HUNTSMAN LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE LIGHTWEIGHT POLYETHER SYSTEM FOR FOOTWEAR SOLES
DALTOPED® LITE for PU soles marks step forward in footwear technology
Everberg, Belgium – Huntsman today announces the launch of DALTOPED® LITE, an innovative polyether material for polyurethane soles that offers the footwear industry an ultra-lightweight, cost-effective and highly versatile alternative to ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA). DALTOPED® LITE polyether materials are ideally suited to the production of polyurethane soles for high quality casual shoes and children’s footwear. They combine the low-density needed to make shoes more comfortable with excellent mechanical properties and improved ease-of-processing.
In contrast to injection-molded EVA soles, DALTOPED® LITE materials offer many advantages. With a density of just 0,33 – 0,38 g/cm³, extremely lightweight unit soles can be produced. These can be processed on existing polyurethane machinery at a lower production cost; fitting properties are more consistent, which reduces wastage; and resulting soles are easier to bond and have a better compression set. In addition, polyurethane molds are less expensive, enabling manufacturers to respond more rapidly to changing fashion trends.
Huntsman successfully piloted DALTOPED® LITE polyether polyurethane systems in 2011 in conjunction with the Josef Seibel Group, a leading European footwear manufacturer. After initial discussions, Huntsman quickly progressed to the production of prototype samples and advanced testing, securing product certification from an independent institute. Within three months the Josef Seibel Group began to use DALTOPED® LITE systems for commercial production at its plant in Hungary.
Thorsten Berger, Production Manager of Josef Seibel Group, said: “We wanted to replace our existing EVA soles with a lightweight unit sole alternative and needed a material we could use at our existing production facilities. Huntsman worked fast to meet every requirement we had and provided a lot of technical support. We are now using DALTOPED® LITE systems to create polyurethane soles more cost-effectively than our previous EVA solutions. In addition, the lower cost of polyurethane molds means we can flex more quickly in line with changing market needs.”
Stefan Mack, Footwear Sales Manager Mid-Europe, at Huntsman Polyurethanes, said, “We are totally committed to the delivery of differentiated technologies that add value and give our customers the competitive edge. The development of DALTOPED® LITE polyurethane systems strengthens Huntsman’s position as the innovation leader for the footwear industry. Working in collaboration with Josef Seibel Group, it took just three months to move from product concept into production, demonstrating just how quickly we can apply our in-depth expertise in polyether technology to create new solutions for our footwear customers.
DALTOPED® LITE systems are a significant addition to Huntsman’s range of polyurethane products for the footwear industry. Huntsman’s footwear polyurethanes are easy to process; entail relatively low tooling and manpower costs; offer flexibility for long and short production runs; bond easily to many types of uppers and complementary soling materials; and comply with the highest environmental standards. The portfolio includes a range of fully water-blown polyurethane systems based on both polyester and polyether technology. The company supplies versatile solutions for all soling needs supported by the expert technical service needed to create high quality fashion, sports, casual, hiking and safety footwear.