A new family of thermoplastic rubbers with potential in a wide variety of automotive applications has been developed by Uniroyal Chemical which can be injection molded or extruded on conventional thermoplastic equipment into finished parts having the properties of vulcanized rubber.
Salient features of TPR thermoplastic rubbers include fast molding cycles, reprocessability of scrap, exceptionally wide service temperature range (-60 to 300°F), excellent environmental resistance, excellent colorability via painting or color concentrates, inherently slow burning, excellent electrical properties, excellent chemical resistance, and low elongation and compression set properties.
The basic polymer properties and processing characteristics of TPR which are significant in determining automotive areas of applicability are presented. Potential automotive applications include exterior “soft” front and rear-end components, grommets, gaskets, bushings, seals, weatherstripping, and “soft trim”. Comparison of TPR versus other flexible materials is discussed.