Compounding firm Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co. KG has brought new recycled-content and super-soft thermoplastic elastomers to market in 2021.
A new product line for exterior automotive applications contains a high percentage of post-industrial recycled material is aimed at European automakers, officials with Kraiburg in Waldkraiburg, Germany, said in a recent news release. With at least 20 percent post-industrial recycled content, the compounds meet OEMs' high requirements and contribute to a circular plastics economy, they added.
The new materials are available in black and are targeted to meet high requirements for automotive exteriors, such as weathering resistance and high surface quality, using 20-40 percent recycled content. Officials said these product solutions will enable suppliers to replace current components with recycled materials-based TPEs.
"To take the first steps towards a more sustainable automobile, the plastics industry needs to not only think about moving towards the circular economy but also has to take action," Matthias Michl, automotive application development head, said in the release.
"We want to proceed toward sustainable applications together with our customers," he added.
Kraiburg's Next Generation-brand super-soft TPEs have been adapted to new applications and requirements, based on customer suggestions and practical experience, officials said.
They added that there's strong demand for very soft, tough and durable materials in applications ranging from orthopedic appliances and bicycle equipment through lids for cosmetics.
All three compounds of the Next Generation super-soft TPEs are therefore being combined under the new brand name Thermolast S. Officials said the extremely soft TPEs have "a pleasant, soft surface" similar to human skin
The materials can be processed by injection molding and 3D printing, playing to their strengths in both processes. Their good skin compatibility makes them suitable for paramedical applications such as orthopedic appliances.
The three Next Generation super-soft TPEs are available in a translucent version as standard, and transparent compounds. They also can be individually custom-colored on request.