What is TPE?

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:

  • Styrenic Block Copolymers (TPS or TPE-s)

  • Polyolefinelastomers (TPO or TPE-O)

  • Vulcanizates, (TPV or TPE-V)

  • Polyurethanes (TPU or TPE-U)

  • Copolyester (TPC or TPE-C)

  • Polyamides (TPA or TPE-A)

  • Unclassified Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPZ)

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.

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Properties of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)

Physical Properties

  • Dense Rubber
  • Chemical Definition: Variable
  • Tensile Strength: 1740 – 4210 PSI
  • Tensile Elongation: 330% – 560%
  • Durometer: 30 to 56
  • Outstanding UV & Ozone Resistance
  • Slip Resistance
  • Excellent Weathering & Chemical Resistance
  • Shock Absorption
  • High Flexibility
  • Soft Texture

Advantages of TPE Material

  • Simple Processing
  • Reduced Costs
  • Custom Colors
  • Recyclable Scraps & Parts
  • Long-Lasting
  • Exceptional Flexural Fatigue Resistance
  • Good Electrical Properties
  • Tear & Abrasion Resistance
  • High Impact Strength
  • Co-Extrusion Capabilities

Applications for Thermoplastic Rubber

Automotive

  • Rack & Pinion Boots

  • Air Ducts
  • Cable & Dust Covers

  • Bushings
  • Door & Window Seals

  • Fire Wall Grommets

Appliances

  • Pumps
  • Gaskets
  • Boots
  • Hose Connectors
  • Plugs
  • Baffles

Building & Construction

  • Weather Stripping

  • Bulb Seals

  • Gaskets

  • Expansion Joints

  • Joints

Medical

  • Closures

  • Gaskets

  • Stoppers

  • Plunger Tips

Business Machines

  • Rollers for Printers

  • Vibration Isolators

  • Feet & Bumpers

Fluid Delivery

  • Plumbing Seals

  • Filter & Pump Seals

  • Closure Seals

Hardware

  • Caster Wheels

  • Tool Grips

  • Rollers

Sporting Goods

  • Grips

  • Scuba Equipment

  • Handles

Electrical

  • Molded Connectors

  • Cabling Applications

Food Contact

  • Diaphragms

  • Valve Seals

A selection of Qualiform's TPE parts | Thermoplastic elastomers
Interested in TPE or Qualiform’s other rubber materials? Contact Qualiform today to receive expert material recommendations.
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Why Choose Qualiform Rubber Molding?

Qualiform is an ISO-certified rubber extrusion company for thermoplastic elastomers offering a wide variety of precision custom rubber molding services. We can mold standard OEM replacement stars as well as custom finger lengths and configurations. If you are looking to develop a recycling star for your TPE application or media processing, you can contact our technical staff for consultation on design and property requirements.

We are also industry leaders in processing, development, and testing capabilities. Qualiform offers high-precision rubber manufacturing services including rubber molding, rubber compression molding, rubber injection molding, rubber transfer molding, and rubber to metal bonding. Furthermore, we offer unmatched problem-solving capabilities in all areas of rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonding. Qualiform can create the custom rubber solutions you need for virtually any application.

Qualiform’s High-Quality, Proprietary Blend

In addition to our Thermoplastic elastomers, Qualiform offers proprietary blends with reinforcing fibers. We blend these reinforcing fibers directly into the TPEs. As a result, your thermoplastic elastomers will have increased resistance to impacts and abrasions as well as improved durometer, toughness, and performance. Qualiform also offers this proprietary blend for other available materials:

  • Butyl Rubber
  • EPDM Rubber
  • Natural Rubber
  • Neoprene Rubber
  • Nitrile Rubber
  • Synthetic Rubber
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)
  • Viton Rubber

Choosing Qualiform means you receive the ideal rubber parts for your project at a price you can afford. Qualiform offers 40+ years of experience in custom rubber components manufacturing, so customers can depend on us to create the high-quality products they need. If you are unsure of what rubber compounds you are looking for, contact us today, and our team will provide you with expert recommendations based on your application.

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