Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of co-polymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. While most elastomers are thermosets, thermoplastics are, in contrast, relatively easy to use into manufacturing, for example, by injection molding.
Thermoplastic elastomers show advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials. The primary difference between thermoset elastomers and thermoplastic elastomers is the type of crosslinking bond in their structures. In fact, crosslinking is a critical structural factor which contributes to impart high elastic properties.