Colored Thermoplastic Elastomer Compounds
Environmentally Compatible Colored Pencils with Secure Grip
Novel environmentally compatible colored pencils have a soft component made of a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound. The basic material of the pencils, which are marketed by Staedler Mars GmbH & Co. KG in Nuremberg, Germany, under the brand name ‘Wopex’, is a natural fiber composite material consisting of 70 % wood and 30 % with different amounts of plastics and additives. Because the compound supplied by Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co. KG in Waldkraiburg, Germany, from their ‘Thermolast K’ range had already exhibited excellent bonding of the wood/polymer material in earlier Wopex pencils, the TPE is now also applied for colored pencils using the co-extrusion process. As opposed to conventional pencil production, this efficient process leads to lower energy costs and less production waste, as the wood is completely recycled.
To ensure that the individual pencil colors are identified easily, it is essential that the decorative TPE coating has the same color as the lead. Precisely this requirement is met by the highly transparent Thermolast K compounds, which, apart from excellent bonding, also come in 24 different colors. Moreover, the materials are featured by pleasant haptics and the unmistakable grippiness of the colored pencils, which makes them lie securely and ergonomically in the hand.
Translated from Kunststoffe 7/2015, p. 12.
KRAIBURG TPE GmbH & Co KG
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