ZOTEK®T high-performance foam promises great return

Zotefoams has announced the line-up for its ZOTEK® T range of high-performance foams, produced from thermoplastic elastomers and designed to deliver weight reduction, durability, high energy return and cushioning, such as dampening in the automotive sector and impact protection in high-energy sports, military apparel and tactical gear.

Born out of an intensive programme of R&D to develop high resilience materials suitable for a range of demanding applications, ZOTEK T is a closed cell crosslinked foam with key properties that include excellent high- and low-temperature resistance, energy return, ease of thermoforming and chemical and abrasion resistance.

Four grades – ZOTEK T P55, ZOTEK T P60, ZOTEK T 75 and ZOTEK T 85 – are available with densities of 55, 60, 75 and 85kg/m3 respectively. Materials are supplied in sheet form for subsequent conversion.

Produced via Zotefoams’ unique autoclave process, which uses the physics of temperature and pressure rather than a chemical reagent to expand foams, ZOTEK T boasts unrivalled purity along with consistent cell size and density. Unconstrained expansion during the third process stage ensures they are isotropic – a particularly important consideration for downstream fabrication of elastomeric materials.

Zotefoams Autoclave with person observing

James Bridges, Director of High-Performance Products at Zotefoams, says, “ZOTEK T is yet another disruptive material from Zotefoams, with performance and properties that meet and exceed the requirements of a multitude of applications across different sectors.

“For the automotive industry, lightweighting is absolutely crucial as manufacturers strive to reduce emissions from combustion engines and improve the range of electric vehicles. The physical and chemical properties of ZOTEK T means that it is frequently an ideal alternative to significantly heavier materials used currently, such as foamed rubber, silicon or solid TPE, with the added advantage of being thermoformable to complex shapes.”

Highly versatile, ZOTEK T offers the potential for weight reduction in a wide range of automotive interiors applications, such as insulation and gap fillers – replacing packed fibrous materials – floor panels, instrument panels, soft touch trim etc. The material is expanded with pure nitrogen, which ensures minimal VOC content and low fogging for superior cabin air quality. It exhibits high- and low-temperature resistance and chemical resistance, while its closed cell nature prevents the absorption of fluids and the potential for associated degradation. As an elastomeric material, ZOTEK T has rebound/cushioning characteristics that contribute to a smoother ride, with reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

For military and sportswear impact protection, light weight and cushioning are key, as is the purity of the materials, which are produced without the use of chemical reagents – known as potential skin irritants and for their unpleasant odour. ZOTEK T promises supreme comfort in applications such as cycling shorts (chamois), impact shorts, saddles, gloves, protective padding, harnesses, ballistic armour etc.

“We believe ZOTEK T is our most versatile foam yet,” comments James. “What’s particularly exciting is the ability to combine it with other materials, such as our ZOTEK® N nylon range, to provide a mix of energy absorption and return for specific applications such as impact protection in cycling or contact sports.”

ZOTEK T is not available for footwear applications.