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Rubberized TPU alloys. (Materials).

Developed to impart a rubbery, soft-touch feel and a rubber matte finish surface appearance, Versollan TPE alloys from GLS Corp. contain specialty thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) from BASF Corp. Initially offered in Shore A hardnesses of 55 and 65, with a 45 Shore A grade to follow, the Versollan alloys are reportedly among the softest TPU alloys available.

One key benefit of the alloy is described as the "rubber" characteristic that has been designed into the compounds. Some applications, particularly in consumer products, require the performance properties of a TPU, while a "rubbery" look and feel is also desired. Versollan provides a soft touch, high coefficient of friction, and flexible "rubbery" feel; it also has a dull, matte finish, rubber look. In addition, GLS reports that the alloys can be insert or two-shot overmolded directly onto a variety of substrates, such as PC, ABS, or blends of PC and ABS. Other benefits are said to include good mechanical properties such as tensile and tear strength, and good chemical and oil resistance.

Applications targeted for Versollan alloy compounds include soft-touch grips, handles, and knobs on hand and power tools, lawn and garden equipment, sports equipment, and telecommunications and business machines. Rubbery, high coefficient of friction or impact-resistant surfaces on handheld electronics, caster wheels, and conveyer systems are also candidates for the materials. GLS adds that a significant benefit of the product line is that it provides the designer with the versatility to customize the aesthetics of the compound to provide a differentiated product while maintaining the performance properties associated with a TPU.

For Versollan TPU alloys: GLS Corp., 833 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, IL 60050-7050; (800) 457-8777 or (815) 385-8500; Fax (815) 385-8533;; e-mail:

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For BASF Corp. polyurethanes: BASF Corp. Thermoplastic Polyurethanes, 1609 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte, MI 48192; (800) 892-3111 or (734) 324-5193; Fax (734) 324-6467;; e-mail:

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Author:Blanco, Alice
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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