The Relationship Between Motion and Sealing for Thermoplastic Elastomers

Motion example: Parts moving into the thermoplastic elastomer sealing interface

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are ideal materials when interfacing with laboratory instruments or devices for fluid introduction, such as syringes, pipettes, lures, and needles. As the thermoplastic elastomer engages, it conforms around the inlet. Some applications may incorporate multiple inlet ports for larger throughput. Accurately positioning multiple inlet ports on a sealing interface and its bonding component for robust mass production require delicate manufacturing expertise. A streamlined collaboration between tool design, tool making and injection molding processes is key for rapid development.

thermoplastic elastomer motion and bonding

Motion example: Component affecting the thermoplastic elastomer sealing interface by screwing or clutching motions

Thermoplastic elastomers can be used to create a tight seal in applications where twisting or gripping motions are commonplace (e.g., reagent containers). This pulling and tugging motion can result in tearing or peeling in the TPE interface. In these situations, it is crucial to incorporate measures to keep the TPE sealing interface intact despite the wear and tear placed on it. That’s why mechanical features specially designed to prevent misalignment from motion should be considered in the TPE seal’s development. Such features can be incorporated into the thermoplastic elastomer interface itself, or they can be added as gripping and blocking features of the bonding component.

TPE Cap

When interfacing against a sheer surface as part of screw-type helical ridges, adding mechanical reinforcement features to the bonding component can augment the chemical bonding to prevent the TPE sealing interface from peeling.

For over 20 years, Enplas Life Tech has worked with industry leading clients to solve challenging TPE manufacturing problems, resulting in robust prototypes and industrial-scale manufacturing of the final product. With dedication to meticulous design review and engineering, tool building, injection molding, and assembly, Enplas Life Tech will help you speed up product development and accurately manufacture your thermoplastic fluid-sealing interface.