Climbing New Heights in Material Innovation for Safety Footwear


Employees’ safety footwear have come a great distance for the reason that days picket clogs had been used.
For employees throughout quite a few industries – be it automotive, logistics, manufacturing, meals, health care and so forth – safety toe footwear have transitioned from heavy pure supplies to extra light-weight, but strong, synthetics. They’ve additionally gone from clunky utilitarian to an extra sports-casual look – enabling employees to put on the identical pair of footwear comfortably (and probably stylishly) in and out of doors of the workplace, a timesaving comfort.
This development to include model and ergonomic consolation without compromising on safety and performance has been made doable by means of the progressive use of latest high-performance artificial supplies which have come in the marketplace successively through the years.
Extra considerably, persevering with developments in supplies expertise means footwear designers now have the means to create footwear that don’t simply present workplace safety, but in addition cut back fatigue and repetitive pressure or joint stress accidents. These developments might help enhance the standard of work life and save on misplaced downtime.
A brand new materials invented in 2006
An occasion of a complicated expertise materials that lends itself to those enhancements is expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU). This includes small, light-weight beads of artificial materials blown up, like popcorn, and molded collectively. Invented in 2006 by German chemical innovators BASF, the superior materials, which is commercially often called Infinergy, uniquely combines a number of properties which might be hardly ever discovered collectively: It’s each supersoft like a foam, but ultra-springy (like rubber, however considerably extra bouncy and lighter in weight). The compression expertise attribute of E-TPU supplies unparalleled and sturdy shock absorption.
Included in safety shoe design, the fabric with these qualities supplies not solely optimum and fixed cushioning underfoot, defending towards spinal and joint stress, it additionally crucially supplies a helpful rebound increase of round 55% of the vitality again to the wearer with every step taken, serving to cut back fatigue. Wearers are thereby empowered to work safely, comfortably and agilely on their toes all through the day, with out getting footsore or backaches.
E-TPU is very strong and retains its efficiency qualities even in excessive warmth or chilly. It stays elastic all the way down to minus-4° F. This permits the safety footwear to final for years, remaining snug and protecting (together with towards joint stress and fatigue) even all through fixed use in chilly rooms and throughout the widest vary of environments.
Initially used to revolutionize trainers
This materials expertise was in reality initially used in trainers to boost athletes’ efficiency and safety – it’s even mentioned to have revolutionized the operating expertise.
These advances in expertise now underpin the award-winning design and expertise of South America’s main safety shoe producer, Maincal. The corporate’s flagship safety shoe mannequin, which contains E-TPU compression expertise, obtained the worldwide “Best in Show” award on the 2019 NSC Safety Congress & Expo – an annual occasion that brings collectively leaders in the sector of business safety in the US.

Empowering customers to make sustainable selections
Importantly, Infinergy has been formulated to have the bottom doable environmental affect. The fabric is bisphenol A-free (thus, unhazardous), could be created utilizing bio-based uncooked supplies and could be molded utilizing low-temperature (and thereby low-energy and low-emission) processes.
As a result of the fabric is so sturdy – in a position to retain its integrity and efficiency for years – merchandise akin to your favorite sports activities footwear, safety work boots or gown footwear made with Infinergy can proceed to present you snug service wit out additional expense for a very long
Furthermore, on the finish of its use, Infinergy E-TPU could be absolutely recycled and regenerated to its unique high-performance qualities – enabling it to contribute to a round economic system geared to lowering, reusing and recycling.
The way forward for safety footwear
We could effectively see extra safety footwear incorporating sustainable high-performance expertise in future.
The extra that superior supplies can add worth to safety footwear – akin to fatigue discount and different worker-performance and quality-of-life enhancing facets, furthermore in a sustainable manner – the extra doubtless there might be a requirement for it and, certainly, an expectation of it.
At the moment, a fabric akin to Infinergy E-TPU supplies a thrilling clean canvas for such innovation.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine