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Covestro partners with HUAFENG on footwear textiles 

EcoNote | November 14, 2022 | By:

Guests at Covestro’s Expo booth could view a shoe manufactured with 3D HAPTIC® textile printing using its INSQIN® system on recycled PET.

The textile industry continues to look for ways to reduce its CO₂ footprint, for example in the fabrication of sports shoes. HUAFENG, a textile technology company, chose to apply INSQIN® PU by Covestro, a waterborne polyurethane technology, as a coating binder in their HAPTIC® printing technology. 

The sports footwear industry has traditionally used solvent-borne polyurethane in textile coatings, but with increased consumer demand for more sustainable products, manufacturers are switching over to waterborne polyurethane solutions, which reduces hazardous dimethylformamide emissions. 

The challenge for Covestro was combining two different technologies. The company’s partially biobased INSQIN® polyurethane coatings was used for durability, and HUAFENG’s advanced HAPTIC® printing technology was used on recycled PET (rPET) mesh fabrics manufactured with CYCLONE® yarns instead of a virgin fossil product. Uniting both techniques integrates bio-based raw materials into waterborne polyurethane textile coatings, then 3D printing these more sustainable coatings onto recycled post-consumer material.

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