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Characteristics and Significance Thermoplastic Polyolefins (TPO)

Published Date : June 01, 2018

Preamble:

Thermoplastics could mold themselves in various ways and they can retain their original states again with the influence of temperature. Thermoplastic polyolefin falls under the category of thermoplastic elastomers family, which implies that thermoplastic polyolefins are multiphase compositions wherein the first phase entails one material whilst the other one comprises of an elastomeric material.

 

Characteristics of the two phases available in TPO:

The material in the first phase is sturdy and hard at room temperature but subsequently melts and attains liquid state with the application of appropriate heat. On the other hand, the elastomeric material of the second phase is soft and rubbery at room temperature. There are both halogenated and non-halogenated thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) based materials.

 

Application sectors of thermoplastic polyolefins:

There are various sectors implicating the usage of thermoplastic polyolefins for their significant properties. The various applications range from flame retardant polyethylene based materials employed for wire and cable manufacturing to the paintable applications in the automotive industries that employs polypropylene. The different sectors employing thermoplastic polyolefins include medical sector, home appliances sector, automotive sector, building and construction sector, footwear, and industrial sector.  The manufacture of automotive components like trims, door panels, instrument panels, bumpers, and dashboard skins involves the ponderous usage of thermoplastic polyolefins. TPO has enhanced the durability quotient of these automotive components and offer light weightiness.

 

Enhancement quotient of thermoplastic polyolefins:

Battery industries, interior and exterior industries employ flame retardant polypropylenes as well. Enhanced thermoplastic polyolefins require the fulfillment of certain requirements that essentially encompass the demand for various fillers and additives to meet necessary specifications in terms of design and material dimensions.

 

Significance of high melt flow thermoplastic polyolefins:

Thin wall and intricate injection molding applications require the usage of high melt flow compounds. Hence, research sectors have started developing high melt flow compounds implicating thermoplastic polyolefins with appropriate intensive efforts. Besides, the development of such high melt flow thermoplastic polyolefins ensures proper maintenance of low weight, required physical properties, stiffness, low CLTE, and impact balance whilst retaining the appropriate high melt flow rate.

 

Potential threats for thermoplastic polyolefins:

Industries in the recent years have enormously started practicing the notion of replacement and thermoplastic polyolefins are no exception either. Industries have employed substitutes like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic polyurethane, and thermoplastic vulcanizate. Substitution was opted as thermoplastic polyolefins imposed certain disadvantages. These demerits included the unpredictability in the prices of the raw materials used for the manufacture of thermoplastic polyolefins and the threat imposed by potential substitutes that had proven to be meritorious in terms of production and significance.