Nike uses biobased TPU in soccer boot

Published: November 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

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Topics Materials, Sustainability, Design

BARCELONA, SPAIN (Nov. 1, 9:25 a.m. ET) — Merquinsa’s Pearlthane ECO TPUs (thermoplastic polyurethanes) are being used by sportswear giant Nike in its recently released GS football boot, where their strong mechanical properties can be exploited in the sole plate.

“The Nike GS is the lightest and fastest football boot we’ve ever made and really defines a new era in how we create, design and produce elite football boots,” said Andy Caine, global design director for Nike Football, in a press statement. “When you can deliver a boot that combines high-end performance and a low environmental footprint, that’s a winning proposition for players and planet,” he added.

“The bio-based product line provides an alternative to 100-percent petroleum-based TPU materials, without compromising any performance properties, Merquinsa claims.

The product has 82 to 95 Shore A hardness and a range of 32 percent to 46 percent biobased content, as demonstrated using ASTM D-6866.

Merquinsa says the ECO line was “specifically designed for the sports and recreation market and provides the required performance properties for high quality footwear.” These properties include excellent abrasion resistance and cold flexibility combined with improved hydrolysis resistance and good adhesion to other non-TPU shoe components.

With a low density compared to petroleum-based counterparts, Pearlthane ECO TPUs provide sports footwear manufacturers with a lightweight and cost-efficient material that contributes to making the Nike GS football boot’s sole plate 15 percent lighter than a traditional plate composition.

According to Jesus Santamaria, global bio TPU platform manager, “Combining Merquinsa’s ECO portfolio with Lubrizol’s bio-based products allows us to continually innovate and cater to the needs of environmentally-conscious footwear manufacturers with high-end performance and bio-based speciality elastomers. We intend to continue to find new ways to position ourselves as a global solutions provider for the sports and recreation industry.


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Nike uses biobased TPU in soccer boot

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