Telko is a distributor of industrial chemicals and plastics active in 12 countries; it has distributed Elasto TPEs in Finland, the Baltic countries and Russia for a number of years. Elasto's managing director, Per Hellberg, said of the new agreement, "China is a growing market for us; this agreement will make Elasto's products more easily available throughout the Chinese region. It offers our customers the local sales coverage, stock inventory and technical expertise of Telko with the innovative material solutions provided by Elasto." Telko established its subsidiary in China in late 2010.
Elasto's TPEs, offered in hardness ranging from zero shore A to 65 shore D, are used in a wide range of applications including mobile phones, caps and closures, toys, automotive interior and exteriors, construction profiles and soft-touch grips. The compounder has two compounding operations in Europe, in Sweden and in England, and operates globally through distributors and agents. Elasto is the former thermoplastic elastomers businesses of the Vita Group, which it sold to Hexpol.
Recent developments at Elasto include an expansion to its Dryflex range of flame-retardant materials that are halogen, chlorine and antimony free, low smoke and are compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives. The company also has built out its Mediprene range of TPE compounds for medical device applications, including grades that do not contain any paraffinic oil which minimize the risk of leaching and extractables.
In answer to questions from Plasticstoday.com, Jill Bradford, marketing and PR manager at Elasto, replied that Elasto already has "an existing and growing customer base in China." She added that as some European customers have shifted production to China, the company has been able to continue supplying these. Increasingly in China, its sales are to locally owned molders, which is why it has appointed Telko to offer customers local support and stock inventory. She said the compounder increased sales last year and expects its sales "to continue at record levels for the foreseeable future. The diverse range of markets we serve and the wide variety of applications for our Dryflex and Mediprene TPEs has been a great strength during the last year or two." —Matt Defosse