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Lubrizol Aims to Engineer its TPU Portfolio to Support Circular Economy in Footwear Sector

Published on 2019-05-31. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:   Creativity with Plastics    

Lubrizol Aims to Engineer its TPU Portfolio to Support Circular Economy Lubrizol Engineered Polymers extensive portfolio of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) for performance footwear applications is designed to meet the growing demands of footwear producers. The increasing demands include:

  • Having the ability to streamline the shoe manufacturing process
  • Producing less material waste and
  • Using a more sustainable material option that still meets performance needs

One Shoe. One Material. One Earth


According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans alone throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. This figure has inspired Lubrizol Engineered Polymers to engineer an innovative portfolio of advanced polymers to provide footwear producers the opportunity to create a nearly 100% TPU shoe that is recyclable* without compromising performance.

Justin Park, Lubrizol's global market segment manager for performance footwear says, "The advantage of a 100% TPU shoe is that at the end of the shoe's wear cycle it can be re-grinded and then reformed into a new shoe, therefore extending the life of the product and material."

TPU Portfolio for Footwear Applications


Lubrizol Engineered Polymers advanced TPU portfolio for footwear applications gives footwear producers the opportunity to collaborate with one solution provider for their needs. Another benefit to footwear producers of using Lubrizol Engineered Polymers TPU as the prime material for shoe production is having the ability to reuse the scraps, resulting in less unused material during the manufacturing process.


The key technologies in Lubrizol's Engineered Polymers TPU portfolio for performance footwear that can be used to form almost every component of a shoe include:

  • Esdex™ TPU for upper yarns to keep shoe construction smart and lightweight,
  • BounCell-X™ a low density, plasticizer-free, recyclable*, thermoplastic foam for cushioning,
  • Estane® TRX TPU as a functional alternative to rubber outsoles,
  • Pearlthane™ ECO TPU a bio-based** renewable-sourced material,
  • Estane® 3D TPU a soft, flexible material that offers design freedom for 3D printed components, and
  • Pearlbond™ TPU for adhesives assembly that provides flexibility to join a large variety of substrates together

*Recyclability is based on access to a readily available standard recycling program that supports such materials. Products may not be available in all areas.
**Bio-based content as certified in accordance with ASTM D-6866. 


Source: Lubrizol
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