New TPU provides alternative solution to rubber for footwear outsoles
February, 21, 2017 – Footwear manufacturers looking to produce high grip outsoles with good wet slip resistance properties have a new soft thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) at their disposal – Avalon® 50 AHG TPU from Huntsman.
Delivering a new level of slip resistance for a soft TPU, Avalon® 50 AHG TPU is a suitable replacement for rubber in a variety of outsole applications, the company claims. Softer than most standard TPU grades, the innovative polyester-based material has a nominal shore hardness of 50A but can offer slip resistance properties on a par with vulcanized rubber.
According to Huntsman, Avalon® 50 AHG TPU provides outstanding anti-slip performance on both wet and dry surfaces, and enables footwear manufacturers to make soft, thin, high definition, high grip, non-marking parts in a variety of colors.
Huntsman says that Avalon® 50 AHG TPU is appropriate for use in almost all footwear applications, being particularly well suited to the production of safety footwear. Oil and petrol resistant, it has good electro-static discharge properties and complies with ISO 13287 – the international benchmark for testing slip resistance in protective and personal equipment.
Alongside its physical performance properties, Avalon® 50 AHG TPU also has a number of processing advantages, Huntsman claims. It is easy to use, and has excellent fluidity – meaning standard injection molding cycle times can be achieved. Demolding is also very straightforward. Avalon® 50 AHG TPU is also suitable for the production of dual density footwear on carousel machines in combination with innovative DALTOPED® polyurethane midsole systems.
Alfons Tremml, Commercial Manager at Huntsman Polyurethanes, said: “We knew, from speaking to our footwear customers, that there was real demand for a soft TPU grade that could deliver comparable slip resistance properties to rubber. Combining the benefits of a TPU with a soft feel, and substantially improved levels of wet slip resistance, Avalon® 50 AHG TPU is designed to satisfy that need. During our in-house slip resistance tests, Avalon® 50 AHG TPU performed up to 30% better than reference materials, which were created using identical molds and evaluated under exactly the same trial conditions. This step forward in grip and wet slip resistance will make Avalon® 50 AHG TPU an attractive proposition for outsole production across a range of footwear applications.”
The development of Avalon® 50 AHG TPU increases the range of polyurethane-based solutions that Huntsman can offer manufacturers creating safety shoes, casual unit soles and footwear for sports and lifestyle applications. Avalon® 50 AHG TPU is part of an extensive portfolio of products that Huntsman has developed to satisfy the design and production requirements of modern footwear manufacturers.
Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with 2015 revenues of approximately $10 billion. The company operates more than 100 manufacturing and R&D facilities in approximately 30 countries and employs approximately 15,000 associates within our 5 distinct business divisions.