Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are a form of thermoplastic polymers. They are also a class of copolymers, or a physical mix of rubber and plastic polymers, that consist of both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. TPEs are also referred to as thermoplastic rubber, as it exhibits some of the performance properties of rubber. However, TPEs are processed similarly to plastic and are recyclable.
But what are elastomers? Elastomer is a shorter way of saying material is highly elastic, and this property is what makes TPEs soft and flexible. This allows them to be stretched to twice their initial length and return to their original length upon release.
TPEs are soft to the touch, so they are ideal for a variety of markets and consumer goods. Furthermore, soft thermoplastic elastomers are easy to mold and extrude onto other TPEs. As a result, they are ideal for soft grips on products as well as sealing rings and bottle cap liners.
There are also six generic classes of commercial Thermoplastic Elastomers:
These other types of TPEs can be utilized in the manufacturing of wire and cable insulation, HVACs, automotive parts, and home appliances. Learn more about TPE properties and applications below or get in touch with our technical staff to discuss our material selection.
Properties of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)
Applications for Thermoplastic Rubber