A Comprehensive Guide to Polyurethane for Footwear Soles

suola stampata in PU poliuretano
suola stampata in PU poliuretano

A Comprehensive Guide to Polyurethane for Footwear Soles

Polyurethane (PU) is a versatile material acclaimed for its outstanding physical and chemical attributes, extensively utilized across industries. This in-depth exploration delves into various PU forms, spotlighting its unique advantages in footwear industry.

Polyurethane Properties and Applications

Polyurethane (PU) emerges as a key player, renowned for its superior physical and chemical prowess. Its elasticity and resilience make it a prime choice, resilient even in challenging environments and stress conditions.

  • Structural Rigid Expanded Polyurethanes: deployed in furniture and marine sectors for advanced structural capabilities.
  • Rigid Expanded Polyurethanes: lightweight foams catering to thermal insulation needs in construction and industrial and domestic refrigeration.
  • Semi-Rigid Expanded Polyurethanes: applied in automotive settings for components like steering wheels and dashboards.
  • Flexible Expanded Polyurethanes: versatile foams applicable in mattresses, toys and automotive applications.
  • Compact Expanded Polyurethanes and Elastomers: materials for footwear soles, yarns, sports articles and waterproofing.
  • Paints and Adhesives: diverse applications in construction and furniture.

Polyurethane Advantages in Footwear Soles

Polyurethane used in footwear sole production stands out for its softness and durability. Injected directly into the mold with isocyanate, polyol and specific additives, it offers:

  • Resilience to external elements
  • Waterproofing for prolonged wear
  • Lightweight construction
  • Supple texture for enhanced comfort
  • Dimensional stability amidst rigorous use
  • Mechanical strength, abrasion resistance and enduring high temperatures
  • Proven longevity, ensuring sustainable wear
  • Adaptable to custom coating applications
  • Versatility suited for safety, sports, and trendsetting fashion soles

Considering the integration of polyurethane in your footwear production processes? Reach out for a personalized consultation.

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    DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TPU AND PU IN THE PRODUCTION OF FOOTWEAR SOLE

    suole stampate
    suole stampate in TPU e PU

    DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TPU AND PU IN THE PRODUCTION OF FOOTWEAR SOLE

    TPU and PU are two materials widely used in the footwear sector due to their high chemical and mechanical characteristics, but they have significant differences in properties and application. Let’s see what the characteristics and differences are.

    In the footwear industry, the choice of materials for the production of soles is a crucial aspect that affects the performance, comfort and durability of the shoe. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyurethane (PU) are among the most used materials: they share significant chemical and mechanical characteristics, as they belong to the same family, but they also have significant differences that influence the final result. This guide aims to help industry operators make informed decisions in the production of quality footwear soles.

    TPU: ROBUSTNESS, VERSATILITY AND RESISTANCE

    Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is known for its excellent mechanical properties. Thanks to these characteristics, TPU is one of the best performing materials for the production of different types of footwear soles (sports, casual, elegant, accident prevention, healthcare), allowing the creation of products with high-level technical and aesthetic qualities.

    The main advantages of using TPU in the production of shoe soles are:

    1. High abrasion resistance: TPU soles are designed to last over time and are an ideal choice for shoes subject to mechanical stress or intensive use.
    2.  Flexibility: The TPU soles offer good flexibility even at low temperatures, ensuring comfort and functionality of the shoe.
    3. Chemical Resistance: TPU resists substances such as oils, greases and solvents well, which are common in many industrial or outdoor environments.
    4. Design Versatility: TPU can be molded into different shapes and hardnesses, allowing great freedom in outsole design.
    5. Unlimited style options: TPU gives the possibility of applying any type of color and finish (glossy, matt, metallic, glitter, pearlescent, etc.), and of painting.

    PU: COMFORT, LIGHTNESS AND DURABILITY

    Good footwear should be comfortable and durable. Polyurethane meets these needs. Used to make soles, midsoles and insoles, PU is characterized by a wide range of densities that allow customization of rebound and comfort. Furthermore, its resistance to chemical, atmospheric and biological agents, together with its impermeability to water and dimensional stability, make it a reliable option.

    The main advantages of using PU in the production of shoe soles are:

    1. Excellent Cushioning: PU offers the possibility of customizing the level of cushioning, making the fit comfortable and absorbing impacts during walking.
    2. Lightweight: PU allows for the production of lightweight soles for shoes that are comfortable to wear.
    3. Resistance to external agents: PU is known for its resistance to chemical, atmospheric and biological agents.
    4. Dimensional stability: PU soles maintain their technical performance over time.
    5. Economic factor: depending on the formulation, PU can be cheaper than TPU, an aspect to consider in large-scale production

    TPU OR PU?

    The choice between the use of TPU and PU in the footwear industry is a crucial decision that depends on the priorities of the brand and the specific needs of the product. Both of these materials offer a wide range of possibilities for creating high-quality soles. Understanding their differences is essential to creating footwear that meets the needs of the customer and the end consumer.

    If you would like to further explore the applications of TPU and PU in the production of shoe soles or need advice for your project, contact us. We’re here to answer your questions and help you create ideal footwear for your brand.

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      POR MARCHE FESR 2014/2020 – ASSE 1 – OS 1 – AZIONE 1.3 – INTERVENTO 1.3.1 “Promote corporate innovation processes and the use of new digital technologies” – “TECHNOLOGICAL AND DIGITAL TRANSITION OF PRODUCTION PROCESSES AND ORGANIZATION”

      POR MARCHE FESR 2014/2020 – ASSE 1 – OS 1 – AZIONE 1.3 – INTERVENTO 1.3.1 “Promote corporate innovation processes and the use of new digital technologies” – “TECHNOLOGICAL AND DIGITAL TRANSITION OF PRODUCTION PROCESSES AND ORGANIZATION”

      Introduction to the production cycle of two new anthropomorphic lines for carding and gluing soles aimed at promoting the technological transition of the company towards the Industry 4.0 paradigm. The objectives of the project are the automation, standardization and insourcing of the gluing and carding processes, with the aim of improving production efficiency and quality.

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        Advantages of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) in Footwear Sole Production: A Comprehensive Guide

        Advantages of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) in Footwear Sole Production: A Comprehensive Guide

        If you’re in search of a versatile and high-performing material for footwear sole production, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) might be the ideal solution. In this guide, we will explore the numerous advantages that make TPU an outstanding choice for manufacturing various types of shoe sole, from athletic to elegant.

        1. High Technical and Aesthetic Performance

        TPU offers advanced technical features combined with a high-level aesthetic appeal. This combination makes it suitable for producing any type of footwear, ensuring both excellent performance and an eye-catching appearance.

        2. Multifunctional Resistance

        With excellent resistance to grip, abrasion, chemicals, atmospheric conditions and oils, TPU stands out for its durability. This multifunctional resistance is crucial in the footwear industry.

        3. Dimensional Stability and Hardness Customization

        Dimensional stability is a key aspect of TPU, ensuring that soles maintain their shape over time. Additionally, the ability to customize hardness provides added flexibility in footwear design.

        4. Excellent Flexibility and Diverse Color Option

        TPU’s outstanding flexibility translates to comfort for shoe wearers. Moreover, the wide range of available colors – glossy, matte, metallic, glittery, pearlescent, etc. – allows customization of shoe soles based on personal style and market demands.

        5. Custom Paint Finishes

        TPU offers the option of applying custom paint finishes, adding a distinctive touch to footwear soles. This creative choice allows for product differentiation in the market.

        6. Reduced Environmental Impact

        Its sustainability as a recyclable material or derived from renewable sources contributes to reducing the environmental impact of both production and the finished product.

        If you are planning a footwear project and would like more information on using TPU, feel free to contact us!

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            Stepping into Sustainability: The Impact of Biopolymers in Plasting Molding for Footwear

            Stepping into Sustainability: The Impact of Biopolymers in Plasting Molding for Footwear

            Like the entire fashion system, the footwear industry is increasingly moving towards an eco-friendly production process to reduce environmental impact and meet sustainability challenges. Let’s explore what new biopolymers are and how they can be integrated into the creation of a shoe sole.

            Many fashion brands are transitioning to a more eco-friendly approach to minimize their environmental footprint and cater to the growing demand from consumers for sustainable products. The footwear industry is also aligning itself with these needs and adapting to new trends, with the goal of transforming its processes and business models into a more sustainable practices.

            A Definition: Not Bioplastic, But Bioplastics

            Firstly, let’s provide a brief overview of what bioplastics are. As defined by European Bioplastics, the term bioplastics refers to a type of plastic that can be biodegradable, bio-based or possess both features. This description encompasses a broad family of polymers categorized into various types.

            To be more precise, bioplastics can:

            – Originate (partially or entirely) from biomass and not be biodegradable (e.g., bio-PE, bio-PP, bio-PET);

            – Originate (partially or entirely) from biomass and be biodegradable (e.g., PLA, PHA, PHB, starch-based plastics);

            – Entirely originate from non-renewable raw materials and be biodegradable (e.g., PBAT, PCL, PBS).

            Bioplastics are classified based on their production and recycling process. Two main polymer categories are generally used: bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics.

            Bio-Based and Biodegradable Plastics

            Bio-based plastics consist of materials whose components come entirely or partially from renewable and plant-based raw materials. These materials include biopolymers created from biomass, primarily composed of sugars (sugar cane), starches (corn, wheat, sweet potatoes), cellulose, algae, vegetable oils, and more. This category includes materials mainly used in food packaging and textile fibers.

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