Materials maker Elastocon TPE Technologies Inc. has entered the synthetic cork market with a line of thermoplastic elastomers that are free of both oil and plasticizers.
Officials with Rochester, Ill.-based Elastocon said their materials are the first oil- and plasticizer-free materials developed for use with synthetic corks for wine bottles and cap liners for bottled beverages. The materials' low coefficient of friction lets synthetic corks be removed from bottles more easily than natural corks, officials said in a recent news release.
The materials are odorless, and corks made with them can be printed and colored. They're also Food and Drug Administration-compliant and do not contain phthalates or latex. The use of colored synthetic corks gives marketers a unique opportunity to stand apart from their competitors, Elastocon officials said.
Companies that have been working to market synthetic corks include Supreme Corq Inc. of Kent, Wash., and Nomacorc LLC of Zebulon, N.C. Nomacorc recently opened a small factory in Yantai, China, to tap into growing wine consumption in that country.
Elastocon makes its new wine-cork materials at its plant in Carpentersville, Ill., where it employs 50 and operates seven production lines.
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