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TPE Materials for White Goods - Meeting the Unique Demands of Appliance

14 Dec 2017 - TPE Materials,White Goods

Manufacturers of major appliances and their components know the value of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs): They provide rubber-like elasticity without the design and processing limitations of rubber, and offer performance advantages over flexible PVC. But until recently, their choice of TPE materials was limited to general-purpose thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), originally formulated for automotive seals and gaskets.

General-purpose TPVs work – but appliances have special demands: custom color and palette matching requirements, resistance to household chemicals and, in some cases, FDA-compliant ingredients for food safety.

Designers of white goods with elastomeric components – like seals, gaskets, hoses, O-rings, motor mounts, drain tubes, shock absorbers, and feet – no longer have to rely on a few general-purpose TPV compounds. Continuous innovation in material development has led to new specialty TPEs that are formulated for the particular rigors of specific appliances, including:

Improved copper-resistant TPV for dishwashers

High heat-resistant TPV (135°C versus 120°C) for dryer components

Colorable TPEs (also available pre-colored)

 Food contact TPEs for kitchen appliances

Explore how these innovative performance capabilities open new opportunities to design components for white goods – and deliver competitive advantages to these workhorse appliances.Categorical Advantages of TPVs.Thermoset rubber materials like EPDM are traditionally used in appliance components requiring resistance to deformation, heat, and chemicals; flexible PVC is used in less-stringent applications where aesthetics and cost are the primary considerations. Thermoplastic Elastomers, like styrenic-based TPEs and TPVs, offer more design flexibility and a better balance of price and performance than both EPDM and PVC.


In selecting a TPE compound for appliance components, designers encounter a range of considerations that vary with each application including basic performance requirements, end-use conditions and regulatory concerns.

New specialty grades of TPVs solve challenges posed by high heat or corrosive chemicals, while new styrenic provide alternatives to TPVs in applications requiring special appearance characteristics or FDA compliance. The portfolio of specialty TPE & TPV offerings is continually expanding to meet design applications and requirements for specific appliances.


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  • GainShine Thermoplastic Elastomers

  • Building 3, Tangqian Industry, Zhangge, Guanlan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

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  • gainshine@gstpe.com

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