Thermoplastic Elastomers

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Types of Thermoplastic Elastomers

  • TPE materials are categorized into thermoplastic olefin (TPO), thermoplastic natural rubber (TPNR), thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), styrene block copolymer (SBC), polyether block amide (PEBA), and copolyester (COPE) - [1]. This is a study of recycling rubber powder with plastics to make rubbery plastics.
    • Thermoplastic natural rubber (TPNR) - Rubber blends with plastic - [2]. Thermoplastic is better as it is recyclable. Thermoplastic natural rubber is a blend of natural rubber and thermoplastic. All kinds of mixes of rubbers with thermoplastics are possible - providing the advatages of both materials in one. Toughness and flex of rubbers, with thermoplasticity (recyclability) of thermoplastics.
    • Check.pngThermoplastic vulcanizate - mix of EPDM in popypropylene - [3]. Name is suggestive of great potential: here you are taking cured rubber (vulcanized, which means heated (after God of Fire) with sulfur) and blend it with elastomers, getting properties of vulcanized rubbers where materials can be processed like elastomers. Check.png This implies taking rubber - recycling and powdering - and making thermoplastic elastomers from an abundant waste stream, such as plastic bottles and rubber tires.
    • Thermoplastic olefins - thermoplastic, filler, thermoset rubber blends.
    • Copolyester - once again, blend of rubber and polyster. Hytrel is an example - gasket or seal material. [4]
    • Styrene block copolymer - ex. Kraton - [5]
    • PEBA - [6]. Good for catheters.


  • Natural thermoplastic - gutta-percha - [7]
  • Latex - in rubber tree or dandelion root; many plants have latex, only some have rubber latex. Guayule, dandelion have been used commercially - [8]. See more plants - [9]

Notes on Tires

  • Air free tires - Bridgestone - [10]
  • Recycled rubber can be mixed with thermoplastics or TPEs to extend the thermoplastic by giving it more rubber properties.
  • Flat-free bike tires from TPE - [11] & [12]
  • TPU tire - [13]
  • TPE made from HDPE and ground tires with compatibilizer - [14]


  • TPO - $300 for 500 sf - [15]. Comparable price to thinner EPDM at Menards - [16]