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

Ford moving forward in carbon fiber for 'high volume' use

April 17, 2015 10:21 am ET

Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal with a carbon-fiber manufacturer to jointly explore “high-volume” automotive uses for the lightweight...    More

Image

Force majeure declared at six European sites since mid-March

April 17, 2015 1:10 pm ET

At least six European resin makers have declared force majeure on polyethylene, polypropylene and related products since mid-March, leading to higher ...    More

Image

Executives step down from Star Thermoplastics

April 17, 2015 12:56 pm ET

Executives Randall Fortin and Larry Johnson no longer are with materials firm Star Thermoplastics Alloys & Rubbers Inc.    More

Image

Zoltek expanding CF capacity in Europe

April 17, 2015 10:12 am ET

Leading carbon fiber group Zoltek Corp. has signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government to expand its operation in northern Hungary,...    More

Image

Hanwha Azdel adds capacity in Lynchburg

April 16, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Composite maker Hanwha Azdel Inc. will add space and a new production line at its Lynchburg, Va., production facility, the company announced April 16.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events