Thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPE-E)

TPE-E (Thermoplastic polyester elastomer), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. While most elastomers are thermosets, thermoplastics are in contrast relatively easy to use in manufacturing, for example, by injection molding. Thermoplastic elastomers show both advantages typical of rubbery and plastic materials. The principal difference between thermoset elastomers and thermoplastic elastomers is the type of crosslinking bond in their structures. In fact, crosslinking is a critical structural factor which contributes to impart high elastic properties. The crosslink in thermoset polymers is a covalent bond created during the vulcanization process. On the other hand the crosslink in thermoplastic elastomer polymers is a weaker dipole or hydrogen bond or takes place in one of the phases of the material.

More Information on TPE

  • History

    • ~ 1950: Start of Research on block copolyester elastomers
    • 1960s: Research breakthroughs made styrene block copolymers available
    • 1970: production of PBT/PTMO based copolyesters with commercial interest

  • Properties

  • Applications

  • Processes

  • Recycling and Recovery

Types of plastics

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  • Today some oil-based plastics are biodegradable, thereby contributing to a sustainable future! (Photo:©2001-2016 BASF SE)