TPU allowing prospects of eco-friendly and light weight options
In the category of TPU resins, GRECO has released products that could replace rubber used in outsoles for footwear manufacturing. “The purpose for TPU replacing traditional raw materials is to on one hand expand eco-solutions, and the other reduce processing time while improve the actual performances of the end-production” Greco explained. Other replacement includes the introduction of ISOTHANE Calendar series. ISOTHANE Calendar replaces PVC in making synthetic leathers. The primary advantage is that the finish would increase the abrasive resistant level as well as flame resistant capacity.
ISOTHANE 7000 Series Aliphatic Grade is another refined series that has non-yellowing features, low temperature flexibility and excellent resilience property.
These new features will lead the way of numerous practical use for TPUs, such as the protection films of automobiles.
GRECO emphasized their future development roadmap for TPU would be in polishing the R&D in expanded-TPU. The goal is to make expanded-TPU into pellets and let them expand through microcellular process, which would be applicable for injection machines to produce environmentally friendly foam TPU. Foam TPU has the resilience over 60% while it maintains flexibility in low temperature. “This product will be extremely beneficial for light-weight solutions, and applications in the energy industry” GRECO indicated.
More pioneering projects are being tested between GRECO and their customers. In 2017 GRECO explored new markets for TPUs, one including using corn-extracted bio-based in making TPU bibs with Sweden customers for the Chinese market. The other practice is to use long fiber reinforced thermoplastic on the wind turbines, which would then protect the turbines from wind resistance, and prolong the life-cycle. The advantages are that the long fiber reinforced TPU has great tensile strength to withstand the wind resistance while being much lighter than metal, and the design could be highly accurate in fitting the turbines.
The final development for TPU will be in promoting engineering grade application: ISOTHANE 8000 are TPU engineering grades that appear to be property-suitable for extruder and injection molding applications. “We are expecting the increase adoption in electronics, automobile, hand tools, home appliance, medical gadgets, optical products, and so on” GRECO remarked.
It has been another fruitful and innovative year for the company, giving the scale and ranges of products they presented. One could be sure that if GRECO becomes short in coming up with new products, it only seems to be in the limit of imagination. GRECO commented that “The harsh competition in the global market pushed us to aim for new applications, and original ideas for TPU, adhesives and specialty chemicals”. But not everyone unleashes their creativity and reaches excellence so well under pressure, we can only expect GRECO’s ever-more ambitious and creative approaches in the field of footwear, and TPU development.