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 Jute-Thermoplastic Composites for Footwear





A Joint Project of NSTEDB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Jute-thermoplastic composite based shoe components (toe puff & counter stiffeners) have been developed under a project launched by the Advanced Composites Mission in partnership with APL Polyfab (P) Ltd., Kolkata with technology support from the Indian Jute Industries Research Association (IJIRA), Kolkata.The project aimed at developing jute-thermoplastic composite components such as toe puff, counter stiffener, insoles etc. for footwear. The toe puff & counter stiffener are inserted between the leather and lining material for the purpose of stiffness, shape retention etc. While toe puff is used in front portion, counter stiffener is used in backside of footwear. The jute composite components are aimed to replace the ones made of leather, leather board, synthetic material, cellulose/ paper pulp etc. with reduced cost. Besides, they also provide good strength and   compatibility with thermoplastic hot melt adhesives thus leading to better shape retention, mould ability, flexibility etc. IJIRA, Kolkata assisted in providing all the related information on jute properties, selection of raw materials and their formulation considering the end property requirements, fabrication and testing of prototypes. The low cost jute-thermoplastic components would cater to a large segment of shoe manufacturers, who have been importing the semi-finished sheets due to non-availability of required quality & volume of such components. The project comprised of two phases. The first phase involved the impregnation of woven raised jute-cotton fabric by a water-based polymeric emulsion. The continuous impregnation plant was designed & developed indigenously. The toe-puff & counter stiffener developed under the first phase have met the property requirements as per international standards. A few footwear manufacturers have also found the product samples satisfactory in actual use. The second phase involved the complete design and fabrication of the hot melt adhesive (HMA) system indigenously. The entire HMA coating system complete with two stainless steel kettles with agitators for resin mixing, tray for HMA application with oil heating system, one 650 mm dia-roller & two nos. 400 mm dia rolls complete with individual drives with motors, control panels, un-winder, draw rollers, chilling rollers, silicone roller, balancing idle rolls, etc. was fabricated and assembled within a short period. Jute-cotton fabric impregnated with different emulsion formulations was coated with hot melt adhesives to cater to major shoe manufacturers as well as the international market. The technology development exercise for impregnation of jute-cotton fabric with subsequent HMA coating for toe puff & counter stiffener for footwear has been a success. The technology, now protected by a patent by APL Polyfab, is now available for transfer to prospective entrepreneurs desiring to manufacture jute-thermoplastic based shoe components in other countries.
The impregnated jute-cotton sheet would also find applications in leather purses and similar products. As HMA coating of jute-cotton fabric is a major value addition step, the product is expected to enjoy good market share. Further, development efforts are underway for extrusion coating of jute for making filmic type toe puff sheets used for fashion shoes, children's and sports shoes with good demand in the market. APL Polyfab Ltd., Kolkata has launched the new product line using 100% indigenous material and technology at the Delhi International Leather Fair 2002.
For further information, please contact 
Technology Information, 
Forecasting & Assessment Council, 
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road, 
New Delhi-110 016, India. Top


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