Medical Grade Silicone Vs TPE
What do you choose?
Medical Grade Silicone or TPE? What should you choose?
When you are purchasing a cup for the first time it is a good idea to research the materials first. This is to help you make an informed decision as to which type is most suited to your body, environmental views and/or product life expectations.
The most common materials for the manufacturing of menstrual cups are Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer). Both are great options, but each has their own limitations as well. On first appearance menstrual cups made from either material look the same, but each has quite different properties.
TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
TPE tooling is cost effective and less energy is required to manufacture TPE products. TPE can be re-molded and easily coloured. TPE is recyclable and able to be melted down and re-purposed after use. Menstrual cups made of TPE have a life of 3-5 years, are soft to the touch and have a high compression strength. This means it can lose its shape over time. TPE can be sterilised, but not subjected to chemical sterilisation or high temperatures, as it can melt easily. TPE is a popular modern day material and gaining popularity due to its cost effective tooling and ability to be recycled.
Medical Grade Silicone (LSR - Liquid Silicone Rubber)
LSR tooling is expensive and silicone needs to be cured after manufacturing, adding extra cost to production. LSR has excellent tear strength (tensile strength). LSR is not recyclable, but can be ground down and used to create various high impact sporting surfaces. Menstrual Cups made of silicone have a life of 10+ years and have low compression strength. This means it can be placed under large amounts of pressure for a long time. It will maintain its shape for the duration of its life. LSR can be heated to high temperatures for sterilization and can undergo chemical sterilization. LSR is odour free and hypoallergenic, while having the highest compatibility rating for use inside the human body. It is still the preferred material of choice within the medical industry.
With the above information you can now make the very best decision on which material you would like to use inside of your body. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, but overall are both good choices for the manufacture of menstrual cups. Please contact us if you would like more information on either material.