So, what are the actual benefits of this miracle material? The answer is threefold: lightweight – elasticity – energy return:
- Lightweight: Since our Pebax® material is low in density, allowing shoes to be made 20% lighter than those made with traditional elastomers such as TPU.
- Elasticity: Pebax® material is flexible and comfortable to wear, but also highly resistant to impacts and vibrations.
- Energy return: Parts made with Pebax® materials can be bent nearly a million times with no signs of damage thanks to the outstanding flexibility of this material, in other words it has the capacity to store and release energy just like a spring... For as long as you need.
These properties give athletes the impression of having more energy to stretch their limits, the slogan of the Pebax Powered® program. This program is dedicated to communicating to the sports community in order to help them better understand the Pebax® range.
What about sustainability? Well, the Pebax® Rnew® range is partially manufactured with Castor oil, a raw material that Arkema has been using since 1947 to make bio-based materials such as our famous Rilsan® PA11. Moreover, this raw material is very interesting as the castor oil is a vegetable oil that is not edible and has little real value in the human and animal food chain. The plant is extremely hardy, growing in areas with very little water and low rainfall, such as Gujarat, India, where more than 80% of the world’s castor oil comes from.
Nevertheless, ensuring sustainable production throughout the production process requires involvement from start to finish. Therefore, it is important to look at what happens where everything starts: in India. Along with three partners (BASF, a leading chemicals company; Jayant Agro-Organics Ltd., a pioneering Indian company in chemistry of castor oil, and the international organization Solidaridad), Arkema has launched a project called "Pragati" in 2016 (the Hindi word for progress) with the aim to educate local farmers in order to improve working conditions, raise awareness of sustainable agriculture and increase revenue by using more efficient methods. While this project is still in the initial stages, more than 2,700 farmers have already been successfully trained, audited and certified by third party inspection agencies. Thanks to this initiative, the combined member farmers have achieved a yield improvement of more than 50 percent over the 2016 baseline. In addition, water consumption was lowered by approximately 25 percent in the demo plots where water utilization was monitored.
For those looking to Stretch their Limits with high-performance and sustainable solutions, the Pebax® Rnew® range offers solutions without compromise!
Our team will be exhibiting at the 2020 edition of ISPO Munich this year! If you have any questions or want more information, come see us at booth #B6 – 218!