Fairlawn, Ohio — Lubrizol Corp. was among several firms focused on new thermoplastic elastomer materials at TPE Topcon, a conference hosted by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Sept. 19-20 in Fairlawn.
Wickliffe, Ohio-based Lubrizol recently launched Tecobax, a new thermoplastic polyurethane for medical applications. The material has the strength, versatility and biocompatibility needed for the medical market, applications engineer Walid Qaqish said.
By definition, Tecobax is an aliphatic polyether TPU. It has a heat capacity higher than a typical aromatic TPU and can be used for extrusion and injection molding, Qaqish added.
Medical applications using Tecobax include catheter tubing and other uses where medical customers want non-softening, thermal processability and kink resistance. Qaqish said Tecobax also has torqueability — an important property that impacts the ability of tubing to move through a body's vascular system.
At Kraton Performance Polymers in Houston, new hydrogenated medical styrenic block copolymers are available, according to market development manager Bing Yang. He said the new SBCs expand the firm's line of materials for medical tubing and film.
The new materials have good compatibility with polypropylene, as well as good kink resistance and higher melt flow than some competing materials, Yang explained. They also can be used as impact modifiers or as a PVC alternative.
Other advantages of the new SBCs include improved color and clarity performance, Yang said.
Teknor Apex Co. of Pawtucket, R.I., is producing grades of Sarlink-brand thermoplastic vulcanizates for sealing applications, senior application development specialist Chris La Tulippe said. The materials can replace EPDM rubber in glass run channels for automotive windows, offering weight reduction of 30 percent.
The Sarlink grades also have better durability and better contact with glass, La Tulippe added.
EPDM use in glass run channels can average 6.9 pounds, as compared to 4.8 pounds with a Sarlink TPV, he said. Foaming the TPV can reduce the weight even further, to 3.3 pounds.
"Weight savings of three and a half pounds is worth quite a bit to an OEM," La Tulippe said.