Huntsman launches Smartlite O LTPU system

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Huntsman has developed a liquid thermoplastic polyurethane (LTPU) for the footwear industry that enables the manufacture of midsoles.

(Image credit: Huntsman)

The Smartlite O LTPU system can be processed in a single step that is said to use less water and energy and generate less waste than carbon emissions. It can also be converted and repurposed into new materials either in its post-industrial and post-consumer form.

As part of the launch, Huntsman has joined forces with the Framas Group, a company that is said to have the capacity to produce up to two million soling constructions per annum using the material.

Key benefits of Smartlite O LTPU:

  • Easy to process: Processed on low pressure casting machines, Smartlite O LTPU system can help streamline shoe manufacturing. With in-situ polymerisation, adhesive-free bonding of midsoles to TPU outsoles, and fast demould rates, cycle times for the Smartlite O LTPU system are short.
  • High performance: With a density of 250 kg/m3, Huntsman’s Smartlite O LTPU system produces hydrolysis resistant midsoles that offer step-in cushioning comfort with a rebound of more than 50%.
  • Circular: Smartlite O LTPU system is suitable for brands looking to use circular midsole materials and lower the carbon footprint of their manufacturing processes. Supporting circular economy initiatives, soling units featuring a Smartlite O LTPU midsole and a TPU outsole can be mechanically repurposed if the correct reprocessing infrastructure is available. For example, manufacturers can mix post-industrial recycled Smartlite O LTPU content with virgin TPU to create new outsoles and cupsoles. Huntsman can also make bio-based versions of the material.