Thermoplastic Polyurethane for Hand Tools Practical Bit-Holder Ensures a Tight Grip

04 Feb 2008 • by Natalie Aster

LEVERKUSEN -- Desmopan® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an increasingly popular material when it comes to giving tools a hard-wearing, high-quality, easy-to-grip surface. Recently, the Dutch firm BEARGRIP, a manufacturer of hand tools based in Ruinen, announced the successful market launch of a so called "ClipPac bit set" with a bit-holder made of Desmopan®. The part was developed in close cooperation with the Dutch firm, MMID full service design team B.V., and immediately catches the eye with its successful combination of design and functionality. The complete subassembly is injection molded using soft/hard technology in a two-component mold. The ClipPac is made of a hard polycarbonate+ABS blend, while the bit-holder itself is molded from "soft" Desmopan® 487 TPU. Steven Daelemans, a TPU expert at Bayer MaterialScience AG, says: "In this application, several advantages of our TPU material come together. For example, the high coefficient of friction, which ensures that the bits are held securely in the holes without slipping. And it stays that way over the long term, because the holes do not increase in size even when the tool is in constant use. This is due to the low compression set and good abrasion resistance, tear strength and tear propagation resistance of our TPU."

Another reason for choosing Desmopan® 487 (which has a hardness of 86 Shore A), is its excellent haptic properties. Its surface feels warm, soft and dry, and offers good resistance to oils, grease, detergents and the many other media encountered by craftsmen, mechanics and do-it-yourselfers on a daily basis. In addition, TPU retains its properties over a broad temperature range and is highly resistant to weathering.

BEARGRIP® attaches major importance to low production costs because price competition on the tool market is extremely keen. Desmopan® 487 also scores in this department because it is very easy indeed to process. Its melt solidifies quickly, allowing short cycle times and economical production. Apart from that, it adheres well to the "hard" polycarbonate+ABS substrate.

BEARGRIP® has made a name for itself worldwide as a manufacturer of high-quality, ergonomically styled hand tools. The company is specialized among other things in hexagonal keys, bits, riveting pliers and screwdrivers.

About Bayer MaterialScience

With 2006 sales of 10.2 billion euros (continuing operations), Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,900 people at the end of 2006. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience