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PlasticsToday Staff

March 30, 2016

2 Min Read
Samsung selects Arnitel TPE for Galaxy Gear S2 smart-watch strap

Samsung has chosen Arnitel thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) from Royal DSM  (Geleen, Netherlands) to fabricate the strap of its Galaxy Gear S2 smart watch, the materials supplier has announced.

The Arnitel compound got the nod for its balance of physical and chemical properties, according to DSM. The material’s soft touch and feel make the strap comfortable to wear in direct skin contact. Certified to USP and ISO standards related to biocompatibility, Arnitel is resistant to perspiration and to the various oils and other liquids that a watch strap may be exposed to during use.

The material is easy to process via injection molding, adds DSM, and it can be used in overmolded structures in combination with other thermoplastics such as polycarbonate, ABS and thermoplastic polyesters. Compounds can be produced in a broad range of colors, including ultra-white.

During development of the Galaxy Gear S2 strap, DSM’s local team in Korea provided Samsung with support in up-scaling from prototype to high-volume molding.

DSM also touts Arnitel’s sustainability compared with thermoplastic polyurethanes and thermoset silicone elastomers. Arnitel is free of any halogen, red phosphorous or fluoropolymers and is fully recyclable. “This is in particularly important for OEMs and manufacturers targeting consumers with a strong awareness of their environmental footprint,” says Fredric Petit, Global Business Director, Arnitel.

In what it claims is a first, DSM also has introduced fragrances into high-performance plastics for watch-strap and related applications. Arnitel is available in different scents, such as lemon and rose, enabling OEMs to provide customers with an additional sensorial experience.

Annual sales of wearables are expected grow to 200 million devices by 2020, with smart watches and activity trackers capturing the largest share of the market. In addition to functionality and user interface design, wearability and overall aesthetics are a key consumer requirement, notes DSM. Comfort, color and how the device feels on the skin all play an important role in product design, and this extends to the strap.

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