Industry News

TPE Molded Soft-touch Dial Enhances Functionality of New Shoe Lacing System

Published on 2018-05-17. Author : SpecialChem

FREELOCK Wire Closure System
FREELOCK Wire Closure System
KRAIBURG TPE has announced that a unique new shoe lacing system developed by Shin Kyung Inc. (Korea) is manufactured using their innovative rotary dial, overmolded with THERMOLAST® K compound to provide both enhanced functionality and aesthetics.

FREELOCK Wire Closure System

Lacing and unlacing shoes can be a cumbersome task, especially for children and seniors. Moreover, with conventional shoe laces it can be time-consuming to adjust to the right level of tightness, which can be critical for both a comfortable fit and safety - particularly for demanding activities such as running and other sports. Shin Kyung’s patented FREELOCK wire closure system eliminates these challenges with an innovative mechanism for tightening, securing and loosening laces by means of multiple wires contracted or released as needed by a simply twist of a rotary dial.

Benefits of THERMOLAST® K Compound

The dial of the FREELOCK system is based on a two-component design comprising a polycarbonate base overmolded with THERMOLAST K from KRAIBURG TPE.
  • The thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound was selected for its ability to combine excellent processing characteristics with superior tensile strength and aesthetics. 
  • Key properties to be met included easy colorability in line with brand footwear shades, high flowability for short cycle times and uncompromising long-term adhesion to the polycarbonate in order to withstand the frequent turning and tension applied to the rotary dial across the lifetime of the shoe. 
  • In addition, the TPE offers excellent surface quality along with a pleasant soft-touch feel while retaining its firm grip.

Beyond the convincing property profile of the THERMOLAST material, KRAIBURG TPE went the extra mile to quite literally take on the challenges to succeed with the FREELOCK concept as their own. From selecting the right compound through to taking full advantage of its processing, design and end-use benefits, their expertise and support made a significant contribution to help the company optimize the closure system and speed up its time to market.

Apart from footwear, the FREELOCK system is also ideally suited to other applications requiring convenient, safe and adjustable tightening, such as gloves, bags or medical pouches.

KRAIBURG TPE showcased the FREELOCK wire closure system along with other successful customer applications, including the latest innovative TPEs for the automotive, consumer, electronics and packaging sectors at CHINAPLAS 2018.


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