Major capacity expansion for Sarlink TPV

Sarlink has officially opened a new production facility in Genk Belgium. The new plant will double Sarlink’s global capacity and provide the company with a timely expansion as Thermoplastic Vulcanisate (TPV) material solutions are becoming more popular than ever, thanks to the material’s unique balance of properties and benefits.

Although technically part of the product group known as Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), TPV is the only true elastomeric thermoplastic. It is produced in a complex proprietary and patented process by blending large quantities of EPDM rubber into a small continuous phase of plastic, whilst at the same time chemically crosslinking the rubber phase and controlling the morphology. The result is a unique and extremely versatile product that has rubber properties yet can be processed like plastics. Sarlink TPV thus allows plastics converters to enter the traditional business domain of rubber processors. By replacing traditional solutions with TPV products, system costs can be significantly reduced - improving competitive positioning of Sarlink’s customers in the marketplace.

Sarlink Business Unit Director and President David Huizing says: - The TPV market is growing at rates beyond GDP growth, and Sarlink is growing much faster than that. Some customers may have noticed this in 2007, when we were short in capacity.
We believe TPV is a technology-driven product. This is true for process technology, building a credible product portfolio with consistent quality, and development of new applications. An important trend in the TPV industry is that these application development activities are moving from the value chain to materials suppliers. Sarlink has made significant investments in application development facilities and resources, which are crucial for the successful conversion of other materials to TPV.

- Over the past couple of years, Sarlink has invested continuously in new capacity and new capabilities. We have now added a new, fully automated plant with state-of-the-art technology, doubling our global capacity. We believe the current economic situation does not change the underlying outlook for Sarlink, which is targeting growth based on our technological leadership position – he added.