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TPE-E elastomer For ergonomic non-slip grips

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 20 October, 2004  (New Product)
For ergonomic non-slip grips on select hand tools, the Facom Tools Group uses Arnitel thermoplastic ether ester block copolymer (TPE-E) elastomer from DSM Engineering Plastics.
Facom, a leading supplier of hand tools and garage equipment in Europe, is a subsidiary of FIMALAC. Many of Facomís pliers and screwdrivers use Arnitel in 2K injection moulded handles and grips. The grips are designed for a soft, cushioned feel combined with complex, ergonomic shapes that serve to help prevent hands from slipping off.

Facom evaluated a number of materials for this application, including conventional thermoplastic vulcanisates, the feel, processability, and longevity of Arnitel, in resistance to corrosives, made it an ideal choice for Facom's hand tools with insulated grips.

2K moulding provides a flash-free, co-moulded part that eliminates the time and expense involved in additional product handling, tooling and assembly while ensuring high-quality components. In the 2K injection moulding process, two moulding compounds are injected into a single mould.

The process is ideal for the grips, which have both a distinctive, two-color appearance and a need for an interior, harder compound for the grip-to-tool surface and a softer, exterior compound for the hand.

Arnitel fits the application in a number of ways. Arnitelís softness can be tuned precisely for the application. A key factor in 2K moulding is the adhesion between the different materials used, and Arnitel is designed to maximise this adhesiveness by fostering interfacial reactions. It adheres well to a wide range of other thermoplastic materials, including polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), polyesters and other Arnitel grades. In addition, Arnitel resists oils, other hydrocarbons, and chemicals, which are typically found in garage and transportation use.
Its ability to accept colorants and surface finish provides both stand-out appearance and good grip properties.

In addition to tool handles, Arnitel is extensively used in the automotive industry for applications designed for human touch, such as airbag covers; and those requiring exceptional fatigue resistance and resistance to oil and greases, including air ducts, constant velocity joint (CVJ) boots, and air brake tubing.

In the electronic and consumer goods industry, Arnitel is widely used for mobile phone antennas, cable insulation, flexible tubing, handles, and pads.
The range of Arnitel is exemplified by its use both in tiny, low-noise gears, and in large, energy- and sound-absorbing railway pads.
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