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Elastomer Solutions

What is the Difference Between TPE and POE?

2024-04-18

Polyolefin elastomers (POE) are ethylene-based copolymers within the thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) class; while thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), also known as styrenic block copolymers (SBC) or thermoplastic styrenic elastomers (TPS), are styrene/butadiene or styrene/isoprene-based copolymers.


Pros and Cons of POE and TPE


Both POE and TPE material are not susceptible to UV rays or oxidation, making them ideal candidates for applications in outdoor products. It is important to prioritize impact resistance and processability when selecting the right material.


POE molecules do not contain double bonds, which means POE products do not easily discolor or brittle when exposed to UV rays. POE is a lighter material due to the lower density and is more resistant to organic solvents. However, with a poorer temperature resistance (<80°C), POE’s impact resistance does not perform as well as TPE under low temperatures.


TPE demonstrates excellent weathering resistance. It is softer to the touch and maintains excellent impact resistance under low temperatures. As rubber, when blended with polypropylene (PP) at a relatively lower ratio, it can help maintain good stiffness while offering a high-performing impact modifier effect.


Why is it recommended to replace POE with TPE?


Polypropylene (PP) is white translucent general-use plastic, with applications found in automotive parts, kitchen utensils, liquid containers, etc. due to its fatigue resistance, heat resistance and organic solvent resistance properties. Its impact strength is less than ideal, however, modification through the addition of TPE or POE can improve the toughness of the end product. When taken into consideration during product design, the modification process can achieve thickness reduction and reduce the use of plastic, which significantly increase efficiency and the production’s economic value.


Compared with POE, TPE is more compatible with PP. To achieve the same toughness level, a smaller amount of TPE is required than POE. In addition, TPE can effectively improve PP’s transparency and melt flow. When manufacturing products via molding, adding TPE to PP can help reduce the risk of deformation after cooling and ensure product quality.


Furthermore, compared to POE, TPE has a wider range of softness or hardness values and is resistant to low temperatures. When used in foam footwear, the shock-absorbing material possesses superior flexibility and impact resistance and does not brittle easily.


Additional Purchase Recommendation for TPE


TPE possesses plastic’s processing and rubber’s mechanical properties. It does not require vulcanization, can be reprocessed, and has low temperature resistance. It is classified into SBS (oil-extended/non-oil-extended), SEBS, SEPS, SIS, etc. depending on the structures and properties. TPE is widely used in adhesives, asphalt modification, plastic modification, footwear material, etc.


With a wide range of physical properties and an ease of processing, different types of TPE can be made available depending on elongation and strength requirement. If you would like to receive detailed information and product consultation, please contact us.。