If we were composing a simple list of products that are ubiquitous in contemporary society we would probably begin with the usual culprits in mobile phones, computers, cars, clothes and other, everyday items that we interact with on a daily basis. What we would probably overlook are the components that make up a lot of the things that we would mention and there are few items as dynamic and versatile as TPV Santoprene.
What is Santoprene?
Santoprene is a trademark owned by Exxon Mobil for a Thermoplastic Vulcanisate. This name (commonly abbreviated to TPV) might seem daunting but simply refers to its two major ingredients. Thermoplastic refers to a type of plastic that can be moulded when it reaches a certain heat and then retains that mould when it cools. Vulcanizate refers to the process of making rubber tougher and longer-lasting. In laymen's terms it combines the best of both properties to create a hard plastic that is very good at resisting the effects of extreme temperatures (especially cold) while still maintaining its structural integrity.
What uses Santoprene?
Santoprene is used in many areas of manufacturing from car parts to washing machines. There is a very good chance you have used an appliance within the last day that has Santoprene components. Since its creation in the '70s, it has been in commercial use continuously and, unlike some other TPVs, it has not been made redundant by a newer technology.
Why should you care about Santoprene?
Beyond the fact that Santoprene is an important part of the industrial manufacturing industry it is an excellent example of not overlooking the subtle intricacies of everyday life. People trust cars to get them from point A to B safely, and they expect their washing machines to perform the jobs they were created for efficiently. Trust in these goods is in large part due to the unseen reliability of inventions like Santoprene.
There is a lot of brilliant science behind the invention of Santoprene (TPV) that made it a leader in reliability and durability amongst TPVs, and it is no small feat that it has remained in circulation for 40 years while still being one of the more recyclable TPVs. So the next time you hear your mechanic utter the phrase Santoprene, know that you are in good hands and that they have kept pace with the rigours of modern manufacturing. Perhaps, take a moment to think about the key minutiae that keeps the world running, too.