Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF has developed new TPU material grades for the optimised manufacture of shanks for shoes. These are the stiffening elements between the inner and outer sole that retain shape and improve comfort.
The most important property of a shank is stiffness, and therefore they are commonly made from glass fibre-reinforced polyamide. BASF scientists have developed a TPU-based alternative.
The new Elastollan R material is also reinforced with glass fibre, and has similar stiffness while absorbing hardly any moisture. The big benefit is the fact that it adheres to polyurethane soles without the need for any surface treatment.
BASF is also using its Ultrasim simulation technology to assist the design process. The technology allows highly stressed, lightweight parts to be designed, such as the shanks.