60 Seconds With: Romina Marin, Lubrizol

Smithers Rapra conducted a Q&A sessions with Thermoplastic Elastomers World Summit 2015 speaker Romina Marin from Lubrizol, getting a sneak preview into her presentation for the Barcelona event and Lubrizol's latest Aliphatic TPU's will impact the end-user market.

Romina Marin, Team Leader for the Aliphatic and Soft TPU Platforms, Lubrizol

Romina Marin holds a degree in Chemical Science from the University of Barcelona (2003) and went on to gain a Ph.D. in polymer science from UPC university in Barcelona, in 2009. That same year she started working in Merquinsa (acquired by The Lubrizol Corporation in December 2011) as an R&D scientist.

Romina focused on the Bio TPUTM development at the beginning, and later started work on Aliphatic TPU. In 2012 she completed an MBA. And in 2014, she was promoted to team leader for the Aliphatic and Soft TPU platforms.

Smithers Rapra: Your abstract discusses Lubrizol’s breakthrough of introducing new aliphatic thermoplastic elastomers, it must be very exciting to share this breakthrough with the key industry players in the thermoplastic elastomer community?

Romina Marin: Lubrizol engineered polymers’ Aliphatic TPU R&D platform has been working on non-yellowing materials, and the latest breakthroughs are a consolidation of the years of hard work. We are indeed very excited to offer the market diverse solutions to meet current demands for aesthetic and durable engineered polymers.

Smithers Rapra: Why do you think research and development is so important to the TPE community? 

Romina Marin: We offer innovative, high-performing materials designed by our scientists in this fast-changing world which is becoming more and more demanding, not only performance-wise but also requiring creativity and design. This is important because it is a MUST to meet the stringent design requirements in specific end markets like electronics, sports and recreation, etc. but still ensuring top performance.

Smithers Rapra: You mention the aliphatic thermoplastics are especially designed for automotive, sports and recreation and electronic applications, how do you foresee the change in demand for the future with these new aliphatic thermoplastic elastomers?

Romina Marin: Other traditional, existing materials will be outperformed by these new Aliphatic TPU solutions that range from soft to hard resins, combining durability, processability, without sacrificing design and haptics. The options currently available will also be broadened as one of Lubrizol‘s new developments is an aliphatic bio-based* TPU. 

* Bio-based content as certified in accordance with ASTM D-6866

Preview into Romina Marin's presentation: Pioneering Aliphatic TPU Solutions for Top Performance

Plastic engineers and designers no longer have to choose between softness, appealing aesthetics and light fastness when choosing their benefit/property of choice in a soft, thermoplastic elastomer.  Through the breakthrough developments at Lubrizol they can now have all three in one product with the introduction of new, aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). Driven by the increasing demand for light colors and/or optical clarity in several technical and fashion-end applications, the latest developments have resulted in improved soft touch grades (80 to 90 Shore A hardness) with superior durability and long-term aesthetics, especially designed for automotive, sports & recreation, and electronic applications. 

The new aliphatic portfolio now also includes hard grades (>50 Shore D), with unique rebound resilience cold flexibility, and aliphatic Bio TPU™ by Lubrizol* grades available.  Lubrizol’s aliphatic TPU specialties deliver superior mechanical properties, such as improved hydrolysis and staining resistance while retaining excellent surface finish and appealing aesthetics for years to come.