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Polymer System Allows Soft Overmolding onto Acetal

Originally Published MPMN November 2001

INDUSTRY NEWS

Polymer System Allows Soft Overmolding onto Acetal

This pressure-balancing valve is made of a polymer system from Ticona and Kraiburg Corp. that combines an acetal copolymer and a thermoplastic elastomer.

A specially crafted combination of acetal copolymer and thermoplastic elastomer allows the overmolding of soft surfaces onto acetal. Developed jointly by Ticona (Summit, NJ; www.ticona.com) and Kraiburg Corp. (Duluth, GA; www.kraiburg-tpe.com), the polymer system overcomes the inherent lubricity of acetal, allowing it to bond to seals, gaskets, and nonslip and energy-absorbing elements. The system combines Ticona's Celcon or Hostaform acetals with a tailored grade of Kraiburg's Themolast-K, an adhesion-modified styrene block copolymer. The bond between the materials, which is formed during a two-component molding process, exceeds the tear strength of the elastomer.

Applications for this technology include soft-grip surfaces for knobs, levers, handles, and rollers; strong and flexible film hinges and joints; and multifunctional components that simultaneously seal, absorb shock, and dampen sound. "This new system allows manufacturers to consolidate parts, which reduces handling and assembly costs," says Ticona marketing specialist John Caamano. "We estimate savings as high as 30% versus conventional assembly methods, especially for large or high-volume components." Increased design flexibility from the ability to mold in place hard-to-assemble components is also cited as a benefit.

Zachary Turke

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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