ROCHESTER, Ill.—Elastocon TPE Technologies Inc. released five new thermoplastic elastomer grades at the recent NPE 2015 show in Orlando, and it is considering an expansion to its existing manufacturing capabilities.
President Dave Barkus said the new grades are geared toward the automotive market, which is one the firm is trying to grow its presence in.
Elastocon deals mainly with many non-automotive transportation or off-highway applications, such as tractors and agricultural equipment. The firm utilizes more than 100 formulas of TPEs, Barkus said.
Elastocon is evaluating a five-acre site to add about 25,000 square feet of manufacturing capabilities in the Chicago area, he said. The firm's current operations are located in Rochester.
The new site initially will be used for warehousing, but Barkus said the facility would be capable of handling additional manufacturing capacity.
The firm added a series of clear grades to its Elastocon CLR series, designed for high tensile and tear strength properties and bring a tactile finish. Elastocon said the grades are FDA compliant and can be overmolded onto polypropylene and other materials, making them suited for medical applications and toys.
“We almost consider them super tough,” Barkus said. “It makes them more suitable for replacing more stringent applications like silicone or thermoplastic urethanes.
“We're finding that the improved properties we've been able to achieve with these materials make them suited for replacing those materials where in the past we've had to walk away from those kinds of applications.”
The other four grades are an extension of the firm's Elastocon 8000 series that can be overmolded, extruded, blow molded or compounded. Elastocon 8150 is a black 48 Shore A TPE with rubber-like properties that provides a matte surface finish, making it suitable for consumer goods and industrial applications calling for UV stability.
Elastocon said the material just passed FMVSS302 specifications for flammability, making it suitable for automotive applications as well.
Elastocon 8078B is a black 82 Shore A TPE also designed for applications calling for UV stability, while Elastocon 8088N—a black 88 Shore A TPE—also passed FMVSS302 to cater it toward the automotive market.
Elastocon 8088BL also is suited for UV stability and passed the automotive standard and, as a colorable 88 Shore A grade, the firm said it is aimed at applications that require high impact resistance and a reduced coefficient of friction.
“Their volume has increased drastically in the last year since we brought them out,” Barkus said of the new materials, which took about a year for Elastocon to develop.