Comfort, light weight and durability are all key qualities in sports equipment manufacture. By improving their design with efficient solutions, Arkema accompanies trends in technical equipment aiming for ever greater performance.
Pebax®: the best-performing elastomer on the market for the soles of sports shoes
To help athletes push their limits, Arkema has developed a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), Pebax® (a polyether block amide), which has a unique combination of light weight, elasticity, comfort, toughness and flexibility.
Puma, The North Face, Mizuno … major brands have adopted Pebax® for their designs of “high performance” soles for soccer and rugby boots, running and tennis shoes, even hiking boots.
This versatile elastomer is also used in the manufacture of ski boot shells for major brands like Scarpa, Dynafit, Scott and Fisher, where its properties are all the more appreciated as they remain unaffected by very low temperatures. Compared to elastomers traditionally used in ski boots, such as TPU, Pebax® is 20% lighter.
Pebax®: how does it work?
The French blog Footpack, specialized in the latest football products, came to our research facility in Serquigny, Normandy, in order to have a better understanding why Pebax® is such an interesting product to use in football boots.
Learn more in the video below.
Pebax® is also used in textile form for waterproof-breathable clothing.
The Pebax® range was recently updated with innovations like Pebax® Rnew, the first bio-based TPE, and transparent Pebax® Clear Resin, which is expanding design and application possibilities.
Arkema, National Supporter of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™
Already involved in the world of sailing, Arkema chose to associate themselves with the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ to support women’s engagement in football.
Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema Chairman and CEO, said: “Signing this agreement is a great opportunity for us to support and enhance the status of women both in sport and at work. The values of local outreach, solidarity and excelling oneself as upheld by a competition like the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 are fully consistent with Arkema’s own values."
Plastics and additives for mechanical resistance
Sporting endurance cannot do without reliable materials. In extreme situations, these must prove their high mechanical and thermal resistance.
- As a high performance polyamide recommended for the most demanding applications, Rilsamid® polyamide 12 resin is a thermoplastic material with a unique combination of thermal, physical, chemical and mechanical properties. It is used in particular in the formulation of coatings for skis.
- Ideal for bicycle saddles, Rilsan® biosourced polyamide 11 ensures greater comfort for cyclists thanks to its light weight and fatigue strength. Rilsan® is also found in the composition of tennis racket bumpers.
- The tips of ice hockey and figure skates can benefit from the unrivalled sturdiness and light weight provided by Orgalloy® thermoplastic alloys.
- Solarkote® PMMA resins may also be found in coating formulations for kayaks, boats, jet skis/water scooters, etc. They boost the protection of the colors of the vinyl substrates, and improve resistance to impact, scratching and corrosive agents.
- Altuglas® PMMA acrylic resins ensure optimum high gloss appearance as well as great depth of color. They are used to manufacture SUP (stand-up paddle) boards.
- A transparent and biosourced polyamide, Rilsan® Clear is used to manufacture tough, lightweight and fully transparent articles. It is often used for the design of high performance sports goggles.
- Used in the manufacture of frames for racing bikes and mountain bikes, Nanostrength® nanostructured acrylic copolymers in particular ensure high resistance to impact and to mechanical stress, as well as excellent UV stability.
- Graphistrength® carbon nanotubes, when added as filler to composites resins, help reduce by 40% the risk of bicycle frames breaking.