Adidas AG, a global leader in the sporting goods industry, has developed a pioneering new body-suit designed to maximise an athlete’s performance, using TPU technology from Huntsman Polyurethanes.
TechFit Powerweb, which is manufactured by US extrusion specialists Bemis, was developed to harness the intrinsic power in the human body and improve an athletes’ performance. The body-suit is made from an elastic base fabric with a special two-layer TPU film coating. This unique combination provides excellent directional stretch and energy return to support athletes’ movements, maximising the use of energy produced by the body during exercise.
Everberg, Belgium — Huntsman Polyurethanes, one of the leading producers of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) resins, today announces a price increase, effective April 15, 2005, or as contracts allow.
Huntsman will increase the price of its Irogran®, Irostic®, Irocoat®, Irodur® and Krystalgran® TPUs by up to 10%, depending on the products, on a worldwide basis. This move is prompted by two factors:
- The need to achieve reinvestment economics in a tightening market – especially in the specialty TPU market. Without it, end-market growth will be limited by currently available high-performance TPU capacity;
- The doubling of crude oil prices in the last two years - This structural shift in the oil market, together with a tightening market for the major TPU raw materials, has caused an unprecedented increase in our variable cost
Philippe Rose, Global Director TPU, explains, "We have no option but to increase prices. Dramatic markets conditions require us to take this drastic step to sustain our TPU business. This move is however not an isolated one, the plastics indu
stry as a whole has seen significant price increases in the recent past. TPU is just another plastic product that is being severely impacted by the global oil market dynamics."
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of commodity and differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture basic products for a variety of global industries including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, textiles, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging, and later, rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has revenues of $11.5 billion, 11,500 employees and 63 operations in 22 countries.
Statements in this release tThe suit’s two-layer TPU film consists of two bespoke grades of Huntsman’s IROGRAN® TPU. The top layer was selected for its excellent elasticity, very low tensile set and high wear resistance. The very thin bottom layer was chosen for its exceptional adhesive properties, ensuring the suit has excellent washability and dry clean resistance throughout the garments lifetime.
Dr. Berthold Krabbe, team leader apparel of the Adidas Innovation Team (AIT)*, said: “The suit provides dynamic support by containing and amplifying muscle movements and linking key joint and energy systems together. Following extensive research into the biomechanics of top sprinters, football players, and other athletes, and the effect of movement on muscle compression in key areas, we developed this new technology based on Huntsman’s IROGRAN® TPU. Research and testing done by independent universities like the Human Performance Lab of the University of Calgary (Alberta/Canada) showed a performance increase fohat are not historical are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations. The forward-look
ing statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company’s operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the company’s expectations will be realized. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.
r sprinting speed (1,1%) jumping (4%) and endurance (0,8%). Additionally very positive feedback from top athletes and leading experts had been received. The first prototype of the suit was used by Kim Collins when he became 100m World Champion, today top athletes like Jerimy Wariner and Tyson Gay, Kaka and Michael Ballack, Dan Carter and Reggie Bush perform in these suits.”
The technology works by wrapping bands around key areas of the body, for instance just above the knee. This harnesses the power of the muscle and links it through the back of the thigh to the abdominal muscular system – the real power centre of the body.
Berthold Krabbe explained: “The crucial benefit of TPU is its optimised elasticity; once stretched it always returns. This means the kinetic energy of the athlete’s movements is constantly stored and released through the elastic behaviour of the TPU. As a result athletes have increased joint power, better posture, improved feedback for more accu
rate movement and they can also experience faster recovery times due to increased blood circulation.”
The new technology has significant benefits for manufacturers as well as end users. Existing products can require multiple seams to join the various sections, which can be labour intensive and relatively complicated. The new two-layer TPU film can easily be laser cut into any shape and applied to the Lycra® fabric by simple heat pressing, making the manufacturing process far more efficient and cost-effective. The end user also benefits from increased wear comfort due to the reduced number of seams.
Berthold Krabbe continued: “Huntsman’s TPU expertise was key to the success of this project. Huntsman Polyurethanes has one of the widest technology platforms in TPU, so the team could offer just the right materials. Their contacts were also vital, as they very quickly put us in touch with Bemis for co-extrusion of the TPU.”
TPU’s flexibility is key and means manufacturers can quickly change the strength or direction of the elastic pull, simply by altering the cut or perforation of the material. This enables them to adapt the TechFit Powerweb solution to across different sports and body shapes, maximising the marketability of the product.
Dr. Krabbe concluded: “In today’s sporting arena, the difference between first and second can be just milliseconds. Although we cannot make athletes better than they are, with this technology we can help optimise their performance, potentially giving them that winning edge.”
* - The AIT (Adidas Innovation Team) is a global team of specialists focused on the development of advanced and innovative sporting technologies.
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