Present and Future of Thermoplastic Elastomers As Environmentally Friendly Organic Materials

친환경 유기 소재로서 열가소성 탄성체의 오늘과 내일

  • Choi, Eun-Ji (The WCU Center for Synthetic Polymer Bioconjugate Hybrid Materials, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Yoon, Ji-Hwan (The WCU Center for Synthetic Polymer Bioconjugate Hybrid Materials, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Jo, Jung-Kyu (The WCU Center for Synthetic Polymer Bioconjugate Hybrid Materials, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Shim, Sang-Eun (Department of Chemical Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • Yun, Ju-Ho (Enviromental Materials & Components R&D Center, Korea Automotive Technology Institute) ;
  • Kim, Il (The WCU Center for Synthetic Polymer Bioconjugate Hybrid Materials, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University)
  • 최은지 (부산대학교 고분자공학과) ;
  • 윤지환 (부산대학교 고분자공학과) ;
  • 조정규 (부산대학교 고분자공학과) ;
  • 심상은 (인하대학교 화학공학과) ;
  • 윤주호 (자동차부품연구원) ;
  • 김일 (부산대학교 고분자공학과)
  • Received : 2010.07.13
  • Accepted : 2010.07.23
  • Published : 2010.09.30


Much interest on the thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) has recently been attracted in commercial fields as well as scientific and applied researches. The TPEs have their own characteristic area especially in relation with block copolymers as well as many other polymeric materials, since they show interesting features displayed by the conventional vulcanized rubber, and at the same time, by the thermoplastics. In addition, they are characterized by a set of interesting properties inherent to block and graft copolymers, variety of blends and vulcanized materials. The importance of TPE as organic materials can be evaluated by the number of published reports (papers, patents, technical reports, etc). The input of the concept 'thermoplastic elastomer' to SciFinderScholar yields 18,508 results between 1939 and July 10, 2010, and the number increased exponentially after the mid of 1990. For the suitable introduction of the TPE, historic, scientific, technical and commercial considerations should be taken into account. This review article starts with a brief discussion on historical considerations, followed by a introduction of the main preparations and analytical techniques utilized in chemical, structural, and morphological studies. The properties, processing tools, the position among organic materials, and applications of TPEs are also briefly reviewed. Finally, the most probable trends of their future development are discussed in a short final remarks.


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