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Does thermoplastic rubber belong to plastic or rubber?

The earliest TPE is polyurethane rubber (TPU), in 1958, the Trial Corporation of the Federal Germany Bayer Company was successful. In 1963, Philip Petroleum Company produced a thermoplastic polystyrene-polybutadiene-polystyrene block copolymer (SBS); then in 1965, in addition to producing SBS in 1965, the US Shell Chemical also added Polystyrene - polyisoprene - Polystyrene block copolymer (SIS). These two are styrene block copolymers (SBC) types. At the beginning of the 1970s, thermoplastic polyolefin rubber (TPO) was developed by Eunolaé; polyester TPE (CPE) was also commissioned by DuPont. By the mid-1970s, more than 200 types, more than 200 kinds of products have been developed, and more than 100 manufacturers have been developed. At the end of the 1970s, the world TPE production was about 220kt, accounting for 3.6% of the total yield of synthetic rubber, with an average annual growth rate of 15% to 20%. It is estimated that in 1987, the demand will reach 455 kt, accounting for 5.6% of the synthetic rubber.


Thermoplastic rubber products not only have the traditional crosslinked vulcanized rubber of high elasticity, aging resistance, oil resistance, and other excellent properties but also have the characteristics of ordinary plastic processing convenient, wide processing methods. It can be produced by injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, and other processing methods and 100% direct secondary use after the nozzle edges and corners are crushed.


It not only simplifies the processing process but also reduces the processing cost, so the thermoplastic elastomer TPE/TPR material has become the latest material to replace the traditional rubber, its environmental protection, non-toxic, comfortable feel, beautiful appearance, makes the product more creative.


Therefore, it is also a new synthetic material with more humanization and high grade, and it is also a world standard environmental protection material.


The thermoplastic elastomer has the physical and mechanical properties of vulcanized rubber and the processing properties of thermoplastic plastics. It is a new kind of polymer material between rubber and resin and is often called the third generation rubber. Thermoplastic rubber belongs to synthetic rubber.


The thermoplastic rubber has an analogy of ordinary sulfurized gel but does not need to vulcanize, like the thermoplastic resin, molded with ordinary plastic processing, and the article can be recovered and processed without loss of fundamental performance. The development of this new type of material brings major innovation to the rubber industry. It breaks the traditional boundaries between rubber and plastics, and more economic and social efficiency in energy conservation, effort, and preventing environmental pollution. However, the heat resistance and mechanical strength, price, deformation of TPE are not ideal. In recent years, in addition to modification, new varieties have continuously emerged.



The advantages of thermoplastic rubber:

(1) Can be used in general thermoplastic molding machine processing, such as injection molding, extrusion molding, blow molding, compression molding, pass mold molding, etc.
(2) Can be vulcanized by rubber injection molding machine, the time can be shortened from about 20min to less than min.
(3) Can be pressed out of the machine molding vulcanization, pressure out speed, short vulcanization time.
(4) The waste products produced in the production process (escape rough edges, extrusion waste glue) and the final waste products can be directly returned for reuse.
(5) The used TPE products can be simply recycled and then reused to reduce environmental pollution and expand the source of resource recycling.
(6) Does not need vulcanization, saves energy, takes high-pressure hose production energy consumption as an example: rubber is 188MJ/kg, TPE is 144MJ/kg, can save more than 25% of energy.
(7) Self-reinforcing, greatly simplified formula, so that the influence of the compound on the polymer constraints is greatly reduced, the quality and performance are easier to grasp.
(8) Open up new ways for the rubber industry and expand the application field of rubber products.

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