KRAIBURG, Germany—In an effort to meet rising demand for environmentally friendly thermoplastic elastomers, Kraiburg TPE is focusing on the development of custom-engineered TPEs that contain variable proportions of renewable raw materials.
The firm said it will focus on the use of bio-based materials that conserve resources and protect the environment. These efforts include conservation of water footprints, with consideration of factors such as irrigation, fertilizers, transport energy and energy consumed for reprocessing.
"Part of the challenge involves taking into account the environmental balance of the materials' whole life cycles, including their impact on ecosystems and people's health," CEO Franz Hinterecker said in a statement.
While customers' expectations of bio-materials vary widely depending on the application, the company must meet strict criteria for materials' conformity and performance. In its code of conduct, Kraiburg has committed itself to sustainable business operations and to protecting the soil, water, air and biological diversity, while pledging to take steps that conserve natural resources.
Based on these principles, Kraiburg TPE is introducing a modular system to develop customer-specific materials with different proportions of renewable raw materials.
By working closely with the customers, Kraiburg can pinpoint the correct balance of raw materials needed for a specific TPE product without sacrificing needed characteristics or mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and elongation, as well as processability, heat resistance and adhesion to ABS/PC, PP and PE. The company said this should help to alleviate some of the price pressures from increasing raw materials costs, without sacrificing the use of bio-based materials in the product development.
"The approach we're taking is being well received particularly by customers who are looking for sustainable solutions but don't want to do without cost-effectiveness and performance," Hinterecker said. "Our core competencies—a strong customer focus, global presence and trendsetting innovations—mean we are in a good position to meet these challenges."