The demand for soft touch components used in consumer facing applications—such as smart phones, smart watches and fitness trackers—has increased significantly in recent years. Users are increasingly engaged with their personal devices—wherever they are—exposing soft touch components to prolonged use, weather damage, and increased exposure to everyday chemicals, such as cosmetics and sunscreen.
Product designers and manufacturers increasingly rely on thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material solutions to produce and deliver highly durable and high-quality soft touch parts. Compared to the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials traditionally used for soft-touch manufacturing, TPEs offer better resistance to warpage and fatigue, as well as better protection against UV, chemical and oil exposure. They’re also more effective for producing end products that retain a long-lasting smooth and silky feel—despite increased usage both indoors and out.