TPE profiles for custom gaskets are made of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), blends of plastic and rubber materials. Because these extrusions have both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties, they provide the “best of both worlds” for sealing and insulation. They are available as solid profiles or sponge profiles, come in D-shapes and other cross-sections, and are produced in single, double, and triple extrusions.
Elasto Proxy fabricates gaskets from TPE profiles that we source from our supplier network and store in our North American and European warehouses. We can send you cut lengths that you bond yourself, or we can provide finished gaskets that arrive ready to install. Because Elasto Proxy is also a distributor, we can also offer you TPE coils or lengths of coil that meet our minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements.
Keep reading to learn more or request a quote.
What are the advantages of TPE profiles? Why are they the best of both worlds?
Thermoplastics support color matching and can be recycled without negatively affecting the material’s physical properties. They tend to degrade in sunlight, however, and can melt at elevated temperatures. Most elastomers are black in color, and these rubbery materials are difficult to recycle. Yet, many elastomers resist outdoor environments and can provide either cushioning or impact resistance.
Like thermoplastics, TPE profiles are available in custom colors. In fact, they come in just about any color you can imagine – including metallic and translucent colors. Designers can use color matching to support product branding, or they choose from standard colors such as black, white, or light gray. TPE profiles are also available in multiple colors if you need them.
For example, a TPE profile with multiple colors can use one of the colors as a visual cue to show installers where to drill holes during assembly. To avoid confusion during stocking and picking, buyers who need TPE extrusions in different sizes can order smaller profiles in one color and larger profiles in another color. Importantly, TPE profiles have significantly tighter tolerances (2X) than rubber extrusions can offer.
What are the disadvantages of TPE profiles? Why wouldn’t you choose them?
Compared to commodity elastomers or thermoplastics, TPE profiles are more expensive. Their minimum order quantities (MOQs) are also higher, which means that manufacturers might need to tie up cash and storage space for items they won’t use right away. However, by issuing Elasto Proxy a blanket purchase and scheduling releases, you can conserve cash and space while still leveraging our purchasing power.
What are the MOQ and lead times like? What about available sizes?
In some cases, Elasto Proxy can offer MOQs as low as 25 m (80 to 85 feet). To promote shorter leads times, we order from extruders who maintain their own tools and have in-house tooling capabilities. Rush tools can be available in as little as 24 hours, and some of our partners keep thousands of tools on hand. Available sizes range from a minimum thickness of 5 mm to an overall maximum of 150 mm x 600 mm.
What are some industrial and commercial applications?
TPE profiles can be used as safety bumpers and, depending on the specific compound, glow in the dark with LED lighting or shine under UV light. To promote workplace safety, photoluminescent and fluorescent materials can visually alert personnel to potential dangers, especially under low-light conditions. In addition to minimizing the risk of injury, light-up TPE bumpers can help to protect facilities.
Light-up TPE bumpers can promote greater marine safety as dock fenders. TPE safety guards can be installed during aircraft maintenance or while servicing industrial machinery. These non-rubber bumpers can protect personnel from occupational hazards, but they require removal when the work is complete. By shining a UV light on the work area, however, personnel can easily find them.
How are TPE profiles made, and how do you order them?
Elasto Proxy uses water jet cutting to convert TPE extrusions into custom gaskets. We also offer various bonding techniques to join cut lengths into finished gaskets. For a ready-to-install solution, we can apply adhesive tape to your TPE gaskets. Elasto Proxy can also kit your TPE products with other items and package them in order of assembly.
Ordering TPE profiles starts with letting us know what you need. Contact us to get started.