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Case study

Desmoflex® glass-reinforced TPU for repeat-use applications

Glass-reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) balances strength and haptics for repeat-use applications like handles on tool housings or public transportation. Desmoflex® rigid TPU from our partner Teknor Apex combines impact resistance of TPU with the stiffness of an engineering thermoplastic.
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Task

Glass-reinforced TPU compounds for repeat-use applications

Products that are used repeatedly, like the handles on trains, busses and power tools, or the housings of electronics, construction and forestry equipment, are engineered for constant use. The material solution must offer a good grip with a dry feel, while at the same time withstanding wear, vibrations and exposure to grease and oil. 

Thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU meets many of these requirements. The material offering inherent resistance to impact (even at low temperatures),, chemicals, abrasion and wear.. 

Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds developed by our partner Teknor Apex, uses fiber reinforcement and other additives to increase the stiffness and strength of TPU while maintaining its benefits. These compounded material solutions bridge the gap between thermoplastic polyurethane and engineering thermoplastics. 

Challenge

Balance TPU performance with processing

The challenge was to achieve an optimal balance of satisfying the performance requirements while ensuring smooth processability.  This was achieved via formulation and compounding expertise combined with process optimization support. It is important to ensure that the fiber reinforcement is dispersed well within the TPU polymer matrix.  

Polymer compound raw materials require special treatment, and even special screw designs are often adopted. The compounds also typically demand a wide processing window that allows production flexibility and the gentle treatment of TPU. 

Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds are designed to bridge the gap between thermoplastic polyurethane and engineering thermoplastics. These rigid materials combine mechanical strength, chemical resistance and a dry, easy to grip surface, making them an optimal material solution for handles and housings.

Markus Krippner

Innovation Process Director, Teknor Apex

Solutions

Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds: high strength and toughness

Desmoflex® TPU compounds are glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic polyurethanes specifically engineered for enhanced strength, rigidity and toughness. At the same time, they retain all the advantages of TPU, from impact, chemical and abrasion resistance to performance over a wide temperature range. 

These innovative Desmoflex® TPU compounds bridge the gap between neat TPU and engineering thermoplastics. These grades were developed using our Desmopan® ester TPUs.

Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds can be ether or ester based and contain 20-30% glass fiber reinforcement available from 55 to 75 Shore D in black, natural, or custom colors. These materials are suitable for both injection molding and extrusion applications, demonstrating their processing versatility in a variety of industries.  

In addition, Desmoflex® rigid TPUs yield a high-quality surface that offers abrasion resistance and enhanced easy haptics for a good grip, with the added benefit of vibration dampening. 

Desmoflex® can be customized upon request, including the use of including ether or aliphatic base resins with varying levels of fiber content to meet specific needs.

Glass reinforced Desmoflex® TPU compounds are an excellent choice for handle and housing applications that must stand up to repeated use and constant handling. From electronics casings to the handles on power tools or public transportation, Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds can replace engineering resins, with added benefits such as vibration dampening and dry haptics for a good, comfortable grip. 

Glass-reinforced TPUs are a great choice for repeat-use applications from handles to power tools and housings. The Desmoflex® compounds developed by our partner Teknor Apex provide chemical, abrasion and wear resistance with a high-grip surface, while processing with ease.

Jürgen Hättig

TPU Product Stewardship & Sustainability, Covestro

Key Benefits

  • High strength and stiffness: Glass fiber reinforcement enables a hardness range from 55 to 75 Shore D.
  • Durable: Rigid compounds offer strong chemical, abrasion and wear resistance.
  • Good haptics: Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds offer a dry feel for an easy grip.
  • Impact resistant: TPU is inherently impact resistant, even at low temperatures.
  • Vibration dampening: Desmoflex® TPU compounds help control vibration in hand-held tools.

Rigid TPU compounds for repeat-use items

Desmoflex® rigid TPU compounds made by our partner Teknor Apex enable applications that endure repeated use

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