Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Material Sciences company, announces that its high performance bio-based EcoPaXX® polyamide has been chosen for the “Edging Chassis” of an innovative new mountaineering shoe from sports specialist Salomon.
Light mountaineering shoes fit with one of the latest trends in outdoor sports: they provide users with very comfortable lightweight equipment that lets them be quick, agile and safe. The Salomon X Alp range is at the forefront of this trend, with its innovative Edging Chassis (patented by Salomon), a special plate built into the sole with a sophisticated design that combines two opposites: flexibility and stiffness.
The Edging Chassis provides stability for the foot in the transverse direction—to provide good grip on narrow ledges—but also allows enough flexibility in longitudinal direction to accommodate the natural flexing of the foot. This requires a material with the right combination of appropriate mechanical properties and toughness, and which can also be processed easily.
EcoPaXX has enabled Salomon to produce a chassis with an intricate design that is light, has the necessary mix of flexibility and rigidity, retains its properties at very low temperatures typical of mountain environments, and has reduced moisture uptake, despite being a polyamide.
The material is very suitable for injection molding and is certified as carbon neutral from cradle to gate. It is being used in the chassis of three models of Salomon’s new X Alp range of mountaineering shoes: the X Alp GTX, X Alp MTN GTX, and X Alp PRO GTX.
For the Edging Chassis, a material with excellent flow characteristics is needed as the design requires the use of a mold with multiple gating, which creates multiple weld lines, which means weld line strength needs to be high. DSM EcoPaXX has these excellent flow characteristics, together with outstanding mechanical properties and also processes very well. Altogether, EcoPaXX provides a very cost-effective solution that makes it stand out from the competition and a perfect fit for the Edging Chassis.
Aude Derrier, project manager in Materials Footwear Department of Global Footwear at Amer Sports says: “X Alp shoe expresses the cutting edge of light mountaineering. It is the result of over two years of intensive development and field tests with professional guides, rescue teams and athletes, and is a pure expression of Salomon’s approach to product innovation and its mountain heritage. Models with the patented EcoPaXX Edging Chassis can be used from lower flanks of the mountain as well as for approach.”
“Salomon, the mother company Amer Sports Group, and DSM have a long partnership history, and have worked together on other challenging EcoPaXX projects like high-end snow board bindings. We were confident that DSM could help us to create our new generation of mountaineering shoes, and our confidence has been justified.”