Friedrichshafen, Germany — Teknor Apex Co. — a materials firm based in Pawtucket, R.I. — is at Fakuma 2023 with new grades of Sarlink-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate that contains up to 40 percent post-industrial recyclate.
Officials said the materials "are the premier choice" for automotive applications requiring superior elasticity and long-term performance, as a recyclable, light-weight alternative to EPDM rubber.
The newest Sarlink grade — RX 3100B — was developed to help auto brands achieve sustainability targets. These multi-purpose TPVs are suitable for injection molding, extrusion, overmolding and co-extrusion with PP or other TPEs.
"Different customers have different comfort levels with sustainability," Pratik Shah, engineering plastics vice president, said at Fakuma 2023. "Some ask us if we have recycled content material in general, while some are farther ahead and design their products for circularity. Where we play is in how do we tailor our materials for a big brand or a small molder or a tier 1 supplier."
Stef Hordijk, TPE sales and marketing director, added that although customers can come at sustainability from different angles, the subject "is important for all of us."
"Reducing the carbon footprint is critical," he said. "We can make materials lightweight so they consume less energy or with less material so they're easier to recycle."
Teknor Apex is a major recycler of PVC through its garden hose unit. The firm also recycles fiber scrap at a location in Tennessee.
Electrification and flame retardants are other areas where Teknor Apex is expanding its product line. Nylon compounds and soft-touch TPEs are being used in electric vehicles and outdoor power tools, Shah said.
In flame retardant compounds, he said that Teknor Apex's goal is to be a one-stop shop for flexible applications such as wire and cable and rigid applications such as connectors and housings. The firm can make flame-retardant materials based on polypropylene, nylon, TPEs, TPUs and other resins.
Responding to market demands for sustainable compounds, Teknor Apex recently relaunched its Terraloy brand to build up a portfolio of products that officials said "will meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing industry."
The Terraloy portfolio will include polymers, additives and fillers covering a broad range of sustainable attributes such as recycled, bio-derived, and biodegradable content. As the portfolio evolves, it will include products with verifiable carbon footprint and LCA data.
Teknor Apex is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm operates 13 plants worldwide in the U.S., Belgium, Germany, China and Singapore and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. Its products include PVC compounds, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and engineering resin compounds, as well as garden hoses.