Developing new products is the ``best defense'' to prevent more plastics production from moving away from the United States, according to Bert Lederer, senior vice president with compounder Teknor Apex Co.
``Interest in new products stimulates domestic business,'' Lederer said at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Summerlin.
Thermoplastic vulcanizates are replacing ethylene propylene diene monomer in automotive weatherstripping and metal air ducts, Lederer said.
In the medical field, thermoplastic elastomers are gaining business because of latex allergies.
Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor is in a bit of an unusual situation, since the firm also produces PVC compounds, which are being challenged by TPEs in a number of applications.
``There are still a lot of applications where PVC is best,'' Lederer said in his Feb. 2 presentation. ``But if we have to, we'd rather cannibalize ourselves than have someone else take that business.''