National Harbor, Maryland - Steve Lee of Steve Lee Associates closed the Footwear technical session at the recent CPI (Center for Polyurethanes) Polyurethanes 2009 Technical Conference by focusing on the increasing importance of "green" credentials in the footwear industry.
"There is definitely a growing demand among footwear manufacturers to improve their green image, and as we've seen here today, the polyurethanes industry responding with some innovative solutions," Lee said during the technical session.
Reinforcing those observations, 2009 is the second year that a paper on renewable content was presented during the Footwear technical session, a 7 Oct CPI statement said.
The Footwear session was opened by BayOne Urethane Systems with a presentation on new polyether urethane formulations for shoe soles that will be exposed to demanding environments such as military and industrial applications. The polyether urethane systems, the statement said, offer a lower density, better abrasion resistance and improved low-temperature flexibility, compared with rubber. BASF presented its recent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) innovations for the footwear industry shortly after, the statement said.
Representatives from Italy-based Repi reported the introduction of vegetable-oil based pigment dispersion for colour development of shoes, the statement revealed.
Germany-based DESMA also presented a new colour technology - a colour-dosing technology that reduces material requirements while increasing production flexibility - which saves time and energy in a costly step of the production process. Elaborating, the CPI statement said a hot liquid colour paste is injected into the hot thermoplastic phase during plasticising of the material, with the colour volume metered at a constant percentage.
"Regardless of economic conditions, the versatility and cost-effectiveness of polyurethane materials continues to make them increasingly important to the global footwear industry," concluded CPI director, Neeva-Gayle Candelori. (RD)