TPE will continue to grow at 5.5% in the next five years

British Smithers Pira researchers predict that the global thermoplastic elastomer market (TPEs) will grow at a rate of 5% per year over the next five years. After conducting a new market study, the company expects to reach 4.24 million tons in 2017, achieving a compound growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% since 2012. At the same time, despite the increasing maturity of researchers, researchers expect expansion in the next five years to remain at 5.5%, reaching 5.53 million tons. The styrenic block copolymer material (TPS), which has long dominated the global TPE market, is expected to gradually lose market share in other olefin-based elastomer products over the next five years. In 2022, TPS is still the most important thermoplastic elastomer, but this may not last for a long time. Due to its high price, it can be cross-linked to TPS, and the pipeline industry still lacks major technological development. In addition, the low entry barriers in the TPS market ensure overcapacity of this material in 2017-2022, especially in Asia, especially China. At present, the automotive industry is still the main terminal application of TPE. From 2012 to 2017, the average growth rate of the sector reached 5.9%, reaching 1.84 million tons, or 43.4% of the total market in 2017. The forecast for 2022 is 2.46 million tons of consumption, accounting for 44.4% of the market share and 6.0% compound annual growth rate. TPE demand in medical applications is also expected to see above-average growth in the future, and packaging is also less. Home appliances and household goods; construction; sports and leisure toys; the report pointed out that the growth rate of wire and cable is slightly below average, but still higher than regional GDP.


TPE Thermoplastic Elastomer Fiber Reinforced Material Application - Ankle

The soft components of the new football ankle are made of TPE thermoplastic elastomer combined with fiber reinforced thermoplastic to form a hard protection component. In a project involving 14 partners, the German Industrial Plastics Processing Institute (IKV) demonstrated the use of injection molding to process thermoplastic-based fiber reinforced plastic (FRP). The project combines the advantages of a melt impregnation process (which can process fabric preforms) with the advantages of a thermoplastic matrix. The research team is developing a highly automated, highly integrated process that uses so-called in-situ polymerization. By converting the system to an injection molding process (in-situ injection molding), complex fiber preforms can be combined with a single unit for high-volume production directly on the injection molding machine. The display selected by the IKV research team is a football ankle. Traditional production processes for FRP products have a number of disadvantages. For example, two separate processes are still required so far, such as for nylon composite sheets: impregnation and molding. Moreover, only products with a simple structure can be molded, and the range of surface structure variation is also limited. The goal of the IKV process is to eliminate these shortcomings. Using an in-situ injection molding process, the fabric preform is impregnated with a low viscosity caprolactam monomer followed by in situ polymerization to form polyamide 6. In addition to optimizing the matrix formulation, the new process requirements include: custom fiber/styling devices, special injection molding machine technology, and innovative mold, sealing and process engineering techniques. IKV uses an ankle guard to demonstrate the effectiveness of the process. The product consists of a hard protective component made of fiber reinforced thermoplastic and a soft component made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Therefore, the article has high mechanical properties, good impact resistance, light weight, and good wearing comfort. In addition, this highly integrated and innovative process enables high volume production.

< 1 >