Introduction and application of TPE

2019-05-10 00:00

Thermoplastic elastomer, TPE or TPR, is the abbreviation of Thermoplastic rubber. It is a kind of elastomer with rubber elasticity at room temperature and plasticizability at high temperature. The structure of thermoplastic elastomer is characterized by different resin segments and rubber segments composed of chemical bonds. The resin segment forms physical crosslinking points by means of chain interaction force, and the rubber segment is a high-elastic chain segment, contributing to elasticity. The physical crosslinking of plastic segment changes reversibly with the change of temperature, which shows the processing characteristics of thermoplastic elastomer. Therefore, thermoplastic elastomer has the physical and mechanical properties of vulcanized rubber and the processing properties of thermoplastic plastics. It is a new polymer material between rubber and resin, which is often referred to as the third generation of rubber.

Since the first preparation of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) by Bayer company in 1958, TPE has been developing rapidly. Especially after the introduction of styrene thermoplastic elastomer in 1963, the preparation theory of thermoplastic elastomer has been gradually improved and the application field has been further expanded.

Thermoplastic elastomer is a new kind of polymer material between rubber and resin. Thermoplastic elastomer has the double properties and broad characteristics of rubber and plastic, so it is widely used in the rubber industry to manufacture rubber shoes, rubber cloth and other daily products, as well as various industrial supplies such as rubber pipes, rubber tapes, rubber strips, rubber plates, rubber pieces and adhesives. At the same time, thermoplastic elastomer can also replace rubber in a large number of general thermoplastic resin, such as PVC, PE, PP, PS, and even PU, PA, CA and other engineering plastics modification, so that the plastics industry also appeared a new situation.

Thermoplastic elastomer can be summarized as general TPE and engineering TPE two types, has developed to more than 30 l0 categories. Germany's Bayer the earliest discovered from 1938 polyurethane TPE, Phillips and Shell in 1963 and 1965, the United States, developed the styrene - butadiene - styrene block polymer TPE, to the us and Europe in the 70 s, countries began to batch production of olefin TPE, technology innovation, new varieties of TPE, constitutes the huge system of the TPE today, make the rubber industry and plastic industry combined with marriage took a step forward greatly. The world has industrialized production of TPE are: class styrene (SBS, SIS, SEBS, SEPS), olefin (TP0, TPV), double alkene (TPB, TPI), vinyl chloride (TPVC, TCPE), ammonia ester (TPU), esters (TPEE), amide (TPAE), organic fluorine (TPF), organic silicon and vinyl, etc., almost covers all areas of synthetic rubber and synthetic resin now.

Thermoplastic elastomer has physical and mechanical properties of vulcanized rubber and processing properties of soft plastics. Since no longer having to undergo hot vulcanization like rubber, the final product can be easily made using a simple plastic processing machine. With this feature, the production process of rubber industry is shortened by l/4, energy consumption is reduced by 25% ~ 40%, and the efficiency is increased by 10 ~ 20 times, which can be called another material and technological revolution of rubber industry.

The two main methods of manufacturing thermoplastic elastomers are extrusion and injection molding, which are rarely used. It is fast and economical to manufacture and process thermoplastic elastomers by injection molding. The injection molding method and equipment used in general thermoplastic plastics are applicable to thermoplastic elastomers.

Thermoplastic elastomers can also be processed by blow molding, hot forming and hot welding. None of these methods can be applied to thermosetting rubber products.

Thermoplastic elastomers have the following characteristics in processing applications:

1. Standard thermoplastic processing equipment and technology can be used for processing and molding, such as extrusion, injection, blow molding, etc.

2, no need to vulcanize, can produce rubber products, reduce vulcanization process, save investment, low energy consumption, simple process, shorten processing cycle, improve production efficiency, low processing costs.

3, corner waste can be recycled, saving resources, but also beneficial to environmental protection.

4. As it is easy to soften at high temperature, the service temperature of the product is limited.