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TPE - Thermoplastic Elastomer

The position of thermoplastic elastomers ("TPE") within the material group of polymers is defined very differently in application and by manufacturers. In their basic description, they are presented as a combination (incompatible blends) of meltable (purely thermoplastic) and elastic (soft and/or chemically wide-meshed crosslinked) areas of different polymers, or they are classified as copolymers with formed characteristic individual areas between the groups of thermoplastics and elastomers. The ability to melt process and thermoplastically recycle these highly elastic materials has opened up interesting areas of application previously reserved for elastomers. In any case, it is important to understand that TPEs always remain thermoplastic and cannot follow blanket cross-linked elastic materials in any temperature range.

Dr. Andreas Köppel
Group Manager | material development


Consulting services

A product development is determined by numerous influencing factors - a plastic can only develop its full performance capability if processing and design interact with it. For this, the effects of processing, but also possible interactions, must be assessable. Together with the various specialist departments here at SKZ, we can also advise you on these issues. Flow simulations, FEM analyses, life cycle assessments or design advice are just as much a part of this as injection molding, deep drawing, blow molding or extrusion of test parts for laboratory characteristic values or accredited test orders.

Material sample

In our compounding pilot plant, we produce thermoplastic compounds on a small and laboratory scale up to approx. 50 kg/h according to your specifications or from the formulations developed. These are either produced by special processes, or laboratory machines are used whose successful sample production can later be transferred to industrial scale ("scale-up"). Here, too, we will be happy to assist you directly or, for example, by acting as an intermediary within the SKZ network.

Production of test specimens

The production of standard test specimens according to a wide range of standards is part of our numerous customer and R&D activities. The Plastics Center has many years of experience in the field of multi-component injection molding.

A list of possible test specimens:

  • Test specimens for tensile, bending, impact tests
  • Puncture tests
  • Fire test specimens
  • Flow path test specimens
  • 2K test specimens
  • Plates with different dimensions, thicknesses and surfaces
Material research

For new developments, alternative materials, the use of recyclates or innovative compounds, we research suitable materials in databases of manufacturers, organizations and research institutions. Here, a material profile is composed of numerous requirements - be it mechanical, thermal or rheological or completely different characteristics that make up the essence of a plastic.

Recipe creation

A successful formulation of base material, additives and functional fillers or reinforcing materials opens up unimagined possibilities for product development. Estimating the performance of new compounds requires knowledge of the physicochemical interactions, experience and curiosity. It is equally important to know what possibilities such a compound opens up.

Welding · Bonding · Surface technology

Are you looking for thermal or adhesive joining techniques to join your materials with a high quality? You want to pre-treat or analyze the surface of your plastic components? SKZ supports you in the selection of mechanical or physical surface pretreatment as well as joining processes according to technical and economic criteria also at your site.

Dr. Eduard Kraus | +49 931 4104-480 |

To the areas of welding | bonding | surface technology

Technical equipment

In the Material Development group, we offer a wide range of different characterization methods that help to illuminate your materials in detail. 
Especially for the group of thermoplastic elastomers, we will be happy to provide you with an overview of mechanical performance and media resistance. All common test methods for density, hardness, compression set, tensile and tear properties are available. In addition, we can measure the material properties according to the "Temperature Scanning Stress Relaxation" TSSR method, which has proven its correlation to DVR values in current research work and is becoming more and more established.

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