellent mechanical properties to deliver the custom requirements of product designers and developers. Meanwhile, end users can benefit from the specialized fit, feel and look of the products.

Recommended TPEs in the Thermolast K series are GP/FG and FC/CS compounds. The GP/FG series has a soft touch surface and non-sticky haptic feel. It is suitable for applications like diving fins and tank bankers. Meanwhile, the FC/CS series has an excellent compression set, which is important for diving equipment, especially since underwater pressure is high. Soft touch surface and hysteresis makes the compounds suitable for applications such as diving masks, diving computers, and diving gloves.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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