The Woodlands, Texas - Huntsman Corp.'s Polyurethanes division is showcasing its thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) technology, via its website, in a new sporting body suit from Adidas AG designed to maximise an athlete's performance.
The TechFit Powerweb suit, manufactured by US extrusion specialist Bemis, is made from an elastic fabric with a two-layer TPU film coating. According to Huntsman, this combination "provides excellent directional stretch and energy return to support athletes' movements, maximising the use of energy produced by the body during exercise."
Specifically, the suit's two-layer TPU film consists of two bespoke grades of Huntsman's Irogran TPU. Huntsman said the new two-layer TPU film can easily be cut into any shape and applied to the Lycra fabric by simple heat pressing, "making the manufacturing process far more efficient and cost-effective."
"The crucial benefit of TPU is its optimised elasticity; once stretched it always returns. This means the kinetic energy of the athlete's movement is constantly stored and released through the elastic behaviour of the TPU. As a result athletes have increased joint power, better posture, improved feedback for more accurate movement and they can experience faster recovery times due to increased blood circulation," said Berthold Krabbe, team leader apparel of the Adidas Innovation Team (AIT).
"Following extensive research into the biomechanics of top sprinters, footballers and other athletes, and the effect of movement on muscle compression in key areas we developed this new technology based on Huntsman's Irogran TPU," he added.
"Research and testing done by independent Universities like the University of Calgary showed a performance increase for sprinting speed (1.1 percent) jumping (4 percent) and endurance (0.8 percent)," commented Krabbe.