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News

Thermoplastic elastomers helped to grow by soft-touch applications

Companiesandmarkets : 02 December, 2013  (Technical Article)
The thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) market has been forecast to reach a value of approximately $14.96 billion during 2013, driven by ongoing product innovation, allowing them to continue to displace traditional elastomers and thermoplastics in a variety of applications. The market will also grow because of an increase in the amount of innovation in end uses.
Thermoplastic elastomers are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. While most elastomers are thermosets, thermoplastics are in contrast relatively easy to use in manufacturing, for example, by injection moulding. Thermoplastic elastomers show advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials.
 
Now a very diverse material class, end uses are numerous. More uses are being found for TPEs which will continue to grow the market rapidly in the next 10 years. For example there have been many developments in the use of "soft touch TPEs", which are found in car interiors, razors, telephones and pens.
 
Significant growth has been forecast in the medical sector over the coming years due to the increase in demand for non-latex alternative products. Thermoplastic elastomers are often used for medical applications requiring a PVC free or non-latex alternative.
 
Asia-Pacific has been forecast to remain the largest market over the coming few years, and to experience the fastest compound annual growth rate (CAGR). China accounted for about 24.3% of the thermoplastic elastomers demand in 2012.
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