TPO is becoming sought after by companies in many different industries. Part of this is due to good marketing on behalf of some of the first companies to introduce TPO to the market and much of it is due to the physical characteristics of the plastic itself. TPO is basically a blend of Polypropylene and EPDM rubber. Together, these two materials result in some interesting properties that make TPO an attractive substitute to more traditional weatherable thermoformable materials, such as acrylic capped ABS. Thermoformed products typically made from TPO include: car bumpers, rocker panels, machine covers, chemical shields, roofing membranes, engine covers, and golf car bodies.
**Arrowhead was one of the first companies in the USA to start thermoforming TPO successfully. Thus, we have many years of experience working with TPO and know how to deal with the challenges that comes along with the material. These challenges tend to scare away other thermforming companies from making parts utilizing this innovative material. Not only has Arrowhead been able to overcome the challenges that come with thermformed TPO products, but we have also been able to offer some of our customers lower cost tooling solutions as opposed to expensive aluminum tooling which other thermoformers claim is mandatory when vacuum forming TPO sheet.
Advantages – Great chemical resistance, Good heat deflection temperature (240° F), Great cold weather impact properties, Great UV stability, Dimensionally stable (low CLTE; half that of ABS), Good stiffness, Price
Disadvantages – Difficult to thermoform, Difficult for some sheet suppliers to extrude, Aluminum tooling required for higher volume parts (although we have developed an Eco-Tool to get around this need), High minimum quantities in some cases (Contact us for details), Not stocked by distributors, Difficult to paint, Difficult to bond to