Thermoplastic rubber (TR) sole and its properties

What is a thermoplastic rubber (TR) sole? AC-Step company refers to the following materials as thermoplastic rubber:

  • TR (thermoplastic rubber) - a practical and non-slip material with a high degree of frost resistance (up to -50). The material's properties and manufacturing technology allow for a monolithic surface layer, making it durable and retaining heat well. The material provides good grip on the surface, which is important in the autumn-winter season..
  • TEP (thermoelastic plastic) - a material resistant to low temperatures with excellent thermal insulation properties. TEP is highly durable and non-slip.
  • Modified TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) - a new generation of materials for sole production with technical and aesthetic characteristics similar to those of vulcanized rubber soles.
  • CREPE (fiber-reinforced thermoplastic rubber) - a lightweight foam material that can be used to make high winter wedge heels.
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) - a thermoplastic polymer of vinyl chloride. It is elastic with high hardness. Soles made of this material are not recommended for use at temperatures below 0. The material loses elasticity and can become brittle under heavy loads.
  • Foam thermoplastic rubber, with a similar weight to that of thermoplastic rubber soles, has a lower weight due to the foam component.

Two-tone soles are molded in layers, starting from the bottom, using a press mold. The process requires more time and special equipment.

TR three-tone soles are produced in a similar way: the first layer, curing, the second layer, curing, the third layer, curing, extraction of the sole, and checking for defects.

In addition to the soles, AC-Step also produces TPU inserts. Depending on the sole model, one insert can be used for one or several sizes. TR soles and inserts can be purchased on the website

For what types of footwear is thermoplastic rubber (TR) sole used?

  • Sneakers and sports shoes - the TR sole has high wear resistance and resistance to deformation, including cuts and punctures. That is why it is used in the production of sports shoes.
  • Ballet flats, sandals, mules - TR sole is used for summer shoes with or without heels due to its elasticity and durability.
  • Seasonal shoes - shoes with a sole made of material with high wear resistance ensure the integrity of the sole for a long time.
  • Winter shoes - this material retains heat well. Therefore, the feet will not freeze or get wet in boots or shoes with a TR sole. Also, the TR sole is resistant to damage and slipping.
  • For children - thermoplastic rubber is also often used in children's shoes - the TPE sole is environmentally friendly and safe, and does not release toxic substances when heated in the sun.

Production of TR soles

  1. Raw materials are delivered in bags in the form of granules, which are added in a mixer with recycled materials.
  2. The mixture is melted in a screw at high temperatures depending on the type of raw material.
  3. Then the material is poured into a press mold, where plastic inserts in the form of a heel, various rubber insets, and foam pads, depending on the model, can be embedded before pouring.
  4. The TR sole is extracted from the press mold and sent for finishing: coloring, coloring with sanding, or just sanding to raise the pile.

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