Hexpol to expand TPE capacity in Germany

Müller Kunststoffe, the German arm of the Hexpol TPE group, is expanding capacity with an additional TPE production line. The new line is expected to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014 and will increase TPE production by around 4,800 tonnes/year, bringing the capacity of the Hexpol TPE group, which also includes the Elasto businesses in Sweden, UK and China, to more than 65,000 tonnes.

The new line will increase capacity for the group’s Lifoflex and Dryflex TPE compounds, the portfolio includes several fully customisable series including halogen-free flame retardancy, conductive, adhesion grades for multi-component applications, food contact grades and compounds offering improved compression set performance.

In addition to the new production line, the investment also includes plans for the construction of a new 600 sq m building to expand the technical centre at Müller Kunststoffe’s main Lichtenfels site. The technical centre will be used for the development of customised thermoplastic elastomers including TPS, TPO, TPU and polymer blends. It will house the R&D, product safety, analytics and process technology departments for Müller Kunststoffe.

Construction of the new building is forecast to be completed by September 2014. The centre will include profile extruders, film extruders and various injection moulding machines together with advanced polymer testing and analytical equipment.

Hexpol says the investment is another sign of its progress as a key and growing player in the TPE market. The group opened its Elasto China TPE production facility in Foshan in 2013 as well as capacity expansion and technology investment at sites in Sweden and the UK.


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