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BASF will demonstrate sustainable footwear solutions at Simac 2021

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-09-14 12:42:26 – Germany

BASF, the Germany-based largest chemical producer, will exhibit sustainable PU systems, TPU, and E-TPU, as well as 3D, printed moulds and functional coatings for the footwear sector, at Simac 2021 in Milan, from September 22 to 24, 2021, in hall 14, booth G 40. Visitors will learn about sustainable footwear solutions, high-performance materials, and shoe sole coating options.

Without sustainability, future-oriented footwear materials are impossible to imagine. BASF's strategy includes sustainability as a key pillar and an integral aspect of all business decisions. That is why BASF invests roughly two billion euros per year in R&D and promotes the development of innovative products that contribute significantly to sustainability.

Reduce, Recycle, and Rethink are BASF's three sectors of activity for a circular economy in footwear. BASF experts will give a thorough dive into this approach at the event and present sustainable material solutions for polyurethane systems and thermoplastic polyurethanes, according to a press release.

BASF's main goal is to reduce fossil resource consumption and CO2 emissions. Elastopan N (PU systems) and Elastollan N (TPU) both contribute to this by using renewable basic materials including sugar, corn, and castor oil. These bio-based plastic solutions come in a variety of densities and hardness levels, making them appropriate for a wide range of applications in the footwear sector.

Furthermore, BASF's integrated manufacturing system allows for the replacement of fossil feedstock with renewable bio-waste feedstock. This strategy, known as the BASF biomass balancing approach, is comparable to green electricity: The production of the final product, electricity, remains unchanged when alternative energy sources (such as wind and solar energy) are injected into the power grid.

Similarly, at BASF, bio-based or recycled raw materials are supplied into the production network at the start and then processed in a series of phases, such as into plastics. The idea has the benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving fossil raw materials while maintaining product quality and properties. Customers in the footwear business will benefit from this because product design and processing for shoes will not need to be altered. According to BASF, the approach may be applied to the entire range of PU systems, TPU, and E-TPU for footwear.

It is critical to rethink the manufacture and use of footwear in general in order to attain the ultimate objective of a circular economy. This was the problem that Italian designer Linda Lipari, along with Pierpaolo Righetto and students from Calzaturiero Politecnico (the School of Footwear Design and Technology), took on during the recent design competition, titled "design in the Sign of Sustainability."

The designers' sole design, "RE2.0," serves as the foundation for the students' different creative variations. RE stands for Restart, Reconsider, Recreate, and Reconquer the globe. At the BASF exhibit, the students' unique shoe creations, which combine design, performance, and sustainability, will be displayed.

In addition, BASF's Coatings group will demonstrate novel coatings solutions for very flexible substrates. Flexible surfaces are protected, functionalized, and colored with these solutions. They set new norms in terms of design possibilities, individualization, and process optimization for BASF's customers.

Additive Manufacturing, which ranges from 3D printed moulds and tools to completely 3D printed shoes, has the potential to revolutionize the footwear business. BASF 3D Printing Solutions, under the trademark Forward AM, will demonstrate 3D printed moulds and lasts at Simac 2021, allowing development cycles to be drastically shortened. Visitors will also view completely 3D printed high heels and barefoot shoes, as well as midsoles made with latticed designs, which enable new ways of cushioning, shock absorption, and comfort and can be tailored to the needs of the customer.

Traditional manufacturing processes may struggle with lattice patterns, but Additive Manufacturing makes them simple to create. As a result, they precisely demonstrate how 3D printing complements traditional manufacturing methods and how BASF's cross-technology solutions benefit clients. This will also be highlighted by a novel solution for the shoe industry, which blends 3D printing with Infinergy material and will be shown for the first time at Simac.

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