BerlinA new line of thermoplastic olefin (TPO) sheet launched by sheet extrusion major Spartech Corp. (St. Louis, MO), is said to offer help to thermoformers challenged with materials that suffer from excessive sagging due to poor melt strength. Spartech will supply three new grades: Extreme LG (low/medium gloss), Extreme HG (high, 85% gloss), and Extreme D TPO sheet. According to Spartechs European sales director, Michael Reed, the new sheet grades offer thermoformers the chance to realize more consistent, high-quality parts, and provide significant impact resistance improvement compared to acrylic counterparts. The sheet is also said to widen the processing window and increase performance compared to acrylic and other TPO sheet, while exhibiting excellent aesthetics and lower processing costs. Reed spoke with MPW at the SPE Thermoforming Conference in Berlin last week.
Until now, chronic thermoforming inconsistencies have limited the potential of TPOs, said Michael Mahan, marketing product development manager at Spartech, in a release. Spartech foresees the new sheet grades being used by thermoformers to grab greater share of the recreational vehicle (RV) and off-road vehicle markets, among others, replacing fiberglass and metal in RV, bus, truck, and marine components where aesthetics, strength, chemical and UV resistance, durability, and processing flexibility are required.[email protected]