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

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

DuPont: Asia's food packaging market at a major transition point

April 21, 2014 1:26 pm ET

DuPont Co. touted its packaging innovations and applications, and updated the firm's commercial status at a media event two days before the Chinaplas ...    More

Officials warn China's PVC overcapacity will only get worse

April 21, 2014 3:47 pm ET

Despite worsening overcapacity, China still imports a million tons of PVC.    More

Chinese coal mining company Jinhui launches bioplastic factory

April 21, 2014 10:18 am ET

Chinese coal mining company Shanxi Jinhui Energy Group Co. Ltd. is diversifying into bioplastics, launching production this month on a $35 million, 20...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events