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Basf showing new shoe concepts at Simac

Feb '20
Basf is showcasing sustainable, high-performance materials, new shoe concepts and its wide-ranging shoe expertise at Simac, the ongoing international machine and technology fair for shoes in Milan. Products on display include a virtual concept shoe made entirely of innovative Basf materials, a 3D printed shoe made from TPU, and creations by young designers.

On display are occupational and dress shoes with Infinergy, the world’s first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU). First launched in 2013, Infinergy, the closed-cell, elastic particle foam combines the properties of TPU with the advantages of foams, making it as elastic as rubber but lighter. After seven years of success transforming athletic and safety shoes, Infinergy is now being added to occupational and dress shoes. This brings a combination of comfort, light weight and long-term durability to consumers in the work place.

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 is being presented at the show. Guzzonato will discuss latest trends in the footwear industry with the visitors on February 20.

Basf is displaying the concept shoe “Limitless”, bringing together intelligent design and its expertise in materials. The innovative product portfolio includes potential for recyclability and instant exchange of fossil raw materials by biomass resources -without compromising on design and functionality. It has been created in cooperation with internationally renowned designers and is high on comfort, design flexibility, lightweight cushioning and durability.

Basf is also showcasing 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. Its 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 outstanding aesthetics.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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