Lubrizol Corp. has developed a plasticizer-free thermoplastic polyurethane for athletic footwear.
The Wickliffe, Ohio, firm says the new, soft TPU is an alternative to conventional TPUs for manufacturers concerned about environmental strictures.
Traditional soft TPUs contain phthalate plasticizers under scrutiny by environmental agencies. As well, such plasticizers can migrate to the surface of the molded product, affecting appearance and bonding strength.
Lubrizol says its plasticizer-free, soft Estane TPUs are available in polyester chemistry and polyether types. The TPUs range in hardness from 60A to 77A Shore. The company claims the products feature high transparency and UV stability. It also says the new TPUs can replace rubber and PVC in some molding applications.