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FP6

INNORUBBER Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 508157
Financé au titre de: FP6-SME
Pays: Spain

Final Report Summary - INNORUBBER (Intelligent and multifunctional rubber compounds/adhesives for the shoe industry)

The main objective of the INNORUBBER project was the development of new rubber compounds for outsoles and specific adhesives with properties similar to those of the conventional materials currently used. This would be done in order to avoid the surface preparation of soling materials prior to bonding, or at least to reduce it as much as possible, thus simplifying the overall bonding process. This means the study of modifications to be done on elastomeric materials and adhesives in order to pre-activate their reactive sites allowing bonding, and obtaining good adhesion parameters, in accordance with European standards (CEN TC309 and CEN TC193), and without these modifications affecting the final physical and mechanical properties of the soles.

The individual industrial objectives and/or targets that can be reached through the development of this project were:
- simplified use of rubber in the footwear industry, avoiding surface treatments;
- cost reduction in shoe factories through the elimination of one production step (ranging between 10 % and 80 %, depending on the avoided surface treatment);
- elimination of hazardous chemicals from shoe factories, improving work safety conditions;
-increase of the added value of rubber (30 %-40 %), improving its compatibility with adhesives;
- increase of the added value of adhesives (30 %-40 %), improving its compatibility with rubber compounds;
- decrease of the social costs in the companies due to the reduction of insurance costs, owing to the disappearance of the risks inherent in the storage and use of solvents and hazardous chemicals.

The measurable objectives by the end of the project were:
- establishing a correlation between rubber compounds physical-chemical properties and adhesion properties;
- eliminating or reducing at maximum the surface treatment in rubber bonding (the elimination of at least one step of the bonding process);
- development of modified rubber compounds/adhesives with improved adhesion behaviour (a minimum of 3).

The main objectives for two reported periods were:
- benchmarking with bonding systems used by leading footwear manufacturers worldwide. According to this information, the rubbers most frequently used in the footwear industry as soling materials (vulcanised and thermoplastic rubbers), and the most common adhesives, mainly polyurethane and polychloroprene adhesives, and their standard formulations were selected.
- modification of rubber compounds and corresponding adhesives selected to improve adhesion properties and to provide 'intelligent-multifunctional materials' with optimised properties for bonding footwear materials under acceptable process conditions.
- new materials should have properties similar to those currently used in the footwear industry.
- selection of intelligent-multifunctional rubber compound/adhesive systems for industrial validation by SME partners in the project. At least one rubber compound/adhesive system per country and different polymeric nature.
- Industrial validation of the new materials developed from the point of view of the adaptation of new materials to SMEs mixing processes.
- to prove that the innovative assembly process (intelligent rubber compounds and adhesives) is practical for use in footwear factories and to demonstrate that the footwear produced meets the required standards.
- diffusion of the intelligent materials to companies of footwear sector.
- industrial exploitation assessment.

The work performed during the two periods covered by this report has been organised into the following work packages (WPs):
- WP 1. State-of-the-art and technical limitations
Vulcanised and thermoplastic rubbers, and the most common adhesives, mainly polyurethane and polychloroprene adhesives, and their standard formulations were selected.
2. Determining the rubber compounds and adhesives properties which influence the compatibility rubber-adhesive, and thus the adhesion phenomena
selection of rubber compounds and adhesives that comply with the footwear specifications and comparison with the properties of standard rubbers prepared at laboratory.
- WP 2. Development of intelligent-multifunctional materials (rubbers and adhesives) in order to be bonded without or with the minimum surface treatment
Objectives:
1. modification of rubber compounds and corresponding adhesives to improve adhesion properties and provide 'intelligent-multifunctional materials' with optimised properties for bonding footwear materials under acceptable process conditions. These materials must be different concerning their polymeric nature in order to be representative of those materials used in the footwear industry.
2.physical-chemical characterisation of modified materials (rubber compounds and adhesives) in order to analyse their suitability.
3. selection of rubber compounds-adhesive systems for industrial validation.
- WP 3. Industrial validation of intelligent-multifunctional materials.
Objectives:
1. industrial validation of the new materials developed in a previous task from the point of view of the adaptation of new materials to SMEs mixing processes;
2. the innovative assembly process (intelligent rubber compounds and adhesives) should prove if it is practical for use in footwear factories and demonstrate that the footwear produced meets the required standards.
- WP 4. Dissemination and exploitation of results.
Objectives:
1. diffusion of the intelligent materials to companies to the footwear sector;
2. industrial exploitation assessment.
- WP 5. Project management:
the objectives of the project management during the first year of the project are related to the coordination of the project, including the monitoring of the technical progress, the periodic reports and cost statements. Those objectives include the establishment of a good communication flow and the control and planning of the project.

Informations connexes

Reported by

ASOCIACION DE INVESTIGACION PARA LA INDUSTRIA DEL CALZADO Y CONEXAS - INESCOP
ELDA (ALICANTE)
Spain