Trinseo Affiliate: Sustainable TPUs Could Displace Petroleum-based Footwear Foams by 2030

Thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics supplier API, an Italian company that Trinseo acquired in July 2017, is introducing an expandable bio-based thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) dubbed Apilon 52 Bio Light for use in sports shoe midsoles. The material reportedly reduces production cycle time by up to 60% compared to cross-linked materials like EVA, therefore cutting production costs and lowering energy consumption.

Could bio-based foams come to dominate the footwear market by 2030? Image courtesy of API.

 “This is another step Trinseo is taking towards meeting our sustainability goals, which also strengthens our already broad portfolio in luxury, athletic, and professional footwear. This is especially encouraging as we believe bio-based materials will become the de facto choice in luxury footwear by the year 2030,” says said Giancarlo Busa, Global Market Leader, Footwear, at API.

Apilon 52 Bio Light is an additional development by Trinseo in the expansion of its portfolio of sustainable materials, as it is the company’s first lightweight TPU made with bio-based content.

Moreover, its outstanding characteristics – lightness (density down to 0.4 g/cm3), softness (hardness between 35 and 50 shA), natural haptics with velvet touch, and sustainability – provide manufacturers with more options when it comes to bringing their designs to life in vivid colors. This is available through the in-house produced Apicolor, a color masterbatch allowing for a vast range of tone options.



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