The Woodlands, Texas – Huntsman and Shincell have developed a recyclable thermoplastic PU that can easily be expanded into sheets for footwear.
Recyclable TPU foam for footwear
Huntsman modified its Irogran material after a conversation with representatives from a Chinese footwear materials supplier.
Expanded TPU sheets are growing in popularity in footwear markets, and Shincell wanted a material that met its needs for increased productivity, reduced waste and lower energy consumption. As well as these demands, Shincell wanted a material that did not contain formaldehyde, and which could be expanded without additional blowing agents. The material also had to outperform EVA in terms of cushioning and set properties, while still being comfortable and durable.
Shincell makes expanded foam sheets that its customers cut to shape. Because the material is recyclable, it is now able to collect offcuts from its customers and easily recycle them or sell the offcuts to third parties. The company is also exploring the use of this Irogran grade in other application areas such as automotive.