TPE and Elastomed WTF?

Bulma Bulma
In my last order I received two items that were advertised as Silicone, but in fact are TPE. I have also seen toys (such as the LAYAspot) that states right on the box “100% silicone,” but when I open up the flap it lists the toy as being made out of Elastomed. Why are these two materials flying under the radar as "silicone" when they in fact are not? Can elastomed be sterilized like silicone can? My research says no, but then again, I don't know for sure. I know that elastomer can not be sterilized, but can elastomed? They are both phthalate free, which is good at least. Is it possible for TPE and TPR silicone to be the same thing? I am hoping some of you know more about these materials than I do, because products claiming to be a material that they are not is very frustrating.

For personal use, I don't really care if a toy is made from TPE instead of TPR silicone, as they are both phthalate free, but this really bothers me for writing reviews. I want to be sure that I put accurate information in my reviews when other people may determine whether or not to buy a toy based off of that review.

Okay, you are probably wondering why I put this in the suggestions area. Well, honestly I would like to have more info available on these materials on the website. There is no active link for TPE in the material guides. The info about elastomer is fine, but what is the difference between it and "elastomed." Fun Factory’s website just says that elastomed is a high quality elastomer, so why do they use “elastomed” and “silicone” interchangeably? While searching the internet, I discovered that there really isn't much information out there about these materials, so I was hoping that somebody from eden would have something more conclusive.

Anything anyone wants to add, please do.
07/23/2008
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Oggins Oggins
Here is a link for tpe material on another site and it does sound alot like tpr material link

If you look under tpr in the guide to materials it does list tpe as a convertible term so I'm guess that they are in fact the same thing although I am not 100% sure.

I'll check into elastomed and see what I can find but, I do think it is medical grade silicone. Again, I don't know for sure on this one and I'll let you know what I can find.
07/23/2008
Oggins Oggins
Okay, I give up on the elastomed but here is what I found...

Here is a link that lists smart balls as being elastomed material link

While here on eden they are listed as silicone so....possibly another convertible term? I really don't know......I need help on this one too!
07/23/2008
Bulma Bulma
Thanks Oggins. I really wish companies would just use 100% silicone so there is no confusion, too bad that won't happen though. The TPE and TPR is a little easier to understand than the elastomed deal.

This is a copy of the smart balls instructions (as copied from fun factory's website)
Application
»SMARTBALLS« are successively
inserted into the vagina for an intimate
massage and after application they are
pulled out through a withdrawal string
and can easily be cleaned. Caution: In
order to guarantee a maximum long
life, »SMARTBALLS« should not be
pulled apart violently or twisted against
each other.

Material
»SMARTBALLS« are made of ‘Elastomed’:
skin-friendly, odorless, extremely durable
and easy to clean, for hygienic reasons
the withdrawal string is completely
impermeable.

Care
Before first use and always after
use, clean with mild soap and warm
water. Disinfection is not needed!

Tip
A drop of FUNFACTORY®
TOYFLUID is all you need for
comfortable insertion of your toy.
Caution!
»SMARTBALLS« are not a child’s toy.
Please keep away from children.
For our environment
Provide for an environmentally suitable
disposal of the packaging and please use
the recycling possibilities provided for
it. The blister consists of pollution-free
PET material.

All they say is that there is no need to disinfect! They don't even say if it's possible to sterilize or even sanitize these. In all my research I have never found a definitive answer to if these can be sterilized or not. I have found out that elastomed is cheaper to make toys out of than silicone, but that doesn't help. Thanks for helping me dig

I cringe at how long this post will be
07/23/2008
Jimbo Jones Jimbo Jones
I'm sure you already know this, but
TPR=ThermoPlastic Rubber
TPE=ThermoPlastic Elastomer
and generally Elastomer=Rubber, so TPE=TPR.
TPR silicone is a blend of TPR and silicone.
I found a forum that had this information provided by GoodVibes in response to a question similar to yours:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your question. Some of the products that we carry are made out of "jelly rubber", which is a semi-porous material that may contain phthalates or plasticizers. While there have not been any conclusive studies on the effects of phthalates and plasticizers, there have been studies that indicated that plastics that contained phthalates may cause health risks when absorbed into the body. We have always recommended using a condom with these toys.
To give our customers as many options as possible, we also carry a number of toys that are made out of Elastomer, which is also a semi-porous material. Elastomers, or more accurately ThermoPlastic Elastomers TPE, do not require plasticizers, and are phthalate free. They are not necessarily non-porous, but they are generally LESS porous.
In general the term Elastomer refers to any synthetic material with rubber-like properties, including jellies, silicone, vinyls, and TPE. Technically speaking, the term "elastomers" is too broad of a definition when referring to our [the ones that Good Vibes produces themselves] products - it's more appropriate to refer to them as "phthalate-free elastomers".
Additionally, we carry some products made out of Elastomed, a variation of elastomer, a different grade of TPE. The Elastomed is NON-porous and has all the other great attributes as medical grade silicone. The Laya is one example of a non-porous, plasticizer-free Elastomed product.
For years, we have also carried products that are made of silicone which is phthalate-free, non-porous, hypoallergenic, and can be sterilized. With increasing concern of rubbers and plasticizers, we continue to strive to carry ever more affordable silicones thru our Good Vibes branded product line.
In the description for each of our products, we let our customers know what the product is made of and how to clean and care for it properly. We also include a product guide with each purchase that gives information on using our products safely as well as care and cleaning for different types of materials.
In another topic Essin' Em said that she had boiled her SmartBalls without incident, so it would seem like you could sterilize them, but it seems that other sources don't list that as an attribute. I am not sure if any of this helps or if I just muddied the waters further.
07/24/2008
Bulma Bulma
Thanks Jimbo Jones. That does help some, but I am still confused why fun factory says that the LAYAspot is 100% silicone in one place on the box, then in another spot lists it as elastomed. Obviously elastomed is NOT 100% silicone, even if it is very similar. It kind of makes me wary of what otherwise seems to be a very good company. So elastomed can be sterilized...that is good to know. I just wanted to make sure I knew for 100% before I wrote something in my reviews. I really wish that fun factory would list on their website these kinds of details about their material they seem so proud of. I think eden needs to add elastomed to the material guide as well, plus fix TPE not linking when you click on what looks like all the other material links. At least it could link to the TPR page.

I searched forever and couldn't find any info, so thanks for finding that post from GoodVibes. I feel a little better knowing that elastomed is non-porous and can be sterilized.
07/24/2008
Dame Demi Dame Demi
GoodVibes is a great company, and the info does shed some light. Ugh...I have a LOT of reviews to go through...
07/24/2008
Cock Wrangler Cock Wrangler
All these new safer materials are confusing... I don't feel comfortable boiling Elastomed, personally. I actually just wrote to Fun Factory and asked for details about this material, will share what they send.

TPR and TPE are very similar materials, in terms of safety rating and chemical makeup. Eden does need to add some of this info- I think they'll see this conversation and get on that.
07/24/2008
Bulma Bulma
Quote:
Originally posted by Cock Wrangler
All these new safer materials are confusing... I don't feel comfortable boiling Elastomed, personally. I actually just wrote to Fun Factory and asked for details about this material, will share what they send.TPR and TPE are very similar ... More
I am really looking forward to seeing what you find out from them. Thanks Cock Wrangler!
07/24/2008
Jimbo Jones Jimbo Jones
Quote:
Originally posted by Bulma
Thanks Jimbo Jones. That does help some, but I am still confused why fun factory says that the LAYAspot is 100% silicone in one place on the box, then in another spot lists it as elastomed. Obviously elastomed is NOT 100% silicone, even if it is ... More
I agree it seems very weird to me that Fun Factory is making 100% silicone claims that are not accurate. It makes me question the listed materials of all Fun Factory toys.
By the way, thanks for bringin up some a pertinent topic.
07/24/2008
Rufina Rufina
I made a request to Fun Factory. They always claimed that their products are silicone. Although I directly asked them what Elastomed is, I recieved the copy/paste from the site of some chemical company with the title “What is TPE”. Here is that excerpt
"What is a TPE?
The development of thermoplastic elastomers, TPEs, can be confidently called a material revolution, which has enabled the success of a multitude of products from diverse industries in recent years. What is the reason for this? To express it crudely, it can be said that thermoplastic elastomers are positioned between plastic (thermoplastics) and rubber (elastomers) in terms of structure and behaviour. The fact that TPEs combine the positive characteristics of thermoplastics on the one hand and elastomers on the other is now of advantage to both product developers and designers and to processors.
To express this another way: Like thermoplastics, TPEs become plastic due to the application of heat, and reveal elastic behaviour again on cooling. In contrast to the chemical cross-linking which occurs in elastomers, TPE involves purely physical cross-linking, which can be reversed via the further application of heat."
From that I assume that Elastomed is TPE. I am continuing my research with Fun Factory. I hope they will give out more information. We will definitely update that on the web site and will add TPE information as well.
07/24/2008
Bulma Bulma
Thanks for that. While that makes sense, it is obvious they didn't really answer your question. That's like me asking someone who they are, and they answer "I'm a human." While it’s true, it doesn’t tell me anything!

I've thought it was weird that their website claims that their toys are so great because they are made from 100% silicone. Makes it sound like ALL of their toys are silicone when they are not. I wonder why Fun Factory is being so weird about this. Seems like they are avoiding answering the question, which does shake my trust in the company. I think if they are trying to pass elastomed toys off as silicone toys, then they really need to establish exactly what the differences are. I don't care if a toy is elastomed, TPE, elastomer, or whatever other name they want to call it, just as long as it doesn't say 100% silicone on the side of the box. The LAYAspot has that on the side of the box, then inside it lists it being made of ‘Elastomed.’ Quite scary actually. I really hope they give out more info.

Thanks a lot for looking into this Pale Ada. I really appreciate it
07/25/2008
Oggins Oggins
This is such a bummer! I really thought fun factory was quite the reputable company but, now I'm thinking they are just a bit shady! Bleh......100% silicone my butt plug!
07/25/2008
Rufina Rufina
It is not like they are shady. But they should train their staffers better. I really respect their product developers, but their representatives are usually some random people with no real knowledge. I forwarded questions directly to their American CEO - I hope he will shed some light on this issue.
07/25/2008
Cock Wrangler Cock Wrangler
Quote:
Originally posted by Bulma
Thanks for that. While that makes sense, it is obvious they didn't really answer your question. That's like me asking someone who they are, and they answer "I'm a human." While it’s true, it doesn’t tell me anything!I've ... More
I think sometimes it's also just a language barrier- they are a German company. The first email I got back from them was not specific about the properties of Elastomed either, so I inquired further. I think Ada's contact with the CEO will get us the answers we want.
07/25/2008
Cock Wrangler Cock Wrangler
Hm. Well, from F.F. corporate:

"Elastomed (TM) is a different type of Silicone that allows for sturdier, stronger parts such as supporting arches etc on the toys, it has all the same positive attributes as the soft Silicone, such as non-porous, hypoallergenic, neutral in chemistry to the body, odorless, easy to clean."

I'm still on a quest for more specific information about the material, but hopefully that will ease your concerns for now.
07/25/2008
Bulma Bulma
Quote:
Originally posted by Cock Wrangler
Hm. Well, from F.F. corporate:"Elastomed (TM) is a different type of Silicone that allows for sturdier, stronger parts such as supporting arches etc on the toys, it has all the same positive attributes as the soft Silicone, such as non-porous, ... More
Hmmm, I guess that helps. I wish they would all say the same thing though. I am not sure about the whole claim that Elastomed is a kind of Silicone though, thought they said Elastomed was a high quality form of Elastomer that has properties similar to Silicone? Also that it is essentially TPE. Either it is similar to silicone, or it is silicone, it can't be both. It seems like each person tells it a little differently. I definitely agree that they need to train their staffers better, or at least have the info readily available for them to answer questions. Hopefully the CEO will be more specific. Maybe this will prompt them to update their website to include more info about Elastomed to avoid questions like this in the future.

Thanks for digging everybody!
07/25/2008
Oggins Oggins
Quote:
Originally posted by Rufina
It is not like they are shady. But they should train their staffers better. I really respect their product developers, but their representatives are usually some random people with no real knowledge. I forwarded questions directly to their American ... More
Okay, maybe shady was a bit harsh. I do really love their products and totally agree with you about training their staffers better! I'm really glad for your help in trying to clear up this matter! I can't wait to get some better information!
07/25/2008
Maria Maria
Thanks for everyone that had info on this--it was really useful!
07/26/2008
starseer starseer
I noticed some vibrators were specifically listed as "phthalate-free" while others weren't, but the products were made of TPR silicone. Is all TPR silicone phthalate-free?
09/09/2008
Rufina Rufina
Quote:
Originally posted by starseer
I noticed some vibrators were specifically listed as "phthalate-free" while others weren't, but the products were made of TPR silicone. Is all TPR silicone phthalate-free?
Yes, TPR silicone is phthalate free. Phthalates used to soften PVC, there is no use for them in any TPR or TPE.
09/09/2008
Rufina Rufina
Quote:
Originally posted by Bulma
Hmmm, I guess that helps. I wish they would all say the same thing though. I am not sure about the whole claim that Elastomed is a kind of Silicone though, thought they said Elastomed was a high quality form of Elastomer that has properties similar ... More
Fun Factory CEO let me know that Elastomed is not a silicone material but boasts positive features
similar to silicone like porousness and skin safety. Essentially it is specially
formulated TPE, sturdy and safe, but it is not recommended to boil or wipe it
with alcohol or bleach solution.
09/09/2008
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Rufina
Fun Factory CEO let me know that Elastomed is not a silicone material but boasts positive featuressimilar to silicone like porousness and skin safety. Essentially it is speciallyformulated TPE, sturdy and safe, but it is not recommended to boil or ... More
Wow. So if the package says 100% silicone, we now have to search high and low in the instructions to make sure it's true so we can boil the toy, etc. What a bummer.
09/10/2008
starseer starseer
Thanks for letting me know!
09/10/2008
Bulma Bulma
Quote:
Originally posted by Rufina
Fun Factory CEO let me know that Elastomed is not a silicone material but boasts positive featuressimilar to silicone like porousness and skin safety. Essentially it is speciallyformulated TPE, sturdy and safe, but it is not recommended to boil or ... More
Thank you, I feel a lot better knowing for sure what the deal is with this Elastomed material. Can't tell you how much I appreciate you going the extra mile to find out about this for all of us.
09/11/2008
Jimbo Jones Jimbo Jones
So, when are the going to change the packaging so it does not mistakenly promote itself as silicone? It should say hygienically superior, non-porous Elastomed or something like that. By the way, EdenFantasys lists Elastomed under the Thermo-Plastic Rubber (TPR) category (3-6 on the safety scale) along with TPE, but then goes on to have a separate Elastomer category (7 on the safety scale). If the material pages are examined, it appears that elastomer probably should not have its own category separate from TPR, or else Elastomed, and TPE should be under the Elastomer category not the TPR category.
Look at that, I've hi-jacked another thread. Sorry Bulma.
09/11/2008
Cock Wrangler Cock Wrangler
Quote:
Originally posted by Jimbo Jones
So, when are the going to change the packaging so it does not mistakenly promote itself as silicone? It should say hygienically superior, non-porous Elastomed or something like that. By the way, EdenFantasys lists Elastomed under the Thermo-Plastic ... More
From what I learned about Elastomed, I think it should have its own category. But, the material categories are still a little vague, and need some work, I think.
09/12/2008
Total posts: 27
Unique posters: 9