Comfort, light weight, durability… are all key qualities in sports equipment manufacture. Arkema knows this, and combines passion with innovation to accompany trends in clothing and technical equipment thanks to effective solutions. By improving the design of sports articles and materials, the Group stands as a partner at the service of the performance of sportsmen and women. The sports world is becoming more extreme – and needs “extreme” materials.
Solutions dedicated to light weight and comfort
Lightweight polymer solutions are vital to innovation in the sports industry. Components that can maintain toughness and energy return without weighing down athletes are necessary to push them faster and further.
To meet these requirements, Arkema develops new resin ranges that help improve athlete performance.
- Pebax® elastomers enhance the comfort of running shoes for athletes while providing energy return and light weight for the various components. Pebax® elastomers are ideal for midsole components like the torsion bars and plates, and outsole plates used widely in cleated footwear. These lightweight polymers provide high energy return that world champion runners recognize.
- Rilsan® biosourced polyamides, easy to use and process, are used to manufacture bicycle saddles. Their light weight and fatigue strength ensure greater comfort for cyclists. For skis and ski boots, durable, shock resistant materials that can also maintain flexibility and comfort over a wide range of temperatures are essential for manufacturers to develop and improve the gear used by today’s athletes.
- Orgalloy® thermoplastic alloys deliver unrivalled sturdiness and light weight for the tip of ice hockey and figure skates.
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.
Focus on... environmentally sound sustainable products
Today’s athletes care about the environment just as much as they care about their sports experience. Arkema relentlessly imagines and develops new sustainable solutions that address the needs of our planet. Pebax® Rnew is the first fully biosourced thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). It features extreme mechanical, physical and chemical properties, providing athletes peak performance. Rilsan® PA11 is processed from castor oil and is 100% renewable.
With its R&D work heavily focused on sustainable development, the Group is one of the world’s most innovative chemical manufacturers
Enhanced mechanical strength and thermal stability
Athletes have to test their endurance to progress, but also need reliable materials. The Group’s teams of experts are responsive to the evolution of activities as well as expectations of sports enthusiasts, and so continuously develop increasingly more effective solutions that enhance the sturdiness and durability of equipment.
- Rilsamid® polyamide resin is recommended for the most demanding applications thanks to its unique combination of thermal, physical, chemical and mechanical properties. This thermoplastic material is used in particular in the formulation of coatings for skis.
- In order to fill the gap between thermoplastics and rubber, elastomeric polymers from the Pebax® range can be used on their own or combined with other plastic or rubber materials. They are used in the manufacture of many ski boots, to which they impart light weight, rigidity, comfort and sturdiness even at very low temperature.
- 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.
- 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 are added as filler to composites resins and so help reduce by 40% the risk of bicycle frames breaking.
Chemistry, style and design: a winning formula
The style and design of sports equipment have become an issue and a challenge that rival with strength and durability.
The style and design of sports equipment have become a challenge and opportunity rivaling strength and durability. With its connection to wellbeing, the notion of sports reflects a certain quality of life. Today’s athletes demand trendy and customizable articles, made possible through innovative technologies.
Arkema always seeks to address technical constraints while also keeping style and design in mind.
- Altuglas® PMMA acrylic resins ensure optimum high-glossy appearance as well as high depth of color. They are used to manufacture SUP (stand-up paddle) boards.
- A transparentand biosourced polyamide, Rilsan® Clear is used to manufacture tough, lightweight and fully transparent articles. It is often used for the design of high performance
- Kynar® PVDF fibers can be woven into socks and other garments for outstanding durability, and added sweat and odor resistance
- The Pebax® range includes grades that can be processed into breathable, waterproof, monolithic films. These films have a high MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate) and excellent tear strength that won’t weigh down athletes. Our team works with partner film makers and laminators that can provide Pebax® films.
Focus on... chemistry, your partner on the golf course!
Chemistry is ubiquitous in the composition of golf balls and golf clubs. Attentive to the needs of all athletes, the Arkema Group has also developed tailor-made products for golf equipment.
Products from the Pebax® range are indeed used in particular to manufacture the sole of shoes, while Graphistrength® and Nanostrength® solutions improve the quality of the shaft of golf clubs.