Material selection for best-in-class soft touch components

The demand for soft touch components used in consumer facing applications—such as smart phones, smart watches and fitness trackers—has increased significantly in recent years. Users are increasingly engaged with their personal devices—wherever they are—exposing soft touch components to prolonged use, weather damage, and increased exposure to everyday chemicals, such as cosmetics and sunscreen.

Product designers and manufacturers increasingly rely on thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material solutions to produce and deliver highly durable and high-quality soft touch parts. Compared to the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials traditionally used for soft-touch manufacturing, TPEs offer better resistance to warpage and fatigue, as well as better protection against UV, chemical and oil exposure. They’re also more effective for producing end products that retain a long-lasting smooth and silky feel—despite increased usage both indoors and out.   

DSM’s Arnitel is an industry-leading TPE material that offers exceptional durability, strength, comfort and design flexibility. With more than 30 years’ use in consumer electronics manufacturing, it provides best-in-class processing capabilities and excellent elastic behavior. Arnitel offers:

  • Broad tactile properties with superior touch and feel
  • Broadest operating temperature range from -45°C to 150°C
  • High tear and abrasion resistance
  • High fatigue endurance after 255 compression cycles
  • Excellent over-molding capabilities to metal, polycarbonate (PC), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
  • Easy processing during injection molding
  • An eco-friendly grade, Arnitel ECO is made from renewable sources of up to 50%

To learn more about DSM’s full portfolio of material solutions for consumer electronics and related accessories, contact us or visit plasticsfinder.com for technical information.

Geert Vanden Poel

Application and Product development engineer

Published on

13 March 2020


  • Blog
  • Arnitel
  • Material Processing
  • Strength, stiffness and fatigue
  • Processing & shaping

Download our whitepaper about manufacturing best-in-class soft touch components with Arnitel

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Geert Vanden Poel

Application and Product development engineer

Geert Vanden Poel is an application and product development engineer for Envalior. He leverages his extensive experience in application development to help Fortune 500 customers in the consumer electronics industry improve performance and sustainability with advanced materials. Prior to his current role, he served in increasingly senior roles within the Envalior Material Science Center. He earned his master’s degree in chemistry & polymer science from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

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