An Italian multinational chemical company, COIM accelerates on the theme of sustainability, giving life to a new research and development department for polyesters, polyols for polyurethanes and polyurethane systems for footwear that will focus on the development of products based on renewable resources. In charge of the department is Andrea Luraghi, who will have the job of providing momentum to the frontier of research: “Our first target will be that of renewable sources to then go on to recyclability and then see if technology can evolve towards biodegradable/compostable products. For now, we are starting with the development of systems from renewable sources of vegetative origins with mid-to-high level technological performance, in line with what is in demand by the market of traditional footwear. By the end of 2020, we will come out with new products”.
While awaiting the debut of this innovative generation of products, COIM and SIMAC have turned the spotlight on the Laripur RS line. Thermoplastic polyurethanes, formulated on the basis of a large part of the raw materials from renewable sources, which can give life to footwear products whose percentage of renewable sources is around 70%. “It is a material that is meeting up with strong interest in the market – explains Andrea Donghi from the COIM research and development department – especially in the fashion shoes industry, with brands like Gucci, Prada, Westwood… which are always on the lookout for innovative solutions”. Thanks to the drive of luxury fashion brands, that which was a niche market up until a year ago, today has become a leading trend. “In terms of performance, almost nothing is lost, both in terms of mechanical properties as well as in terms of processability – adds Andrea Donghi – We are already completely in line with what is supplied by non-renewable resources”.