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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.


Now a days shoes are meant as basic requirement of our day to day
life. Through out the life we come across various types of shoes according to the
scenario we are going to face. Throughout the globe various foot wear
manufacturers came forward to full fill the customers requirements.
Basically shoe is consisting of upper part and sole part n upper part
manufacturing is expansive as it’s associated with skillful labour. It provides
identity, shape, look to a shoe of particular kind. Sole manufacturing is
comparatively less expansive as it’s associated with less skillful labour as compare
to upper.
Welt construction shoes are traditional design, with the upper stitched
to welted inner sole and the outer sole sewn to inner. Variation of this traditional
construction include the adhesive bonding of various parts in place sewing in which
the upper is turned out wards instead of inwards. This allows an appearance similar
to welted shoe but at a much lower manufacturing cost. The advantages of sheet
materials are essentially those of flexibility of design fashion and it is easy to supply
a large number of size variations.
Generally rubber, PVC, PU and EVA are used as raw material for sole
manufacturing. Each of above mentioned material has got specific characteristics
which promotes availability of different kinds of foot wear in the market to full fill
the various kinds of customer requirements.
Footwear industry is also unable to keep it self away from modern
technique. Traditionally compression-molding machines are used for sole
manufacturing, as manufacturers did not have any alternative other than rubber as a
raw material. Later on modern science suggested that PVC, EVA. and PU are the

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

materials other than rubber can be used as raw materials with introduction of
injection molding, cold flow molding and R.I.M. concept in the fool wear industry.
Presently new techniques are adopted which provides cycle time
reduction from 35-45 records with increase in number of cavities from two to four.
Production efficiency has been improved with the help of new and improved mold
design for longer mold life and better quality parts, improved cooling system.
Location of gale, separate core inserts to improve ventilation, reduced thickness of
parts without any compromise on quality.
The new techniques allows significant cost saving intelligence,
process innovation, increase productivity. Preventive maintenance quality control,
employment enrichment and site house keeping.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Rubber belongs to the class of substance termed as polymers high
molecular weight compounds predominantly organic, consisting of long chain
molecules made up of repeating units usually on a backbone of carbon atoms.
These high molecular weight polymers have a lower temperature limit to their
rubbery state. At the so-called glass transition temperature Tg there is a fairly
abrupt change to a glassy state. Materials in the class of polymers, which are at
normal temperature plastics, become rubber like as the temperature is raised above
Types of Rubber
Various types of rubbers used for sole manufacturing
a) Natural Rubber b) Synthetic Rubber
Natural Rubber
i) Ribbed smoke sheet
ii) Pale crepe
Synthetic Rubber
i) Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S.B.R.)
ii) Butadiene acrylonitrile
iii) Poly chloroprene
iv) Poly isoprene
v) Poly butadiene
Physical properties of Rubber
Max. Min.
a) Viscosity (stokes ) 73 14
b) Ultimate tensile strength ( kg/cm2 ) 200 160
c) Ultimate elongation Percentage 1200 800
d) Modulus 96 25
Chemical Requirement of Rubber
Specification Percentage by weight

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

1) Dirt content 0.05

2) Volatile matter 1.00
3) Total ash 0.75
4) Copper 8.00
5) Manganese 10.00
6) Nitrogen 0.70
Rubber compounding
Compounding adapted to rubber with various additives to improve
properties like mechanical, physical along with cost reduction.
Additives used for rubber compounding
Sr. Additives Type of material Purpose
1. Fillers Carbon black, Activated silica, Provides
Activated magnesium carbonate, Reinforcements
saw dust, calcium silicate Reduction in cost
2. Pigments Red ironoxide, Titan white, ultra Coloring
marine blue, yellow iron oxide
3. Accelerator Mercapto benzthiazole, Accelerates the
dibenzthiazyl disulphide vulcanization rate
4. Activator Zinc oxide, stearic Acid Activates the accelerator
5. Antioxidant Substituted phenyl group of p- Provide moderate oxidant
phenylene protection with min
6. Plasticizer Dioctyl pthalate Aids the processing
Di-Iso octyl pthalate operation of mixing.
7. Blowing Azo compounds foaming-N Provides from like
agent N-Nitroso compound structure
8. Stabilizer White lead Prevents degration of
rubber during processing
9. Vulcanizing Sulphur Provides cross linking
10. Dusting Zinc stearate Avoids sticking of
agent material.
Sequence of additives used during compounding
Rubber + Peptizer ( Renasin )
Pigment +Tackifier (Rosin)
Small chemicals

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

1) Accelerator ( Mercapto benzthiazole)

2) Activator ( Stearic Acid, Zinc oxide )
Processing aids ( white oil )
Special purpose agents
Sulphur ( Vulcanization )

Overriding and predominant in the technology of the industry,
particularly with the emphasis on higher production rates and new techniques is the
control of chemical reactions leading to cross linking to bonding to metal and
fabrics and rubber break down.
The final step in the manufacturing sequence in the vulcanization or
curing of the formed product. Basically, the process is that of applying heat at a
certain temperature for certain time. Vulcanization is most often combined with
forming. Method of molding.
Vulcanization process lead to improve the following characteristics.
Property Raw Rubber Vulcanized Rubber
1) Tensile strength (kg/cm2) 200 2000
2) Percentage elongation 1200 800
3) Water absorption capacity Good Very good
4) Tackiness More Very small
5) Working temp 10 – 600C - 40 to 1000C
6) Chemical Resistance Very poor excellent
7) Elasticity Very much lower much higher
8) Resistance to oxidation Very much lower much higher
abrasion wear and tear

Machinery Used for Rubber Compounding

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Banbury mixer : The mixer consist of a completely enclosed mining chamber in

which two spiral shaped rotors operated a hopper to receive the material for mining
and a door for discharging the batch. Revolving in opposite directions and at
slightly different speeds the two rotors keep the stock in constant circulation. The
ridge between the two cylindrical chamber sections helps force mixing and the
accurate convergence of the rotors and the chamber walls imparts shearing. This
combination of intensive working produces a highly homogeneous batch. The
batch is confined within the sphere of mixing action by an air-operated ram in the
feeding neck. The ram also greatly facilitates the flow between the blade tip and
shell where shearing is most extensive.


Feed Floating
Hopper Door weight
Cored rotors for
circulation of
cooling water or


Two Roll mill : The two roll mill consist of opposite rotating Mixer
parallel rollers placed
close to one another with the roll axes lying in a horizontal plane so that a relatively
small space or nip between the cylindrical surfaces exists. Material reaching the nip
is deformed by friction force between itself and the rollers and made to flow
through the nip in the direction of roll motion. Liquid plasticizers or finely divided
solid ingredients also are placed in the nip and are used to cut ribbons of shock from
the roll for feeding to a cooling tank and dicer. Usually by adjusting the roll temp

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

the compound can be made to adhere to one of the rolls as a relatively thin sheet.
The rolls are heated or cooled by a heating or cooling medium introduced into their
hallow cores. They usually are rotated at different speeds to facilitate the formation
of a sheet or hand frequently is cut and manually pulled loose from the roller. The
gap between the rollers generally may be adjusted manually by means of hand
driven or motor driven screw.

Process description of Rubber sheet manufacturing

Fresh batch is prepared and sent to the banbury mixer. The banbury
mixer are employed in the compounding section for compounding of rubber with
additives. The equipment under batch process with batch time 10 mins. A dust
collector is provided for dust collection. When compounding is completed the
obtained product is dropped over the open mill which masticate the compounded
rubber with shippy white powder. The masticated rubber compound is passed over
endless belt for coating the compounded rubber. The cooling operation is done with
deeping the compound in cold water and then exposed to the series of fans. Then
shippy white is sprayed over it to avoid sticking dusting storage.
Machineries used for compounding
Banbury mixer
Open mill
Flow sheet of Rubber compounding
Fresh Batch
Banbury Two Roll Mill Cooling

To pressing section Powder


Lab testing

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Hardness in (Shore-A) 42 ± 2
Time (Dixon press) 8"
Temp 150 ± 20C
Shade as per reference

Vertical Injection Molding of Rubber

Injection molded rubber sole and heel units are produced on multi-
purpose molding machines. There machines are basically a rubber injector which
consist of a reciprocating screw working within a pre-plasticising cylinder, the
screw and cylinder being fitted with independent temperature regulators.
The molding sections very depending upon the m/c design, but four,
six and ten work station machines are commonly used, the mold station being
carried on a rotary table. At the beginning of each cycle, the screw rotates and
simultaneously moves to the back end of cylinder and the incurred compound in
strip or pellet form is fed into the injection unit. The rotary action of the screw
leaves hot plasticizes the compound in front of screw. The entire injection unit then
advances to form a tight scal between the nozzle and the mold sprue. The screw
acting as a ram moves forward without rotating forcing the compound through the
nozzle into the closed mold. Pressure is maintained for several records after the
mold is filled, to allow the compound to set up. The injection unit then reacts, the
rotary table moves rent station prior to the injection paint opens, allowing the
molded units to be removed from the mold cavity.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Vertical Injection Molding Machine

Molds of varying capacity may be used in any one run since the
volume of compound injected into each mold is determined by the backpressure
developed in the mold. Effective flash- free molding are not produced from this
type of m/c but by designing the molds for tear timing minimum speed waste can be
Each station carries individual temperature controls, so that cure
temperature for moldings of different sole and heel thickness can be achieved.

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate ( EVA) as material copolymer of ethylene and
vinyl acetate (V.A.) colloquially termed EVA and are elastomeric in the 40-60% VA
range, commercially available grades containing usually 40-50%. The copolymer is
substantially amorphous at 40 % V.A. content but retains some of the thermo
plasticity of polyethylene.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Commercial grades of EVA are marketed by Bayer or Levapren and

by U.S. inducter as Vynthene variation being confined by V.A. content and
viscosity. Ethylene – vinyl acetate is characterized by good dry heat, ozone and
weather resistance. Heat resistance is similar to A.C.M. and resistance to swelling in
oils and solvents is inferior to C.R. and N.B.R. vulcanized EVA. Copolymers with
stand 120oC continuously or 140-150% with a useful life of up to one year at 180-
200 oC life can be measured in weeks.

Physical Properties
Tensile strength ( in M.Pa.) 25
Percentage elongation 200-600%
Hardness ( Shore -A ) 60-85
Compression set resistance over 100-180
temp range ( in oC )

Compounding sequence
1) Polymer 2) Pigment
3) Chemical 4) Fillers
5) Blowing agent.

E.V.A. Compounding
Sr.No. Additives used Type of material Purpose
1 Fillers Calcium Carbonate Dimension stability and
cost reduction.
2 Plasticizer Dioctylpthalate Aids the process operation
of mixing
3 Activator Stearic acid, Zinc oxide Activates the processing
4 Blowing agent Fomacin Micro Provides foam like
5 Pigments Carbon black Coloring

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Machinery used
1) Kneaders 2) Two roll mill 3) Calendaring device z type blade
Kneaders: It is basically consist of a rotating and a square like container. Both the
container and the Z type blade, screw is made of stainless steel. The cover of the
container is opened and closed by hydraulic system. The fresh batch is introduced
to the device for compounding. Digital indicators provided to show the parameters
of the processing. The kneading action of blades produces a high viscosity product
in 10-15 minutes. The feed material is under gone heavy shearing action enables
the formation of product.
Calendaring device: The calendaring roller are usually chambered and not parallel
to compensate for variation in thickness across the sheet whilst this is an ideal
solution for a calendaring which produces one gauge of sheet from one compound a
change in either of these parameter gives a departure from the desire crown. Whilst
calenders can be chambered in a few hours to accommodate a permanent compound
change or to table up wear of rolls if more than are compound is processed then
some other device for resetting the crown will be needed if the amount of change of
crown needed is small then roll bending device can be installed. Calendaring for
rubber compounding normally produce sheet of thickness of in range 0.1 to 1.5 mm.
Both these dimensions however are very dependent upon the quality of sheeting
required and the characteristics of compound.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Calendaring Device

Two Roll Mill

Flow sheet of EVA. sheet manufacturing

Batch kneader 1st Two roll mill

Cutting calendaring 2nd two roll mill


Process description of EVA. Sheet manufacturing.

A fresh batch of calcium carbonate and EVA. is prepared and being
fed to a kneader it’s kept inside the kneader for 15 mins. The shearing action of
blades enable the product formation. The product obtained from kneaders is fed to

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

the 1st two roll mill. The first two-roll mill is without cooling system, as this
machine has to only preheat the material. Then the product is sent to the second
two roll mill have the compound is refined and this sheeted. The output from the
2nd two roll mill is sent to the calendaring device for obtaining continuous stream of
sheet of desire thickness. The sheets are being cut into smaller pieces send, then
weighted and stored.

This section deals with production of solid roles and insoles. The
feed material required by this section is obtained from compounding section.
Criteria of a compound to be sole
Hardness of compound should be 50-60. It should possess good
abrasion resistance. It should possess good tearing resistance.
Machineries used : Manual and automatic compression molding machines
Manual C. M. machines : It is hydraulically operated. Instead of oil, water can be
also used for production of pressure. But manual molding machines produces 4-8

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

pairs of role (rubber) in each cycle. Each cycle is completed in 10 mins. Temp
maintained at 1600C.
Automatic compression molding M/c : This type of Machines are used for
manufacturing of soles and insoles (EVA/rubber). All operations are hydraulic in
one cycle 6 sheets are produced. Each cycle is completed in 10-13 mins.
Temperature regulator is provided to regulate. The supply temperature which is
generally obtained from thermo Pac(180-185). The temp maintained at 170-1750C.
Cold flow Molding : It is generally applicable to EVA. Compounds. The EVA.
Compound is preheated then placed over a cold chamber at 5 0C. After that pressure
is applied to obtain desire sole. The EVA.sheet are heated at 90-1000C by passing
over a header. The objective of heating to activate the molecules of EVA compound
and softening the compound. The soften compound is molded in a cold cavity to
restrict the flow of vinyl molecule to obtain the desire shape and size.
Lab testing
Temp in C 160 – 1750C
Pressure in kg/cm2 1 – 1.5
Time in mins : 10


i) fill the batch ¾ th with orion 355 and water 70 : 30.

ii) Open steam and air line
iii) Warm the solution uniformly.
iv) Hang the molds for cleaning with hooks and arrangement.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

v) Pull and drag the molds by chain with control switch system and dip the
mold totally inside the hot solution 12 molds to be dipped at the time
keep the molds dipped inside the solution for 4 hrs.
vi) Take out the molds after 4 hrs with the control switch and clean with
plain cold water jet system.
vii) Clean and dry the water from the mold.
viii) Supply the clean mold to pressing section to use.


It is an interesting paradox that one of the least stable of commercially
available polymers should also be in terms of tonnage consumption at least one of
the two most important plastic materials available today. Yet this is the unusual
position held by polyvinyl chloride a material whose commercial success has been

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

to a large extent due to the discovery of suitable stabilizer and other additives which
has enabled providing useful properties like as follows:
Electrical properties, weight, transparency or opaqueness, chemical,
resistant, hardness, dimension stability. PVC is also available in adequate amount
and relatively at cheaper price.
Physical Properties
Specific Gravity 1.4
Tensile strength (M.Pa) 58
Elongation at break 5
Vicate softening (oC) 80
Significance of k value
The value of k based on modular weight and having different physical
properties. It could be transparent, series transparent to opaque and in addition may
or may not require for food grade nontoxic stabilizes and can be blow-molded
injection or extrusion stretched blow molded.
Determination of k value.
 200 
1.5 log Z − 1 + 1 +  + 1 + 0.5 log Z 1.5 log Z
 C 
150 + 3C

Z  relative viscosity
C  concentration in grams/100 ml
t − t0
Z t0 x C

t  time of flow in seconds

t0  time of flow in seconds of redistilled cycle.
C  Concentration in grams of resin per milliliter of solution.

Compounding Sequence

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

1. Polymer
2. Stabilizers
3. Plasticizers
4. Extenders
5. Lubricants
6. Fillers
7. Pigments
8. Polymeric processing agents
9. Impact Modifier

Compounding of PVC

Name Type of material Purpose

Stabilizer Lead base, Beryllium cadmium Prevent degradation
Plasticiser Di-octylpthalate Di-iso octyle pthalate Aids the processing

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Operation of mixing
Lubricants Metallic stearates, stearic acid, oleic acid aids easier
procesibility and
effects the M.F.I.
Filler Forcal, clay, talc dolomite Provides hardness,
Dimension stability
& cost reduction.
Pigment Red ion oxide, carbon black coloring agents
Special agents
Blowing agent Azo-die compound Provides foam like
Fire resistance Antimony trioxide Resistance to fire
Ultra-violet Ranypol, Thinpol resistance to u.v
stabilizer increases.


Poly vinyl chloride material is injection molded to obtain solid soles

and blown soles.
Solid soles are commercially termed as sole pack.

General injection cycle of sole pack

Curing time 1.3 mins

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Compression 135oC
Melting 135.5 oC
Mold pressure 135.5 oC
Air pressure 700-800psig
Injection pressure 100 psig
Back pressure 8-10 kg/cm2

Machine Description
The machine is basically consists of two sections. One section clamps
and holds the mold halves together under pressure during the injection of the
material into the mold. The other section, the plasticising and injection unit includes
feed hopper the hydraullic cylinder which forces the screw an the heated barrel
which encloses the screw. The barrel is heated with the help of series of heaters.
Molds are provided with cooling system is chillers. Temp and pressure of varies
parts are indicated by indicators along with regulators with the help of which one
can easily fluctuate the temp and pressure at desire according to the requirement of
the product quality.

Process Description
A fresh batch of 100 parts of PVC compound +3 parts of pigments
+10-15% of recycled product is fed to the hopper. The feed material is initially
preheated in a preheated to remove moisture.
The feed material moves forward by the action of flights of the screw.
As it passes through the barrel the plastic picks up conduction heat from the heating
element on the barrel and frictional heat from the rotation of screw. The
compression ratio of screw is 2.5. As the material moves forward in the barrel it

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

changes from granular to semi viscous continuously and it forces the screw
backward in the band against a preset hydraulic pressure. This backpressure is an
important processing variable. The screw stops turning when proper amount of
material has reached the barrel sensed by vernier set limit switch. The material at
the nozzle end charged into the cavity at certain pressure cooling by the forward
motion of screw 1900 inches per minute by hydraulic pressure on the plastic. The
hot melt is forced through nozzle of barrel, through the sprue of the mold and into
the runner system and gates and mold cavity. The temperature of material sizes
from the barrel temperature to mold temperature and aids faster crosses linking
using the parts for 1.3 minutes. After that chillers are come to action for cooling the
part for a definite time interval after chilling screw moves backwards. After another
cycle the mould is opened hydraulically and the sole is ejected automatically with
the help of ejector pins. Example – Flex point, N' Delio, Falton.


Heater Mold

Carriage Chiller
FT: feed zone temp

CT: Compression Zone

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.


MT: Metering zone

MP: Mold pressure

IP: Injection pressure

BP: Back pressure

Injection Molding Machine for Solid Sole Manufacturing

General Injection cycle of Air blown

Injection 1st Pressure 4.2 seconds
Injection 2nd pressure 15 seconds
Prepare mold down 4.2 seconds
Prepare screw turn 12 seconds
Feed zone temperature 1650 C
Compression zone temperature 1800 C
Metering zone temperature 1850 C
Nozzle temperature 1900 C

Machine Description
The machine is basically consists of two section. One section clamps
and holds mold halves together under pressure during the ejection of material into
the mold. The other section is the plasticizing and injection unit includes feed
hopper, the hydraulic cylinder which pushes the screw forward to the inject material
into the mold, a motor to rotate the screw and heat the barrel with the help of series
of heaters.
Here an air pump provided along with indicator and suitable piping
which is responsible for formation of blowing compounds. Chiller provided for
chilling operation. There are 18 workstation at present in this machine. A digital

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

controller is provided in which all temperature, pressures of various zones are

indicating of corresponding workstation. After each cycle the workstation changes
their places by motor arrangement.
Process Description
The feed material i.e. a fresh batch of 100 parts of PVC + 15-18 of
ADCL +10-19% of recycled product are being fed to the hopper after sufficient
preheating. The preheated material is conveyed inside the barrel by the screw
rotation. The conductive heats of the heaters are taken by the material along with
shear heat, which converts the material from solid state to semi viscous form. This
screw rotation stops when sufficient amount material reach the barrel. The screw
then moves forward to transfer the desire amount of molten material from nozzle to
cavity through sprue, runner and gate.
After sufficient of material injection the motion of screw is stopped.
The air pump starts working and supplies 6kg/cm2 air pressure to the cavity for
blowing of the injected material. After blowing cooling of the material is done with
the help of the chillers. After that screw moves backward. The workstation is moved
and another workstation comes under injection point. The cooled sole is ejected out.
Example – Heritage, Seible, New Juliet.
5. Hopper 1. Hydraulic operated air supplier
6. Preheater 2. Air pressure indicator
7. Screw 3. Pump
8. Heaters 4. Work station number indicator
9. Nozzle 15. Weight of material fed
10. Gate 16. Feed zone temperature
11. Workstation 17. Compression zone temperature
12. Workstation bar 18. Metering zone temperature
13. Piping for cooling 19. Nozzle temperature
14. Chiller 20. Pressure indicator
21. Timers

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

Injection Molding Machine for Airblown Sole Manufacturing

Lab Testing
Surface blisters
Flow marks
Short shots
Weld lines
Internal voids.


The particular polymer is fiber forming material although in many

respect in many resembles the formation of polyesters and polyamides, it is not a
condensation reaction but involves a transfer of a hydrogen atom and thus may be
considered as an example of rearrangement polymerization. Several polymer
currently used containing many linkages in addition to the urethane group. Because
of this term polyurethane is now generally extended to cover all the complex
reaction product of isocynates and polyols compounds.

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Commercial development of polyurethane arose from the work of

German chemist attempting to develop the Du pont patent on Nylon-66. Polymers
by reacting aliphatic di-isocynates and aliphatic diols. Subsequent work resulted in
production of useful product by using polymeric hydroxyl containing compounds
such as polyesters to give rubber, foam, coating and adhesives.

Physical Properties
Tensile strength 38 MPa
Percentage elongation 640
Resilience 56
Hardness (B.S.) 86
Tearing resistance 7.2
Abrasion resistance 15/cm3

Polyurethane compounding
Sr. Additives Types of materials Purpose
1 Catalyst Silicon , tertiary amines, To speed up the reaction
organo-metallic compounds
2 Cross linking , Polyols, polyamines To give polymer cross
chain extending linking, to introduce
agents special polymer
3 Blowing agent Water reacts with isocynates To produce foamed

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4 Colorants Various pigments, carbon To identify different

black foam grades
5 Fillers Particulate, inorganic To modify properties
material ( stiffness and fibre
properties )
6 Flame retardant Phosphorus and halogen To reduce flammability
containing molecules
7 Smoke Particulate organic or To reduce the amount
suppressant organic material, and slow down the rate
polycarboxylates hydrates of smoke production
oxides, borates

The RIM process

The reaction injection molding process is that in which the ingredient
are injected into the closed mold where they react to give the molded product in the
required material. In the present case the ingredients are polyurethane foam and
simultaneously polymer formation and foaming occur in the mold.
Over the years three main variants have been tried in the RIM process.
It is usually to have two metered streams of reactants, which are intimately mixed
immediately prior to injection. In all cases to bring together for reaction polyols
compounds, isocynates, catalyst, chain extenders, cross linking agents, surfactant,
blowing agent and other additives such as colorants, ultra violet absorber. The
variants have been concerned with the way these ingredient and divided into two
RIM variants for PU systems for Shoe soles

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One shot system Prepolymer system Quasi prepolymer system

Polyols Polyhydroxyl Part polyhydroxyl compound
Cross linking agent -- --
Catalyst Silicones Silicones
Blowing agent Isocynates Blowing agent
Isocynates Cross linking agent Isocynates part polyhydroxyl

In the one-shot system the isocynate forms one stream and all the
remaining components form the other.
In the prepolymer system the isocyanate is reacted, by the chemical
manufacturer, with all the other components except the cross linking agent. The
shoe-sole manufacturer then adds the cross linking agent (as the second stream ) to
the polyurethane prepolymer.
In the quasi-prepolymer the isocynate is reacted, by the chemical
manufacturer, with part of the polyhydroxyl compound, and this is used as one
stream. All other components are in the second stream.
Of these systems the quasi-prepolymer system is much the most
favoured. It has been found to give the optimum combination of processing
characteristics, storage stability and physical properties of the finished shoe sole.
Among the advantages if offers is a well matched flow-rate requirement from each
Processing description of P.U. sole manufacturing
The requirement in the plant is to store the ingredients for the two
streams of reactants, and then to meter them to the mixing chamber at the
appropriate rates, followed by injection of the reactive mixture into the mould, fig.
In the production head, each stream is in pumped circulation
continuously, to maintain uniformity of composition and temperature. When it is
time for an injection, valves interrupt the circulation to allow the required for an

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injection, valves interrupt the circulation to allow the required metered quantities
into the mixing chamber.
Notice that in this process relatively low pressures are used, and
mixing is done in the high-speed (15 000 rpm) screw, compare this with the high-
pressure systems being developed for automobile parts, in which impingement
mixing is used.
The fundamental requirements for RIM equipment for this purpose may he listed as
follows :
a) The machine must accurately meter and dispense small shot sizes.
b) The components must be well mixed throughout the shot, lo minimize the
problem of variable performance in the finished product.
c) The temperature of the chemicals must be accurately controlled. PU foam
systems are sensitive to temperature variation and this foam systems are sensitive to
temperature variation and this requirement is therefore essential for consistent
A number of procedures exist for the production of moulds, and
selection of the most appropriate will depend on cost and the number of mouldings
that will be required. Polyurethane forms foams at low pressures, so that it is often
practicable to use cheap cast moulds rather than expensive machined ones. Cast
moulds use an original model of the required moulded product/surface. This can be
made in various materials, e.g. wood. was. clay. The mould is then constructed by
applying the mould material to the model.
Molding Process
The machine tank. where accurate temperature control is applied, hold
I gallon of each stream component. One stream comprises the quasi-prepolymer i.e.
all the isocyanate reacted with part ofthe polyester. The other stream comprises the
other ingredient i.e. remainder of polyester (referred to as 'resin'). Surfactant cross

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linker, blowing agent (water). The machine tanks are supplied from holding tanks.
The prepolymer stream runs at 40°C and the resin stream at 50°C. These
temperatures are required to maintain appropriate viscosity for pumping and they
are also maintained in the holding tanks, which are stirred.
The circulating pumping rate is in the range 35-50 Cm3/sec.
The PU foam forming process is characterised by two stages, where
timing is important. These are 'cream time', which is the time taken for the Final
mixture of ingredients to become creamy in colour and consistency, as the
polymerization, cross linking and foaming begin to occur at an appreciable rate. The
induction time before creaming is observed is desirably short, because high
production rates are required. For PIJ shoe soles, cream times of 5-6 s are usual.
The second stage is the time required for full cure, and this is 2-3 min, giving a
remold time of perhaps 2 min.

Testing Rubber shoe PVC shoe sole EVA shoe sole PU shoe sole
Tensile 2000 390-580 25 38
strength (Mpa)
Percentage 1200 40 200-600 640
Tackiness Very small Optimum Large Optimum
Working temp. -40 to 100 150-190 100-180 <200
Resistance to Excellent Good Good Good
wear and tear
Abrasion Much higher Optimum Optimum less
Hardness 66 78 60-85 86
Dimensional Least Outstanding Good Good

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Cost of Least Less More more


Yet after seeing the advantages and disadvantages of PVC, Rubber,

EVA and PU base sole, we can conclude that if one wants shoe at cheaper price
irrespective of the quality and dimension stability then rubber base sole are the right
choice. If one wants shoe at relatively cheaper price along with dimension stability
he should go for PVC based shoe. If one wants lightness, show and quality he
should go for PU or EVA shoe sole. No doubt these two shoe soles are
comparatively expensive than the Rubber and PVC based sole but they justify their
corresponding price by providing suitable, outstanding properties. So above all this
ultimate decision will be taken by the customer, who is going to purchase this sole
base footwear.

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

1) Rubber Technology xxiii-xxv,
By : C.M. Blow 169,172,202,
250,367, 451-462

2) Polymer Chemistry 212-214,264-289

By : B.K. Sharma

3) PVC Technology 10,11,228,229

By: A.S. Athalye

4) A Seminar Report On Polyurethane shoe sole 2,7-13, 17

By : Sunil K. Goenka ( 1999-2000 )

5) www.google.com

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Shoe Sole Manufacturing Tech.

6) www.alstiva.com

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