Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TPE/POM adhesion critical in German award-winning eyewear

In a new example, Kraiburg (Waldkraiburg, Germany) says that its TPE is now being used in the earpieces of uvex pheos safety glasses.

"We have been working together with KraiburgTPE successfully for ten years," says Harald Frank, product

group manager at uvex. "In the past, we used TPE in our safety spectacles primarily for seals and end elements. Now, for the first time, we have added a soft component to the earpiece. The result is quite attractive and recently even received the iF product design award 2012."

Established in 1953 in Germany, the iF award recognizes innovative product design. The new safety eyewear was also named "2012 Product of the Year" for plastics consumer products by the German Association of the Plastics Manufacturing Industry.

Judges noted that the glasses fit the face well and have flexible side arms with variable inclination that can be individually adjusted. An integrated "Softflex" zone means that the side arms adapt to different head widths. The soft TPE ear pieces and the Softflex zone at the temples help improve fit.

The ear piece is manufactured with two- component injection molding. One of the keys was working out optimal processing conditions that would allow good adhesion to polyoxymethylene (POM).

Frank said that the goal of the development engineers was to introduce lightweight safety spectacles with a sporty design that offered optimum protection and high wearing comfort. He said that the two-colored earpiece boosted stylishness of the glasses. 

One of the reasons that TPEs and other polyolefins are advancing in health-related fields is their environmental profile.  They are free of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates and allergens and are RoHS and REACH compliant.

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