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GLS, Teknor eye new markets, tout new TPE, TPV grades

By: Frank Esposito

October 15, 2012

AKRON, OHIO (Oct. 15, 10:30 a.m. ET) — New material markets and grades are on the horizon for OnFlex and Sarlink.

New non-halogen, flame-retardant grades of OnFlex thermoplastic elastomer compounds — from the GLS unit of Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne Corp. — can replace flexible PVC in wire and cable applications, lead scientist Jiren Gu said at TPE TopCon, a conference hosted by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Sept. 11-12 in Fairlawn.

New OnFlex grades “are green and can meet performance and aesthetic requirements,” Gu said.

“There’s an unmet market need for non-PVC materials in flexible power cords. You can use [OnFlex] with existing PVC assets without capital investment,” he added. “In that way, you also separate PVC from recycled streams.”

Other potential applications for the new OnFlex grades — which to date have been based on several materials, including styrenic block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes and copolyesters — Include appliance and data cables and consumer electronicitems with short life cycles such as cell phones and computers.

OnFlex’s 300 series in particular is aimed at wire and cable applications. Those grades have excellent kink resistance and mar resistance and good aesthetics, Gu said. They can be run with screws and at speeds used for PVC work, he added.

For Sarlink — a thermoplastic vulcanizate made by Teknor Apex Co. of Pawtucket, R.I. — new, softer low-durometer grades are available for automotive sealing applications such as lift gates and glass-run channels, according to product development manager Yundong Wang.

“We want to grow the TPV market with dynamic seals, which are 60 percent of the seal market, Wang said at TPE TopCon.

The new Sarlink grades can compete with ethylene propylene diene monomer sponge by offering no kinking, low compression set, low water absorption and good chemical resistance. The materials also have exceptional freeze release and abrasion resistance, as well as better abrasion resistance than EPDM foam, according to Wang.

“A low-hardness TPV with a slip-coat combination is a perfect fit for door seals,” he said.