June 21

Hear from Custom Rubber and Urethane Experts

What are Thermoplastic Elastomers?

If you are in the market for new materials to use in your products, you may have come across the term thermoplastic elastomers. 

But what are they? 

And what are the advantages of using them to manufacture your parts? 

Understanding thermoplastic elastomers

Thermoplastic elastomers are a type of copolymer created by combining the performance of elastomers with the benefits of plastics. They consist of soft elastomeric molecular regions and hard plastic, giving you the best of both worlds. 

These copolymers will melt at high temperatures and become rubbery after reaching a specific glass transition temperature. Simply put, they’re rubbers that act like plastic.

Thermoplastic elastomers are often used in products that need to be both strong and flexible, such as medical implants and hoses. They're found in various industries, from appliance, to automotive, and even aerospace. Other common uses include vibrational dampers, grommets, bumpers, bellows, and couplers.


Thermoplastic elastomers can be manufactured very quickly, and when compared to traditional thermosetting materials, clean scrap can be used without loss of physical properties.

They're also completely customizable, allowing you to choose your own color, durometer range, and other physical properties. However, the physical properties available will depend on the elastomeric and plastic properties within the copolymer.

It's important to know what these properties are, as they will have a significant impact on the performance of the thermoplastic under various temperatures. 

Higher temperatures will cause higher compression set values or the copolymer to become soft, and lower temperatures can cause it to become brittle. Extreme temperatures on any end of the spectrum can increase your likelihood of leaks.

If you're looking for a material that can give you the best of both worlds, thermoplastic elastomers may be the right choice for you.

Just be sure to partner with a reputable manufacturer to get the most out of your investment.

Working with a reliable thermoplastic elastomer manufacturer, like Mark Tool & Rubber Co, Inc. will help you decrease your risk of part failure and get the most out of your copolymer. 

We can also advise you on what properties are best suited for your application, as well as any other considerations that need to be taken into account. Contact us today to request a quote!

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