ERJ staff report (LMH)
Pawtucket, Rhode Island -- A new series of â€œwet-gripâ€ thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds for injection moulding promises will add to the popularity of soft-touch features in consumer products by retaining a non-slip surface and secure grip even when wet, according to Teknor Apex Co.
The company is due to introduce the compounds at the forthcoming NPE 2012 plastics trade fair in Orlando, Florida.
Monprene Wet Grip Series styrenic block copolymer compounds minimise or eliminate a problem encountered with many standard TPEs in soft-touch applications like grips, handles, knobs, and cushions. These products often become slippery and hard to handle when wet from rain, humidity, sweat, dishwater, or other commonly encountered substances, Teknor Apex said in a 4 Jan news release.
Unlike the standard TPEs, the new Monprene products retain their rubber-like traction when wet, while providing the same elasticity and other key mechanical properties. They are available in hardnesses from 10 to 45 Shore A and can be applied onto a variety of substrates by means of two-shot, coinjection, or insert moulding.
â€œTeknor Apex has spent more than a year perfecting Monprene Wet Grip Series TPEs so that manufacturers of housewares, appliances, personal care items, tools, and sporting goods are able to make their products easier and safer to handle,â€ said Brian Mulvany, senior consumer market manager.
He added, â€œThe wet-grip chemistry that we have developed addresses everyday situations in the real world, where workers must handle tools, cooks use utensils, and golfers grip clubs regardless of surface conditions.â€
In tests measuring the coefficient of friction of a standard styrenic TPE with a Monprene wet-grip grade, the new compound exhibited a coefficient that was 25 percent greater when surfaces were wet with plain water and 175 percent greater in the case of soapy water, the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-headquartered company claimed.
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Press release from Teknor Apex