Textiles & Apparel / Garment
Sympatex to introduce its revolutionary UTMOSPHERICTM shoe technology
Using a sophisticated, innovative process, Sympatex Technologies has developed a manufacturing technology that allows lasting three- dimensional shape forming of their laminates. Sympatex *UTMOSPHERICTM is produced by means of a thermal moulding process, and is a liner that adapts perfectly to the shape of the foot, without seams and creases and without compromising the quality and functionality of the laminate. Combined with appropriate textiles, the sustainable polyester-based high- performance membrane from Sympatex is the perfect base material for this. UTMOSPHERICTM will be presented to the general public for the first time at the Sympatex booth (Hall 22P M11-M19/N12-N20) at this year’s Lineapelle trade show (25 to 27 September 2018, Milan).
With UTMOSPHERICTM, the traditional process involved in producing a liner can in future be made redundant when manufacturing a waterproof outdoor shoe. Today, a shoe of this nature is pretty much expected to be not only waterproof but also breathable to ensure that your feet stay dry and comfortable even during strenuous hikes and ascents. Manufacturing the interior of such a shoe is, however, generally still a complex manual process. Since the necessary membrane-based functional laminate has until now only been available in two- dimensional form, it takes a great deal of time and effort to create a three-dimensional foot shape. At the same time, the cuts and seams required to achieve this inevitably damage the membrane, which means that water impermeability properties then have to be re-created in the final steps by means of tape.
While this has been an accepted method in the industry so far, these times are now finally over. Instead, a thermally moulded three-dimensional UTMOSPHERICTM liner is optimised to fit the required final shape and can directly be integrated in the existing manufacturing processes.
“It can reasonably be expected that this innovation will open up a completely new chapter in the development of outdoor shoes, as it offers significant improvements both for the manufacturer, on the process side, and for the customer, in terms of added comfort”, says Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO at Sympatex Technologies. “We were guided by lean principles in our innovation process, and simply refused to accept that you first have to perforate and cut up waterproof materials, only to then seal them again by means of complex handicraft”, adds Fox.
Prototype series for the first pilot customers have already been in the development phase for several weeks, and will be launched during the course of next year. Due to the overwhelming feedback, production machine development has also already been started, with a view to going into full series production by the end of 2019 at the latest. Plans for modular production facilities in the manufacturing countries are also already in place.