Sport and leisure
Athletes demand comfortable, lightweight and durable equipment. That’s why sports brands are committed to offering ever-greater performance through continuous innovation. Arkema helps these brands improve equipment design, notably with our Pebax® elastomer, the market's highest-performing elastomer for athletic shoe soles. Versatile and 20% lighter than conventional elastomers, Pebax® material is also used in ski boot shells. Recently, we innovated and created a new bio-based product, Pebax® Rnew. In addition, our teams develop and manufacture plastics and additives for sports endurance that, thanks to their high mechanical and thermal resistance, continue to deliver reliable performance even in the most extreme conditions.
Pebax® elastomer: 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 low weight, elasticity, comfort, toughness and flexibility.
Used by the best players
61% of football players during the competition in France had shoes with Pebax® elastomer in it.
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® elastomer is 20% lighter.
Pebax® elastomer: how does it work?
The French blog Footpack, which specializes in soccer equipment, visited our research facility in Serquigny, Normandy (France). The purpose of the visit was to discover the benefits of using Pebax® elastomer in soccer shoes.
Pebax® elastomer is also used in textile form for waterproof, breathable clothing.
The Pebax® elastomer range was recently updated with innovations such as 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 soccer.
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 sports and at work. The values of local outreach, solidarity and exceeding your own limitations, 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, they have to 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 unrivaled 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 mechanical stress, as well as excellent UV stability.
- Graphistrength® carbon nanotubes, when added as filler to composites resins, help reduce the risk of bicycle frames breaking by 40%.