Thermoforming Santoprene™ TPVs

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Santoprene TPV is a thermoplastic elastomer that processes well using thermoforming.

Two key factors in thermoforming are the sheet quality and the melt strength of the material during forming. Santoprene TPV in sheet form can be produced with uniform gauge both across and down the sheet. It extrudes at high output rates using proper screws and dies. Although Santoprene TPV is an olefinic-based system, its thermoforming characteristics are quite similar to ABS. It has very good melt strength, which provides uniform and predictable sag characteristics during heating.

Parts thermoformed from Santoprene TPV can take advantage of the unique balance of material properties. Attributes of Santoprene TPV sheets that can be incorporated into a thermoformed part include:

  • Colorability
  • Impact resistance
  • Weatherability
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Non-skid
  • Matte surface in appearance and feel
  • Flexibility

Thermoforming processing tips

  1. Santoprene TPV sheet should be processed at melt temperatures of 160°C to 190°C (320°F to 375°F), depending on the grade of material selected.
  2. Draw ratios of up to 3:1 have been successfully molded with the harder grades of Santoprene TPV (73 Shore A and higher).
  3. Sheet should be dried at 65°C to 70°C (150°F to 160°F) prior to thermoforming.
  4. The quality of the sheet (sheet appearance, surface, etc.) determines the quality of the finished part.