Non-cross-linked TPE for cold and hot water

Kraiburg TPE has launched a new series of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for tubes and hoses used in sanitary and drinking water applications. These innovative products already meet the stricter evaluation criteria for plastics and other organic materials in contact with drinking water established by the German Environment Agency (KTW-BWGL standard), which will become binding for TPEs from March 2025. The compounds are characterized by easy processability and provide tubes and hoses with extremely smooth surfaces, considerably improved mechanical properties and excellent kink resistance. The new compounds have been presented at Fakuma 2023.

Since March 2022 and with a transition period of three years, the updated evaluation criteria for plastics and other organic materials in contact with drinking water set up by the German Environment Agency (KTW-BWGL standard) have also applied to TPEs. The contact layer in tubes and hoses used for drinking water supply in household appliances such as dishwashers will accordingly have to meet these requirements from March 2025, too.

The new Thermolast DW generation replaces the products in the previous DW/H series and is currently available in six hardness grades, ranging from 70 Shore A to 40 Shore D. Easily processable on conventional extrusion lines for polyolefins, the compounds are suitable for efficient manufacturing of cold water and warm water tubes and hoses, providing up to 50% better mechanical properties and good adhesion to PP. At the same time, the TPE compounds also provide the necessary resistance to the growth of microorganisms in accordance with EN 16421 (formerly DVGW W270) due to their extremely smooth surfaces and have no impact on the odor, taste or clarity of water flowing through the tubes and hoses.

The Thermolast DW/H2 compounds expand the potential applications for TPEs in this market segment and are particularly suitable for shower tubes, pressure hoses and food hoses as well as for supply tubing in dishwashers and washing machines. They have been developed in close cooperation with customers.

“With our new Thermolast DW/H2 series, we are supporting customers who supply the market for sanitary and drinking water tubes and hoses in their effort to meet the stricter KTW-BWGL standard. At the same time, we have set a considerably higher standard for the performance of compliant TPE compounds,” said Hartmut Arheidt, Market Manager Industry at Kraiburg TPE. “The innovative materials technology leads to tubes and hoses that have considerably improved tensile strength, tear resistance and elongation at break as well as excellent kink resistance.”

Test reports on compliance with the regulations of the new KTW-BWGL are also available to us,” added Hartmut Arheidt. “They confirm that the materials are generally suitable. We can gladly provide materials for sampling inspections to customers and prospective customers and partners at any time.”