HEXPOL TPE expands renewable thermoplastic elastomers range

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In Sweden, HEXPOL TPE has added new grades to its Dryflex Green biobased thermoplastic elastomers product line.

These include a low-hardness TPE compound with 90% renewable content. This was a technical challenge since biobased raw materials tend to be hard on their own, says Thomas Köppl, manager of HEXPOL TPE’s central technology and development center.

The company uses renewable raw materials in the polymers, fillers, plasticizers, and additives used to make the Dryflex Green range. It has also developed compounds using organic fillers and natural fibers from plants, crops, and trees, such as cork.

“For customers that want biobased products that also have a natural look and feel, the use of cork and natural fibers helps to give an additional ‘organic’ appearance,” says Klas Dannäs, Global R&D Coordinator.  The TPEs can be processed with standard methods, including injection moulding and extrusion.  Applications to date include tools and hardware, sports equipment, and packaging.