TPE-S is a block copolymer based on styrene and butadiene.

Why choose it?

  • Inexpensive but efficient material with good surface appearance. I usually start my search from TPE-S.
  • It’s easy to find reference cases that show how the material has performed under similar conditions. Not being able to find good references is a good indication of the material’s suitability for the intended use.
  • Wide hardness range including very soft grades.
  • Good adhesion with most other thermoplastics in 2K applications.
  • Transparent grades are available.
  • Good UV-resistance when stabilized.

Why not choose it?

  • Limited chemical resistance. TPE-V is often chosen over TPE-S in applications that are in contact with oil. Some of the new cross-linked products are said to have improved chemical resistance.
  • Compared to other TPEs, thermal resistance is poor.

Typical applications:

  • Soft handles (2K) in electric tools and devices, pliers, screwdrivers and garden tools.
  • Shoe soles (despite fairly poor abrasion resistance)

The cheaper SBS is also a TPE-S grade plastic. The difference is explained here.

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