Infinergy® ‒ expanded TPU
Infinergy® ‒ The First Expanded TPU ‒ As Stretchy as Rubber but also Light and Springy
Infinergy® is the world's first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU). This closed-cell particle foam can be used anywhere, where a combination of low weight, excellent mechanical properties and good long-term durability is required.
The World's First Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane (E-TPU)
The elastic particle foam Infinergy® can be used anywhere, where a combination of low weight, excellent mechanical properties, and long-term durability is needed. Infinergy® panels can be processed on standard slitting lines, die cutting and water-jet cutting machines.
In mid-September, the BASF Concept Bike 1865 and Infinergy®, which was used in the tire of the bike, were awarded with the FSK innovation award 2015 in the category “Application Idea and Material Input” by the Specialist Association Foamed Plastics and Polyurethanes. The modern high wheel refers to the versatile application possibilities of plastics and performance materials in the near future. Moreover, the tire of the bike is resistant to abrasion and has high damping properties. The FSK innovation award is primarily aimed at young professionals as well as at companies and universities with interdisciplinary activities.
Infinergy® was awarded the MATERIALICA Gold Award 2013 in the "Materials" category. This design award honors high standards in intelligent material choice, applied production processes, level of innovation, and design quality.
- In the sports and leisure sector (floor coverings, e.g. for playgrounds or running tracks, bicycle tires)
- In vehicle construction (e.g. for vibration decoupling)
- In mechanical engineering (e.g. as cushioning elements and buffers in industrial linkages)
- Reusable dunnage trays in the logistics sector
- In the shoe industry
Benefit of this Tough Material in Various Fields of Application:
Like its starting material TPU, Infinergy® is noted for having high elongation at break, tensile strength and abrasion resistance as well as good chemical resistance. In addition, the innovative particle foam remains highly elastic and soft over a wide temperature range.
The feature of Infinergy® that is particularly striking is its high resilience. Tests of the resilience elasticity under ISO 8307 (the ball rebound test) and under DIN 53512 (using a defined pendulum hammer) show that Infinergy® achieves a rebound of over 55%. This is therefore significantly higher than comparable particle foams such as expanded polypropylene (EPP) at 30%, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) at 37% or expanded polyethylene (EPE) at 50%. Infinergy® does not lose its excellent resilience even under a continuous load.
Dynamic mechanical analysis has shown that, even at extremely low temperatures of -20°C (-4°F), Infinergy® still has a low dynamic modulus, is very soft and stretchy and thus does not go stiff.
- Dynamic loads of 250 kPa and 5 cycles/second
- Thickness of the test piece after 40,000 cycles:
EPE: 22 percent (9 mm), Infinergy®: 93 percent (37 mm)
- Density: 30 kg/m³ (EPE), 265 kg/m³ (Infinergy®)
Elastic Even Under Continuous Load and over Wide Temperature Range
High-frequency fatigue test:
--> Dynamic mechanical analysis: Infinergy® stays elastic up to minus 20°C.
In principle, Infinergy® can be processed on the same molding machines which are designed for processing of expanded polypropylene (EPP). A steam chamber pressure of at least 5 bar is necessary. During processing, the steam pressures are usually in the range of 1.6 to 2.2 bar, depending on the geometry and density of the molding. Both crack splitting and pressure filling are possible methods that can be applied here. Appropriate injection systems should be used.
In addition, because polyurethane binders adhere so well to Infinergy®, there are other processing techniques such as gluing and foam sealing of the beads. This procedure enables large-scale processing of Infinergy®.
Converters can process panels made from Infinergy® on conventional splitting machines, punches and water jet cutting machines.
Infinergy® is compliant with the RoHS directive and does not have to be labeled under dangerous goods regulations.
Information on other regulations, e. g. GADSL, will be provided on request.
Infinergy® is also recyclable.
The German sports equipment manufacturer adidas uses Infinergy® in its innovative “Energy Boost” running shoe. As the material used in the midsole, Infinergy® makes the shoe comfortable to wear and delivers excellent running properties. The sole springs back into its original shape immediately after impact: thanks to this high rebound effect resulting from the resilience of the material, runners use up less energy than they did before.
As Infinergy® withstands temperatures of between -20°C (-4°F) and over +40°C (+104°F) without changing its functional properties, the adidas shoe can be used at any temperature - whether in winter or in summer.
Another advantage highlighted by the shoe manufacturer is the great long-term durability of the material which, just like the other properties, is significantly better than that of conventional midsole materials.