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Not slippery when wet, TPE gets a grip

A new thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) boasts up to three times the coefficient of friction (COF) of conventional TPE's for both dry and wet applications with reportedly no negative impact on physical and rheological performance. Kraiburg TPE says its so-called Wet Grip technology, offered under the Thermolast W trade name, could boost performance for current elastomer grip applications and potentially open up new markets.

Based on a styrenic block copolymer (SBS) chemistry, the elastomer's wet-grip function is permanent and incorporated throughout the matrix, so that it does not migrate to the surface and dissipate over time. Additionally, Kraiburg TPE says it has no negative impact on processability in multi-component injection molding or extrusion processes. Kraiburg says it has the ability to adapt the technology to its Thermolast branded styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) elastomer compounds.

Kraiburg's technology offers an alternative the tackiness found in existing solutions that use tackifiers to achieve the wet grip. It could also be used along with tackifiers to improve COF performance. Kraiburg TPE Thermolast W - Wet Grip compounds also can be made to adhere to a range of engineering thermoplastics including acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC). Wet Grip compounds are available in 25-60 Shore A hardness and meet FDA approvals.

Kraiburg noted in a press release that it has teamed up with a global partner to launch the new technology and is currently working to make it available to other global OEMs and processors. The Wet Grip compounds are currently manufactured at Kraiburg TPE's facilities in the U.S. (Duluth, GA) and Waldkraiburg, Germany.

TAGS: Materials
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