The world is full of curiosities, e.g. full of world and memorial days, some of which could not possibly be any more absurd.
World days – and what they have to do with TPE
Has anyone ever heard of Smoke Detector Day (every Friday 13th), World Nothing Day (January 16th), International Hairdressers’ Day (April 30th – some unusual things were on show this year), Toilet Paper Day (August 26th – surely to be celebrated even earlier in the future), or Buy Nothing Day (last Saturday of October)? The month of June is also full of international, national, and memorial days. But we do not wish to discuss the unusual days here (Hoppla Day on June 8th, Let Go Day on June 23rd) but rather those which actually make sense, such as World Bicycle Day which was back on June 3rd, and Child Safety Day, which took place on June 10th.
The latter has been organized and coordinated by the federal working party “Mehr Sicherheit für Kinder e.V.” (more safety for children) since 2000. The focus is on the safety of children of all ages and the prevention of accidents. Without events this June (likely to be held at later dates in the second half of the year), Child Safety Day has a new motto every year: from safety at home, outside, with animals through to the safety of products. We wish to devote ourselves to this topic and take a closer look here at the legislation, regulations, and standards for children’s and babies’ toys.
And it is much more pleasant for individuals than having to permanently wear face coverings in enclosed spaces. This means, however, that cycle paths are particularly busy and the risk of accidents increases. Some accidents can possibly be prevented by a firm and safe hold. Bike grips are of major importance when cycling: holding, steering, braking – these are the most important tasks for which bike grips are responsible. And they should also be as ergonomic as possible. This task can only be complied with by grips which fit perfectly to the hand. This brings us to the material. SOFT EST.® TPEs ensure bike grips have a particularly ergonomic design. This makes cycling very pleasant but also safe. Their improved mechanics, higher elasticity, and tensile strength also offer further advantages over other resilient plastics. Furthermore, these translucent TPE are easier to dye than grips in natural colors. Even slightly translucent areas are possible compared to natural ones which only permit muted colors. Another aspect concerns lightweight design. This involves the urgent task of saving weight while maintaining or even improving performance, whereby one determining factor concerns the selection of suitable materials and optimal coordination thereof.
How to save weight while increasing performance is demonstrated by the translucent SOFT EST.® TPE which display a very low density of 0.89 g/cm³ and are therefore significantly lighter than other flexible materials such as soft PVC (approx. 1.2 g/cm³ - 1.35 g/cm³) or TPU (approx. 1.2 g/cm³). The effects can be illustrated using the example of bike grips which are often made from resilient plastic. Thanks to the low density of the TPE material, a standard lock-on bike grip which is typically available on the market, is 31 grams lighter than when soft PVC or TPU are used. Sample calculation: with 75.9 million bicycles (number of bicycles in Germany in 2019), this would mean overall savings of around 2,353 kilotons of material if all bike grips were to be manufactured from this TPE material.
If you have plans for a product in the areas outlined here, please feel free to contact us. We will find the right material solution for you and your project.