Thermoplastic elastomers, abbreviated as TPE or TPR, are acronyms for Thermoplastic rubber. It is rubber-elastic at normal temperature and has a plastic body that can be plasticized at high temperatures. The structural feature of the thermoplastic elastomer is that the chemical bond constitutes different resin segments and rubber segments, and the resin segment forms a physical cross-linking point by the inter-chain force, and the rubber segment is a high-elastic segment, contributing elasticity. The physical cross-linking of the plastic segments exhibits a reversible change with temperature, indicating the plastic processing characteristics of the thermoplastic elastomer. Therefore, thermoplastic elastomers have the physical and mechanical properties of vulcanized rubber and the processability of thermoplastics. They are a new type of polymer material between rubber and resin, which is often called third generation rubber.
Since the first preparation of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) by Bayer in 1958, TPE has developed rapidly. Especially after the advent of styrenic thermoplastic elastomers in 1963, the theory of preparation of thermoplastic elastomers has been gradually improved, and the application fields have been further expanded. .