GLS Corp. (Booth S1145) has a clear vision of what it wants to do at NPE 2006.
First on the agenda for the McHenry, Ill.-based compounder are clear grades of its Versaflex-brand thermoplastic elastomer products. The grades - first commercialized earlier this year - offer water-quality clarity and excellent overmold bond strength for polar substrates of polycarbonate, ABS and other blends, according to GLS officials. The Versaflex line can be made with a variety of TPEs including thermoplastic vulcanizates and thermoplastic polyurethanes.
``It's very difficult to make these grades, but we've found a way to do it and still allow clarity on graphics for hand-held electronic items and computer accessories,'' GLS marketing manager Walt Ripple said in a recent interview at the Plastics News office in Akron.
Also new for GLS at NPE - to be held June 19-23 in Chicago - will be Versaflex grades aimed specifically at nylon overmolding. Ripple said the new grades, also commercialized earlier this year, are ``more robust'' than previous offerings and can adhere to a variety of nylon substrates, including specialty grades like nylon 6/6/6.
``The new nylon grades aren't affected by moisture, which should make them a good fit for hardware, industrial uses, and lawn and garden products,'' he said.
GLS is focusing on its ability to create highly specialized TPE products as a means of differentiating itself in the growing TPE market.
``We can look to define an application based on which TPE we can use,'' Ripple said. ``If we need to add impact resistance, for example, we can choose which TPE is the best to do that with.''
GLS is making both new Versaflex lines at the firm's 120,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in McHenry. Company officials have estimated annual TPE-related sales for GLS at close to $100 million. The firm has been a licensed compounder of Kraton-brand styrenic block copolymers for more than 25 years.