Adidas gets a boost from BASF's expanded TPU foam

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 25, 2013 4:05 pm ET
Updated: June 25, 2013 5:12 pm ET

Image By: BASF The new Energy Boost by Adidas uses Infinergy, a particle foam with an extremely high rebound. The expanded thermoplastic polyurethane material was one of many new products that BASF plans to feature at K 2013.

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, Product News, K 2013
Companies & Associations BASF Corp., BASF SE

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY — Chemicals giant BASF SE is bouncing toward K 2013 with a host of new products, including the industry's first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane foam.

BASF officials unveiled Infinergy-brand TPU foam at a two-day press event that began June 25 at the firm's headquarters site in Ludwigshafen. The foam already is being used in Energy Boost running shoes launched earlier this year by sportswear leader Adidas.

Infinergy uses particle foam technology to create low bulk weight and good chemical resistance and elasticity, BASF TPU footwear sales leader Martin Vallo said at the event. The foam also has good "rebound performance" and outperforms expanded grades of polyethylene and polypropylene, he added, as well as ethylene vinyl acetate, which often is used as a layer in the soles of running shoes.

Adidas senior innovation director Gerd Manz said at the event that runners want good cushioning in an insole — one that "lands kinetic energy" when landing.

Since commercialized in February, Energy Boost shoes have sold 250,000 pairs, making them one of Adidas' most successful launches, according to Manz.

BASF Vice Chairman Martin Brudermüller also spoke at the event, saying that the firm has benefited from a recent reorganization of its plastics businesses. He added that BASF moving ahead plans to focus on increased applications for wind energy, more use of renewable feedstocks and "using innovation as a driver."

Wind energy use globally is expected to grow 7 percent per year through 2020. And biopolymer production should boom from less thaaan three billion pounds in 2012 to more than 13 billion in 2016.

When asked about the impact of shale gas on the plastics market, Brudermüller confirmed that BASF has considered building a propylene unit in North America, but he added the firm was being cautious.

"We want to take part in [shale gas] development, but you have to be smart," he said. "Just throwing additional volume at the market doesn't seem to make sense."

Brudermüller also highlighted some of BASF's recent growth initiatives, including increasing expanded polystyrene capacity in Ludwigshafen, as well as opening a new plant with almost 700 million pounds of capacity for PU feedstock TDI there in 2014.

Other BASF product launches aimed at the K show include:

  • High-temperature grades of Ultramid-brand nylon for extrusion blow molding applications, such as automotive engine piping.
  • Four new grades of Ultramid for the furniture market, where glass-filled grades can provide durability, stability and good aesthetics.
  • New grades of Ultradur-brand PBT for cables used to house fiber optic wires that allow for faster internet traffic.

BASF ranks as one of the world's largest makers of chemicals, specialty plastics and plastic additives. The firm employs more than 110,000 worldwide and posted sales of almost $94 billion in 2012.


Comments

Adidas gets a boost from BASF's expanded TPU foam

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 25, 2013 4:05 pm ET
Updated: June 25, 2013 5:12 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Chinese compounders seek market shares, often at the expense of margins

August 29, 2014 10:02 am ET

China's largest compounder, Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co. Ltd., as well as its more automotive-focused counterparts Shanghai Pret Composites Co. Ltd. and...    More

Image

PP prices rise 5 cents

August 28, 2014 3:59 pm ET

After a one-month break, volatility has returned to the North American polypropylene resin market, with prices increasing by an average of 5 cents...    More

Image

DuPont fined for 2010 chemicals release

August 28, 2014 1:37 pm ET

DuPont Co. has been fined almost $1.3 million for the release of several chemicals — including plastics feedstock phosgene — at its plant ...    More

Image

LyondellBasell to build feedstock plant on Gulf Coast

August 28, 2014 11:05 am ET

LyondellBasell Industries will build a world scale propylene oxide plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast with a capacity of 900,000 metric tons per year.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events