look what we did!Innovations From Polyurethane Manufacturers


Breakthroughs in 3D Printing for Running Shoes

Manufacturers of athletic shoes are always looking for ways to improve the comfort and performance of their footwear. 3-D printing, which in the past has help speed up the prototyping process, is now enabling the creation of custom shoes with special properties and may someday even be thought of as a viable process for mass production.

Polyurethane materials are helping to make 3D printed shoes reality, but often in different ways. One manufacturer created a special pair of shoes for Eulid Kipchoge, winner of the 2018 London Marathon, with uppers made of 3-D printed thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The company claims...

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Category: Athletics

With Polyurethane and a Waffle Maker, Footwear Inspiration Struck

You may be surprised to find out that one of the world’s biggest shoe manufacturers got its start from a waffle maker and a bit of polyurethane.

The story goes: A track coach was attempting to create a shoe that could grip a running track without the use of spikes. During breakfast one morning inspiration struck as he was staring at his waffles. The coach noticed the uniform crevices on the waffle’s surface and wondered if the pattern of indentations could also provide traction on the soles of running shoes.

So, the coach went out to his garage, mixed up...

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Category: Athletics

The Next Generation of Smart Clothing

Innovations in wearable technology have already brought us self-warming jackets and self-tying shoes. Now, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is being used in a stretchable electronic ink that can be embedded directly in clothing to track athletic performance.

The form-fitting circuit can be seamlessly integrated with fabric, bringing comfort, washability and freedom of design to athletic gear. The electronics can be used to monitor pulse and breathing rate, provide feedback on form, and even track muscle tension and other biometrics. 

TPU is a great choice for smart clothing because it is elastic, can be used with a wide variety of fabrics and can be...

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Category: Apparel, Athletics

Polyurethane Helps Climbers Rise Above

When you’re suspended 30 feet above the ground by nothing but your fingertips, you need to have confidence in the material you’re holding on to. Luckily, polyurethane has been the industry standard for climbing holds (the shaped grips on climbing walls) for the past decade.

Polyurethane has enabled rock wall climbing holds to become lighter and longer lasting. Today, climbing holds are stronger than ever before and – thanks to polyurethane’s flexibility – can be molded to many sizes, shapes and colors. Size and shape differences are used to help simulate real-world rocks and boulders, while color is important because...

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Category: Athletics

The Right Shoes for Your Run

Whether you’re training for a marathon or just adding running to your regular fitness routine, shoes are the most important piece of equipment for both the casual and competitive runner. The right shoes can help cushion and support your feet — and even maximize the energy returned to you with every step — while the wrong shoes can lead to blisters, foot pain and worse.

Polyurethane is used throughout running shoes in a variety of ways to improve their durability and performance: Polyurethane adhesives are used to attach the sole to the shoe. They may be molded to the outer...

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Category: Apparel, Athletics

Six Summer Favorites Made with Polyurethane

  • Floats
  • Whether you choose to drift lazily down a river in a tube or rule the pool atop a giant swan, your conveyance is probably made with polyurethane. Polyurethane is great for floats because it’s lightweight and flexible enough to form almost any shape, but durable enough to last all summer long.

  • Surfboards
  • Before they were made with lightweight polyurethane foam cores, surfboards were manufactured with heavy plywood, weighing up to 10 lbs.

  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Polyurethane coatings help protect your favorite lawn chair or beach recliner from the wear and tear of summer weather. Just don’t...

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    Category: Appliances, Athletics, Furniture

    Body by Polyurethane

    Looking to show off a toned physique on the beach this summer? Polyurethane has your back — and your biceps and abs, too.

    Not only is polyurethane found in exercise apparel and footwear, but it’s also found in many kinds of exercise equipment. For example, exercise mats made with a thin layer of polyurethane foam are great for supporting your knees and back when doing floor exercises, stretching or yoga.

    Exercising is easier when you have a friend to motivate and work out with you. Tossing a medicine ball — filled with solid polyurethane — to a partner helps strengthen multiple...

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    Category: Athletics

    Soccer Scores with Polyurethane

    Soccer (or football, as it’s known outside the U.S.) is the world’s most popular sport — with an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide. Although the game has been played the same way for more than 100 years now, the more recent addition of polyurethane coating to the ball has had an important impact on performance for the sport.

    Soccer balls were once typically made from genuine leather. But leather can take on water, making the ball soggy and heavy in rainy conditions. Starting in the 1970s, manufacturers began adding a coat of polyurethane to help make the ball waterproof. Polyurethane...

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    Category: Athletics

    How Polyurethane Wheels Revolutionized Skateboarding

    Skateboarding is a fun form of transportation, a good source of exercise, a highly competitive sport and the genesis of an entire cultural movement. And the amazing stunts and high speeds of today’s best skateboarders were made possible with polyurethane.

    Prior to the 1970s, skateboards relied on steel wheels, which provided a rough ride, or clay composite wheels, which wore out quickly. Enter Frank Nasworthy, an avid surfer and skateboarder who had visited the factory of a family friend and learned about a polyurethane wheel that was softer, but more durable than steel.

    To make polyurethane skateboard wheels, polyurethane is...

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    Category: Athletics

    Advances in Rain Gear

    Breathable waterproof fabrics have been around since the 1970s. These technologies, whether using polyurethanes or other substances, work in a similar way, repelling moisture on the outside, while actually attracting moisture (from sweat) on the inside. The inside moisture seeks to find equilibrium from the warm, humid interior to the cooler area outside, where it can evaporate.

    Unfortunately, when your body is under greater exertion, you can create more sweat than the material can successfully remove. This causes moisture to build up inside the clothing and can lead to either overheating as your activity continues or chilling once you stop....

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    Category: Athletics