DOMO and Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG) present the first PA/TPE combination for power tools and home appliances with improved sustainability and unlimited color choices
The result of a collaborative project between DOMO Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG), Performance Polymers Division, this new combined material offers for the first time, excellent adhesion and haptics, as well as increased sustainability through the use of recycled material feedstocks.
TECHNYL® 4EARTH® C1E 249 SIL1 V30 RD 3202 is a 30% recycled polyamide in the color red RAL 3202, developed specifically for MCG, which requested a polyamide with recycled content to add value to their new circular Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE-S) compound for two component (2K) applications.
“This is the first time such a sustainable combination is available with a limitless range of colors for the polyamide and the TPE part, allowing customers to match their desired color for optimal brand recognition,” says Florence Schutz, Manager Application Center C&E Market, DOMO.
“We were looking for a recycled polyamide grade able to meet the requirements of the most common power tool colors,” says Fabien RESWEBER, Sales and Marketing manager, Mitsubishi Chemical Group / Performance Polymers EMEA. “Customized color is an important part of product design features because it enhances brand recognition with the end consumer. With DOMO we have found the right partner. With their broad portfolio of sustainable polyamides, we have been able to find the right solution that will synergize the value of our new circular TPE compound for 2K applications with polyamides.”
Typical applications for this TPE/PA 2K molding solution include power tool or home appliance handles or bases. Other application fields include medical devices, small appliances, electrical and electronics, eyeglass frames and sports equipment. The use of a TPE over-molded onto engineering plastic enhances the performance in the end use application and improves brand recognition of these consumer products.
The combination of PA over-molded with TPE brings several advantages: a low-density solution with high chemical resistance and very good mechanical properties provided by the polyamide, combined with the soft touch, a good grip and sound dampening of TPE. Both solutions provide superior surface quality typically required in consumer goods applications. Depending on the design, the TPE can also ensure sealing against moisture, dust and air.
MCG’s TEFABLOC™ TG0174465A is a TPE-S compound made of 30% recycled content and capable of bonding to several engineering plastics, including PA6, PA66 and PA6.10. This material can be directly over-molded on PA6 and PA66 without the need for additional adhesive, making it a perfect match with DOMO’s TECHNYL® 4EARTH®.
The technical process: 2K molding
A wide variety of thermoplastic materials are used to make molded products. The choice of the thermoplastic depends on the functional performance needed in the end-use application. If the requirements are not met by one specific material, two or more thermoplastics can be combined to close the gap. Two component (2K) injection molding has slowly gained relevance and substituted older methods like mechanical fastening, solvent bonding, welding, adhesive bonding, or press/snap fit assembly, thanks to its higher productivity and versatility. Two-component injection molding, also referred to as two-shot molding or over-molding, consists of a machine with two independent injection units.
The adhesion strength between TEFABLOC™ TG0174465A and TECHNYL® 4EARTH®, a recycled and reinforced PA6 with 30% glass fiber in bright red color, has been optimized to meet the market demands and is comparable to virgin-based solutions.
“This joint development underlines our companies’ common objective to offer the industrial and consumer goods market with more sustainable solutions, answering new regulatory requirements and increased demand for more sustainable solutions,” says DOMO’s Florence Schutz. “This solution meets the increasing demand for TPE/PA adhesion parts that provide both branding and functional properties in two-component applications and help our customers in meeting their sustainability challenges.”
DOMO’s TECHNYL® 4EARTH® portfolio consists of an extensive line of recycled polyamide solutions, with PA6 and PA66 based materials with varying percentages of recycled content and fillers, based on different recycling technologies and feedstock to meet specific customer needs.