Santoprene Offers the Performance Industries Demand
Santoprene Offers the Performance Industries Demand
Santoprene is part of the thermoplastic elastomer grouping of polymers but shares more characteristics with vulcanized rubber, or thermoplastic vulcanizates. Santoprene, sometimes called Santoprene TPV (short for Thermoplastic Vulcanizates) is a dynamically vulcanized polymer alloy composed of cured EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber.
To make Santoprene, EPDM rubber is broken into particles and then encased in a PP, or polypropylene matrix. While Santoprene shares a lot with EPDM, it’s much easier to manufacture, has superior compound qualities, and is lighter. Because of its ease to work with, dependability and excellent performance, Santoprene has become a staple in thermoplastic manufacturing across multiple sectors, including automotive, household appliances, electrical, construction and healthcare. At KEP we manufacture high-quality Santoprene products to our customers’ exacting specifications, meeting their industry’s demands and company goals.
The Origin of Santoprene
The first efforts to invent thermoplastics and elastomers that could imitate the feel of, and properties found in crosslinked rubbers was in 1958-59. There was a need for simpler and faster TPE processing, but also the ability to recycle scrap. Since TPE’s and their subsequent offspring possess these qualities, their usage has multiplied ever since—and are still multiplying to this day.
The first commercial thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), Uniroyal’s “TPR,” launched in 1971. Uniroyal’s TPV was groundbreaking in that it demonstrated all the qualities of TPE without all the limitations of vulcanized rubber. Furthermore, its low price point, excellent moldability, and recyclable properties resulted in rapid industry adoption and proliferation.
Monsanto introduced the first fully-cured TPV under the name Santoprene in 1981. Monsanto was one of many companies in Akron, Ohio—regarded as the “Rubber City”— looking for new tire-making technologies. Monsanto wanted to create a plastic-like rubber that would process faster, and at a lower cost. While the tire application did not work out, this new class of fully cured TPVs found thousands of applications as replacements for thermoset rubber. Monsanto formed Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES) to market Santoprene and additional TPV product lines (Geolast and Vyram). AES is now part of ExxonMobil Chemical.
Santoprene remains a top choice for electrical, household appliance, healthcare markets and more, offers the following benefits and can be used for the following applications:
Standard extrusion and molding: Santoprene is an excellent hard grade extrusion choice (>85A), ideal for blow molding, and exhibits some of the highest levels of elastomeric properties while maintaining excellent colorability.
Specialty molding: Santoprene TPV offers improved processability and aesthetics, and has improved UV resistance over other TPE products, plus outstanding processability for specialty molding, all while maintaining excellent colorability.
Flame retardant: Santoprene is UL 94 V-0 rated (except 85A, which is V-2 rated), UL 94 5VA rated, UV resistant (UL (f1) rated) and stabilized against copper and other metal-catalyzed degradation.
Detergent-resistant: Santoprene has excellent form and property retention in the presence of typical dishwasher and washing machine detergents. Santoprene is also resistant to harsh chemicals, grease, and oil, making it an excellent choice for cook lines where abuse is common from both use and cleaning.
Extrusion: Santoprene TPV is an excellent compound for extrusion manufacturing and can be extruded with single or complex profiles, including components with both soft and rigid properties.
Potable water: Santoprene TPV is NSF 61 certified and NSF 51 certified.
Non-fatty food contact: Santoprene TPV has an FDA compliant non-fatty food contact rating, is NSF 51 certified and 8271-XX non-hygroscopic.
Bonding: Santoprene is excellent for insert or 2 shot molding, Bonds to PC, ABS, PS and other engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), B100 grades, PP, and metal.
Injection molding: Since Santoprene can be processed using the same techniques applied to more common thermoplastic molding applications, Santoprene can be used for injection molding, often with greater flexibility while reducing down-cycle time.
Insert molding: Santoprene TPV can be blow molded in single layer, multi-layer, exchange blow, sequential 3D, suction blow, flashless extrusion blow, injection blow and press-blow molding processes.
Recyclability: Unlike rubber, almost all TPE and TPV materials have recyclability during the manufacturing process since they can be molded, extruded and reused like plastics.
If you think Santoprene could be the perfect material for your next product or prototype, let’s chat! Our experts manufacture the high-quality solutions our customers need to compete in their industries.
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