A virtual concept shoe made entirely of BASF materials, a 3D printed shoe made from TPU, interesting creations by young designers, this and other product-related innovations were presented by BASF at Simac, the international machine and technology fair for shoes in Milan from 19-21 February 2020.
Infinergy for occupational and dress shoes
First launched in 2013, Infinergy is an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU). The closed-cell, elastic particle foam combines the properties of TPU with the advantages of foams, making it as elastic as rubber but lighter. Up to now most of its shoe applications were in athletic and safety shoes. This material is now applied for occupational and dress shoes and brings a unique combination of comfort, light weight and long-term durability to consumers in the work place, BASF said.
The wedge for a model of women’s sandal was the theme of the XIII edition of the “Footwear Design Contest”, the competition organised every year by the Politecnico Calzaturiero of Padua in collaboration with BASF Italia, the producer of the polyurethane sole conceived by designer Roberto Guzzonato. Based on this wedge, students created eye-catching sandals which were presented at the BASF stand at Simac.
Concept shoe “Limitless”
Presenting the concept shoe “Limitless”, BASF brings together intelligent design and its expertise in materials. The product portfolio includes potential for recyclability and instant exchange of fossil raw materials by biomass resources -without compromising on design and functionality. Created in cooperation with internationally renowned designers, “Limitless” is said to set standards in comfort, design flexibility, lightweight cushioning and durability.
3D printed footwear
The footwear industry increasingly favours 3D printing techniques in manufacture. Ultrasint TPU01 from BASF 3D printing solutions is a multi-purpose TPU material for producing flexible parts, with high throughput and excellent quality. Typical applications are sports footwear, orthopedic insoles in which the required properties of shock absorption, energy return, and flexibility can be specifically tuned by design through additive-based manufacturing. BASF demonstrated this by 3D printing 50 pairs of sneakers using its TPU powder with both HSS and SLS technologies. Leveraging its expertise in the FEA simulation (Ultrasim) of lattice structures and its own material models, the team created a gradient lattice structure that fulfilled the target comfort and stability requirements throughout the shoe’s midsole. The finishing touch was BASF’s flexible coating, which provided enhanced durability and very good aesthetics.