Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE's) within the design limits, behave like a thermoset rubber. The ability to process these materials with thermoplastic methods allows for design and fabrication freedom that thermoset rubber does not offer. And having TPE Compounded helps to significantly reduce imperfections of when just using masterbatch into the process when injection moulding and extrusion.
We are finding that year by year, when being approached by customers. Only those clients involved in the medical sector are generally only using TPE’s, finding it difficult to then approach another sector within the industry with compounded TPE.
So what’s it got to do with the medical industry? Well TPE's are becoming increasingly popular in the medical sector because they are used extensively, and are often crucial, in medical practice. They are applied for numerous purposes, such as bags for infusion solutions, components of medical devices, disposables (for instance syringes or tubing) and implants such as artificial heart valves and joints.
The possibility to use TPEs in medical devices are endless: from high-performance TPEs for syringes, materials with high barrier resistance properties or gel-soft cushioning, to gaskets and seals, vial caps and soft touch cushions for glucose measuring devices.
Tony Deaville The Sales Director of Burgess Colours explains "All TPE's are composed of crystalline and amorphous domains so having TPE Compounded is a very cost effective way of producing a consistent colour as oppose to adding masterbatch into the process, As a result Burgess Colours & Compounds can offer compounded TPE for any bespoke colour.
Since the majority of our customer base is the UK & Europe were are able to comment about the industry that when it comes to thermoplastic elastomers being used in medical practise there are plenty of regulatory terms in which TPE’s have to meet; because of the varying uses. We see that in home health care within the medical sector continues to increase, TPE’s enable to create portable, simple and effective medical devices.
One of our customers explains how compounded TPE benefits his business. Tony Hay from TTL Plastics “Having TPE Compounded gives me consistency throughout the run, with no problems processing which you can have when just adding masterbatch. Across the year it saves my company £2,000 per year on scrap and downtime. This then allows me to use that saved money on new machinery, staff, advertising etc...”