Drive to Improve Fuel Efficiency Brings OEMs to Jyco TPV Weathersealing Systems

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Lightweight parts, robust performance and greener processing draw automotive OEMs to leaders in TPV sealing technology.

Until 2000, car window and door seals were themselves something of an environmental liability...TPV has changed all that.

As automakers look to improve fuel efficiency at every turn, the demand has been growing for lighter weight parts throughout the vehicle. When it comes to the systems that seal vehicles’ doors, windows and other closures, the hero is a relatively new compound called TPV, short for thermoplastic vulcanizate.

One of the pioneers in TPV, Jyco Sealing Technologies is enjoying a boom in the automotive side of their business. In the last two years the Ann Arbor-based company has won long-term contracts as a Tier 1 supplier of weathersealing systems to several new programs for fuel-efficient small family cars and sport utility vehicles. In April of this year, Jyco quadrupled the production capacity of the plant in Guaymas, Mexico, and expansions are in the works for their manufacturing facilities in Sherbrooke, Quebec and Shanghai, China.

According to Jyco, parts made with their proprietary TPV compound, called JyFlex, match or improve sealing performance of rubber parts while reducing the weight of the part as much as 30% to help improve fuel efficiency. The environmentally friendlier advantages in processing are equally impressive.

“Until 2000, car window and door seals were themselves something of an environmental liability,” explained Shawn Jyawook, Jyco’s chief operating officer. “The industry standard for weatherstrips was EPDM, a rubber compound that generated VOCs, carbon particulates and dumpsters full of unreclaimable scrap during processing. TPV has changed all that.”

Unlike EPDM, TPV (also know as TPE, short for thermoplastic elastomers) is a rubber-plastic compound that can be processed without generating volatile organic compounds or particulate emissions. Scrap is 100% recyclable and directly reprocessable.

Marginally higher raw material costs for TPV are more than offset by cost savings on the finished part or assembly. According to Jyawook, working with TPV has proven to cut finished part cost by simplifying fabrication, reducing processing times, and lowering or eliminating scrap rates. TPVs’ versatility in processing allows other thermoplastic materials to be easily consolidated into parts to eliminate metal inserts. By reducing mass 20% to 30%, additional material savings go right to the bottom line. By the time the dust settles, finished part costs are typically 20% lower than EPDM.

Greener technology is nothing new to Jyco, which has been a pioneer in TPV processing and sealing technology since its founding in 2000. In 2007, the company introduced JyGreen, landmark technology to recycle tires into high performance extruded TPV automotive weatherseal systems. Today Jyco remains the world leader in TPV sealing, the only supplier to have earned a Corporate TS/ISO/16949/9000 certification for Design, Testing, and Manufacturing of TPV seals.

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Russell Slocum
The Slocum Group
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