WASHINGTON, Pa.—A family of sustainable thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), recently introduced by the elastomer materials supplier Audia Elastomers, is reported to be one of the industry’s first TPE portfolios to meet the sustainability needs of brand owners and consumers. The AudiaFlex™ family of sustainable TPEs consists of customizable grades that are produced from post-consumer, post-industrial, bio-based, and marine-based sources, Audia Elastomers said in a release.
“The AudiaFlex™ product line is a reflection of Audia’s commitment to sustainability,” said Frank Axelrod, vice president of sales and marketing for Audia, in the release. “We’re directly responding to the market forces that are demanding new sustainable material options.” Specifically, Axelrod pointed to legislation on single-use plastics, growing consumer demand for sustainable products, and the commitment from brand owners to achieve sustainability goals over the next five years.
AudiaFlex materials are said to mirror the properties of most virgin TPEs and offer comparable capabilities with respect to haptics, color, adhesion, and durometer. They are commercially available and can compete in high-performance applications with conventional TPEs, TPVs, and TPU chemistries in personal care, consumer household, consumer electronics, automotive, and toys.
The AudiaFlex family includes the OP line of TPEs that are based on marine waste plastics. The OP line features products with up to 45 percent marine waste and 70 percent total recycled material content in a wide hardness range, from 20 Shore A to 95 Shore A. Audia is focused on recapturing beach cleanup materials, commercial fishing gear, and ocean-bound plastics as the source for its OP line, the company said.
The AudiaFlex PC line, based on post-consumer recyclate, has 5 percent to 50 percent PCR content in hardness from 20 Shore A to 95 Shore A. These materials have defined supply sources with consistent color (yogurt cups) and are FDA compliant.
AudiaFlex™ PI materials are based on post-industrial sources, including custom circular solutions available using customer-sourced materials. They incorporate 5 percent to 70 percent post-industrial recyclate (PIR) content and come in hardness from 20 Shore A to 95 Shore A. Rounding out the series is AudiaFlex™ Bio, consisting of 5 percent to 90 percent bio-based content per ASTM D6866. Specific formulations are available for oxo-degradable and compostable applications in hardness from 20 Shore A to 95 Shore A, the company said.