(From the Nov. 14, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
BROADVIEW, Ill.—A division of Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers Inc.'s has opened a TPR rheology/analytical laboratory at the firm's Broadview headquarters.
The company's Thermoplastic Division created the lab on two floors of the firm's headquarters facility in Broadview.
It invested in the fully equipped, multifunctional laboratory “to further increase our level of customer focus, satisfaction and applications support,” according to Star President Thomas A. Dieschbourg.
Included in its additions are dozens of instruments that cost “well into the six figure range,” Dieschbourg said. In addition, he said, the company has a production line dedicated to producing and testing samples and finished goods.
Star, a provider of thermoplastic elastomers with production lines to handle large and small orders, said the lab was needed for several reasons.
The new lab gives the company the ability to analyze from a chemist's perspective any given formulation and either precisely match it or dissect it to determine individual elements in the TPE formulation, tweak it to make it process and perform better, and in many cases come up with a better price, the firm said.
The lab measures the rheological properties over a full range, including shear and elongation, said Dieschbourg.
“The net result is that we can offer more depth with new or existing formulations, or determine the precise ingredients to make a given grade work for a customer and his application the very first time,” Dieschbourg said.
The executive cited as examples recent jobs where prospective customers tested between four and six TPE samples and found none of them suitable for their projects.
“We were then called in, given the application requirements and came up with a formulation that met all the requirements,” he said.
Founded in 1993, the producer of TPEs with a number of production lines can handle both large and small orders, the firm said. Its TPEs include the Starflex, StarMed, StarBond, StarPrene, StarPet and StarGrip-X brands.