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Lubrizol launches 100% TPU prototype shoe for higher circularity
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:07.Oct.2021

Lubrizol Engineered Polymers announces the launch of its first 100% TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) prototype shoe. The prototype meets the high-performance demands in the footwear industry while achieving greater sustainability through enhanced recyclability and less material waste.


In contrast to traditional footwear products made with mixed materials, Lubrizol’s 100% TPU prototype shoe helps enhance circularity by being composed of one core material.


The prototype demonstrates a combination of Lubrizol’s advanced TPU solutions for footwear that work together, including: Esdex TPU for upper yarns to keep shoe construction lightweight; BounCell-X TPU for foam, a low density, plasticizer-free and recyclable material used for cushioning; and ESTANE TRX TPU leveraged as a functional alternative to rubber outsoles.


Lubrizol launches 100% TPU prototype shoe.

These Lubrizol TPU materials enable simplified production through improved compatibility between parts. TPU materials also allow for in-mold adhesion during the shoe soling process, which can increase automation and efficiency, while reducing multiple gluing processes.


Post-industrial recycling options mean shoe producers can reclaim and reuse scrap in their own operations, while helping simplify the process of post-consumer recycling through the regrinding of old shoes and repurposing materials into new goods.


ESTANE ECO TPU, a renewable-sourced polymer from Lubrizol under the Bio TPU portfolio, is a key component of the prototype shoe. ESTANE ECO TPU is derived from natural resources and delivers the same mechanical, physical, and chemical performance properties in comparison with petroleum-based TPUs.


With a 5-10% lower density than traditional TPUs of the same hardness, ESTANE ECO TPU helps meet the requirements for lightweight and high-performance attributes in sports shoe production. This sustainable material grade also enhances footwear development because of its high transmittance, resistance to yellowing and compatibility with other materials. 


Most of the components used in the new prototype shoe are a result of multi-year partnerships with established producers in the athletic shoe industry.



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