AKRON, OHIO - Advanced Elastomer Systems L.P. has introduced a line of thermoplastic elastomers the company claims will create new applications. The Akron-based manufacturer Oct. 7 unveiled its line of fully vulcanized, nonhygroscopic TPEs. The Santoprene 8000 Series offers high-tensile strength, water resistance and improved colorability, the company said.
AES used proprietary technology to create Santoprene 8000 over the past two years, said Jay Griffith, AES's worldwide product director.
The thermoplastic vulcanizate's main push is to create new applications in which thermoset rubber or other TPE lines were not a viable solution, according to Griffith.
``This is the kind of technology that's going to allow us to do a lot more with TPEs than what's been done before,'' he said. ``This opens the envelope.''
AES expects Santoprene 8000 to be used in the appliance, automotive, construction, consumer goods, electrical, fluid delivery, food packaging and medical markets.
The company produces Santoprene 8000 in 12 injection molding and extrusion grades; injection molding grades are high flow and are designed for large or complex parts with long flow lengths. The high-flow rates allow for greater complexity of parts and reduce reject rates, which saves companies money, Griffith said. The TPE's injection molding and extrusion grades are offered in hardness ranging from 35-90 Shore A. Cost of Santoprene 8000 ranges from $2-$2.50 per pound, he said.
Santoprene 8000's colorability also is attractive to manufacturers, and the line allows pastel colors to be used in TPEs for the first time, he said.
Black & Decker Manufacturing Co. incorporates the TPE in the handle of one of its bathroom-cleaning devices, a use previously impossible with other TPEs and rubbers because of the appliance's complex design.
The Santoprene 8000 line will be produced at AES's manufacturing facilities - in Pensacola, Fla., and Newport, Wales, said Margaret Mattix, AES vice president for the Americas.
Although Mattix declined to discuss specific sales figures, she said the new product will help AES retain its 15 percent share of the engineered rubber product market.
Santoprene 8000 "will increase our growth rate and the applications of TPEs,'' she said. ``Some of our high-growth applications are [for] parts that didn't exist.''
AES is a limited partnership formed in 1991 between Monsanto Co. and Exxon Corp. The company also operates a research and development facility in Wads-worth, Ohio.
Tel. (330) 849-5000, fax (330) 849-5599.