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Old 31-08-2019, 07:48 PM
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Default Why TPE is not Rubber

This is not a which is better type post. We each have our own preferred material so whether its TPE, Silicone, or both this is equally applicable.

I've read a few times on the site where people reference models cast in TPE as being "Rubber Girls". That's not actually correct so time for a quick overview of what TPE and Silicone actually are.

It all started with rubber which is a natural product that comes from a tree. It is non recyclable. It's time consuming to make and the world could not produce enough of it for demand... So... What to make as a substitute?

Latex was the first synthetic Rubber like material but suffers from degradation issues. Ok for some blow up ladies with short life expectancies but certainly no good for our demands.

So, without boring you all with the different types of TPE and different ways of making Silicone, TPE is an elastic compound that is recyclable where rubber is not. TPE is actually a rubber replacement rather than a rubber.

Silicone (actual name Polysiloxane) is another type of synthetic elastomer (again, a synthetic rubber the same as TPE (but different)).

The main cost difference between TPE and Silicone is down to the advantage that TPE can be easily recycled so errors during manufacture can be melted down and the materials reused where issues during manufacture of silicone result in scrapage which of course leads to a higher cost per unit.

The recent upsurge in TPE girls with silicone heads makes sense as Silicone will hold greater detail and losing the material of just a head is one thing where scrapping the material of a whole body really stacks up the base costs of manufacture.

Just as an aside here, some (but not all) mixes of TPE and Silicone are incompatible so I would not put a silicone head that came with a TPE body on a TPE body of a different manufacturer.

Silicone has a higher melt point and is difficult to recycle making it more expensive as a material to work with due to the high scrapage costs. But, as a material it has less creep so there is none of the issue of faces straight from the mould looking slightly different (sure that you have all seen some eyes and mouths slightly different to others of the same model... Those not close to what they should be would of course not make it out of the factory).

So, in conclusion, TPE and Silicone are BOTH synthetic rubbers. But neither are actually Rubber, they simply both have elasticity which is a rubber like characteristic.

Hope that clears up any confusion over "Rubber Girls".
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Old 31-08-2019, 09:00 PM
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Thanks for this, shamus. Some good info on the differences between the materials. Just like to add this: TPE Thermoplastic Elastomer.
Before I became aware, on a serious level, of our ladies and their different body materials; silicone and TPE was rubber and that's all there was to it. I now know different. Mind you, Rubber Lover does have a nice ring to it.
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Old 31-08-2019, 09:02 PM
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Thank you for the chemistry lesson, Shamus.

I'm presuming that the TPR (Thermoplastic rubber) that is mentioned on a lot of the fleshlight type of products is basically TPE but using an incorrect name?
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Old 31-08-2019, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muninn View Post
Thank you for the chemistry lesson, Shamus.

I'm presuming that the TPR (Thermoplastic rubber) that is mentioned on a lot of the fleshlight type of products is basically TPE but using an incorrect name?
Hi Muninn,

now we're getting into the stuff that is beyond me but I'll try best I can to convey my understanding.

TPR is an integral part of TPE... Or more to the point, TPR is actually styrene butadiene styrene block copolymer. (SBS). TPE is Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene Block Copolymer (SEBS) which is hydrogenated SBS.

My little brain just thinks of it as the difference between Oil and Petrol. basically the same thing with one taken that stage further.

For Medical grade applications you want TPE. However, there are also multiple types of TPE :

TPE -
O - Polyolefin blends
S - Styrenic block copolymers
U - Thermoplastic polyurethanes
A - Thermoplastic polyamides
V - Thermoplastic Vulcanizates
E - Thermoplastic co-polyesters

I've also read that there is a TPE-Z but it seems that is considered different to the others.

My understanding is that our girls are made from TPE-S (happy to be corrected on that).

TPR is better suited to applications where materials need to bind together. It's also in it's natural form a little shinier than TPE and harder wearing. I believe that some cheaper dolls with noticably more reflective surfaces when flash photographed may be made from it.

Need to emphasise, I'm no expert. Just an interested amateur whose happy to be corrected.
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Old 31-08-2019, 10:39 PM
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Ah, so it's something slightly different! I did wonder if it was a slightly inferior product considering it is often found in the pocket pussys sold by Lovehoney et al.
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Old 31-08-2019, 11:12 PM
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Just for information if someone tries to repair his doll:
Silicone doesn't have a 'melting point' the material just gets destroyed with too much heat. It's not ThermoPlastic / meltable with heat.
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Old 31-08-2019, 11:39 PM
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Or to cut everything into a shorter post.

https://www.bpf.co.uk/plastipedia/po...lastomers.aspx
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsurfie View Post
Or to cut everything into a shorter post.

https://www.bpf.co.uk/plastipedia/po...lastomers.aspx
Interesting read McSurfie and brings together quite a lot of it into one article although that one does seem to concentrate on TPE whilst the examples cited are largely TPR and very much seems to treat them as the same where clearly they are not.

I'm certainly in no way saying that I know more than they do, but I do think that the article is incomplete as I've read too many other articles demonstrating that some key information around the structure or TPE vs TPR is missing from the BPF paper.

Lol, I find the strangest things interesting!
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamus View Post
Interesting read McSurfie and brings together quite a lot of it into one article although that one does seem to concentrate on TPE whilst the examples cited are largely TPR and very much seems to treat them as the same where clearly they are not.

I'm certainly in no way saying that I know more than they do, but I do think that the article is incomplete as I've read too many other articles demonstrating that some key information around the structure or TPE vs TPR is missing from the BPF paper.

Lol, I find the strangest things interesting!
Basically, there are a wide range of Thermoplastics, Shamus.

What should be noted is that with some manufactures TPE and TPR are the same thing.

My company uses a lot of TPE to make rainwater and WC pan connector seals, but they also use another type called Dryflex which is a TPE/Polypropylene mix to make flexible snap caps for holding seals in place.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamus View Post
...My understanding is that our girls are made from...
Shit, I thought they were made from amazing creative skills and copious amounts of love and affection.

You've spoiled my day!
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