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Thermoplastic Elastomers

Written by Jill Morrison
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Thermoplastic elastomers, or TPE, are a combination of elastomer and thermoplastic properties. Elastomers are stretchy rubbers. Thermoplastics are plastics that can be molded with heat.

Characteristics of Thermoplastic Elastomers

Thermoplastic elastomers are known for their excellent performance ability in fields such as automotive and engineering. In addition, they are low in cost. For this reason, TPE products grow in popularity each day.

Elastomers are unique because they can be stretched tremendously and will always return to the original shape. Plastics do not typically respond well to stretching. However, thermoplastics can be manipulated when heat is involved.

Thermoplastic elastomers combine the best qualities of elastomers and thermoplastics. They are basically plastics that can be molded with heat and can also be stretched. They use reversible crosslinks with hydrogen and ionic bonding to make this process possible.

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