Breathable Body Protectors from Kraiburg TPE
Padding Using Flexible Thermoplastic Elastomer Compound
The French company Hexaflex, Bernay, has developed a patented padding technology based on hexagonal-pyramidal shapes molded with TPE. The thermoplastic elastomer compound from Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co. KG, Waldkraiburg, Germany, provides the flexibility, light weight and full articulation characteristics of the modular system that lends itself to many shock and vibration absorbing applications.
In a first application, the technology is used for a dorsal protection product covered with high-strength aromatic polyamide stretch fabric for bikers and motorcyclists. The lightweight material combination acts like a second skin, and the padding with its interlocking shapes in Thermoplast K is fully articulated to follow body motion while ensuring maximum shock absorption.
The shapes can be molded in various sizes, thicknesses and custom-colors. According to the manufacturer Thermoplast K delivers the long-term flexibility required for reliable articulation of the assembled padding throughout the life time of the protectors. The material has also been shown to minimize rebound when the padding is flexed, which results in superior shock absorption performance.
Further specifications have to be met included good mechanical strength and durability over a wide range of temperatures. Important for customers is the ease of recycling as well as the absence of substances of very high concern (SVHC) in the compound. In addition to these advantages, the padding is fully washable and waterproof but at the same time breathable thanks to integrated ventilation features in the design.
Hexaflex is planning to extend the technology to other sportswear in the near future, including knee and elbow pads for activities such as skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing and horseback riding. The company also sees broad application possibilities in personal protection equipment, from helmet inserts to breathable harnesses, as well as in anti-vibration floor padding and various healthcare products.
The technology is patented in Europe, China and the U.S., and has been certified to EN 1621-2 Level 1 for back/spine protectors and EN 1621-1 Level 2 for all other body armor. In underfloor applications, Hexaflex can reduce structure-borne noise by 23 dB.
KRAIBURG TPE GmbH & Co KG
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