Custom TPE solutions for the growing footwear market

Benvic first integrated its TPE product lines in 2021 when the group began the management process of different product lines acquired from Celanese.

An early activity at that time was Benvic’s treatment of compounds engineered for the footwear sector.

These were based on Sofprene ®, Sofprene-P and Sofpur ® trademarks, which are related to SBS, SEBS, TPU and TPO based compounds.
The new name is now DotFlex

Developing a bespoke material for the footwear sector is keys

The constraints on footwear product development and material compounding are many – and involve:

  • Trends in fashion
  • Colors and colorant technology
  • Material hardness, density and product weathering

Alessandro Biffi, Benvic Commercial and Business Development Director says that ‘developing a bespoke material for the footwear sector is keys: trends are changing for sure but in addition - sdue to new lifestyles and leisure - the types of shoes we need to address are now very extensive: from city shoes to ski boots, sneakers, buffalo shoes, boots and clogs. The footwear business also requires very close customer contact and follow up.’

He adds that ‘this issue of follow-up not only concerns product definition but also the reactiveness at any type of the process, from sample delivery to mass production. Today’s footwear industry is in constant renewal for which reactiveness and support are mission critical.”

In fact, the footwear sector is not new to Benvic as the company has for some years supplied it through PVC compounds now crystalised under  its ProVinyl range.

And now Dotflex leads the way. The material was christened as Benvic’s; flagship Thermoelastic Compound (TPE) at the K exhibition last years, providing footwear customers with two material options.

Developing a bespoke material for the footwear sector is keys

The Dotflex value proposition

Dotflex covers all the former trademarks that had been supplied by Celanese. In addition, Benvic is continually re-engineering the TPE technical and process solutions by developing new ways to shorten the design-in phase: Dedicated industrial process associated with spectrometric color matches and lab checks are key to this process; increasing both service and quality for the footwear customer.

‘Our in-house process re-engineering phase is key in managing clear differentiation of footwear product lines and in reducing overall lead times for markets” says Francesco Corsato, Benvic’s technical leader for the Dotflex lines.

He adds that ‘the question of the Dotflex value proposition is not simply a question of material characteristics and price. Now we are centred on the way that Benvic interacts within all our footwear marketplace segments - with our customers and also with the end user.’

Indeed, Benvic’s Dotflex is now frees footwear users and specifiers to address a whole series of aesthetic and technical options on demand:

  • How to get a crepe or peach skin effect sole? 
  • How to modulate the molecular density to create tactile aesthetics?
  • How to make shoe sole resistant to abrasion, sleep, UV exposure, fatigue resistance?

All of these factors are now included within Benvic’s Dotflex offering. Custom made Dotflex TPE compounds can now help deliver distinction and uniqueness to the footwear manufacturer – essential for today’s market differentiation.

Benvic will launch Dotflex Footwear compounds next month at the industry’s leading exhibition in Milan, Italy.

Discover the solutions and meet our teams at Milan Linea Pelle Expo on Feb 21-23, Hall Stand R18-20.

The Dotflex value proposition