According to the PBS trade and industry leaflet, the stationery market has developed displaying 6.8% growth and is a real winner with overall sales of 740 million euro. Painting and drawing supplies have also grown by 3.4 percent to 30 million euro. Working in an office – at home or at work – we know what is required for good writing implements. And this is exactly where a good grip texture and high-quality appearance often play a decisive role.
While product design almost exclusively focused on visual effects until the 1980s, an increasing number of industries nowadays attach greater importance to aspects related to handling, ergonomics and haptics. In fact, when it comes to haptics, nothing is left to chance in the stationery segment where the goal is to combine visual and haptic aesthetics. Apart from the visual charm attributed by a correspondingly high-quality design, the haptic experience also plays a role and can be achieved by using soft-touch plastics in the end product. Thermoplastic elastomers – such as the SOFT EST.® materials offered by ACTEGA DS – play an outstanding role in this regard. With their complex functions, special TPE compounds offer good adhesive properties on plastics and can be easily processed in an economic two-component injection-molding process. Many products are manufactured using the 2C process in the area of pens in particular.
Accordingly, pen cases are often manufactured from ABS and feature a pleasantly soft component made of rubber-like TPE in the grip area. The TPE can also be easily and swiftly dyed any color to add to the cheerful variety of pens available. SOFT EST.® TPE guarantee a good grip and the soft-touch quality conveys a good feeling and a high-quality product character to consumers. As all of our TPE granulates are food-safe, this underlines the quality and suitability of our plastic compounds for items which people continually come into contact with. With their good recovery properties, high elasticity and not least their pleasant haptics, these TPE are predestined for a wide variety of applications in the office supplies market.
Our SOFT EST.® 3170 NC product, for example, is used in text highlighters, punchers, staplers and lever-arch files. Thanks to the special alignment of SOFT EST.® to the requirements of this market, manufacturers of pens or other office items, for example, can successfully qualify the material and its respective application within the target market and within a very short project time.
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