ASICS has been granted a patent for a shoe-forming member that has excellent adhesion. The member is made using a thermoplastic elastomer containing an aromatic polymer with a poly-a-methylstyrene structure in a matrix along with a polypropylene resin. The shoe-forming member comprises a matrix of polypropylene resin and poly-a-methylstyrene resin, and a domain of crosslinked elastomer, with the content of poly-a-methylstyrene resin being 1.5 times or more than that of the polypropylene resin. GlobalData’s report on ASICS gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on ASICS, Footwear 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. ASICS's grant share as of September 2023 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Shoe-forming member with excellent adhesion using thermoplastic elastomer

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: ASICS Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771172B2) discloses a shoe-forming member made of a thermoplastic elastomer. The thermoplastic elastomer consists of a matrix composed of a polypropylene resin and a poly-a-methylstyrene resin, along with a domain containing a crosslinked elastomer. The content of the poly-a-methylstyrene resin is at least 1.5 times greater than that of the polypropylene resin.

In claim 2, it is mentioned that the domain comprising the crosslinked elastomer is covered by the polypropylene resin. This indicates that the polypropylene resin acts as a protective layer for the crosslinked elastomer.

Claim 3 states that the content of the poly-a-methylstyrene resin is at least 7.5 times greater than that of the polypropylene resin. This higher content of poly-a-methylstyrene resin suggests that it plays a significant role in the properties and performance of the shoe-forming member.

The crosslinked elastomer in claim 4 is formed through the crosslinking of a styrene polymer using a crosslinking agent and a crosslinking aid. The crosslinking aid is a compound represented by formula (1), which includes specific alkylene chains and substituents. This indicates that the crosslinking aid has a specific chemical structure that contributes to the crosslinking process.

Claim 5 mentions that the crosslinked elastomer can be formed using styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene copolymer resin (SEBS) or styrene-ethylene-ethylene/propylene-styrene copolymer resin (SEEPS). These specific copolymer resins are known for their elastomeric properties and are commonly used in the production of shoe soles.

Finally, claim 6 states that the shoe-forming member described in claim 1 can be used in the construction of a shoe. This implies that the shoe-forming member has been designed and developed specifically for use in footwear applications.

Overall, this granted patent introduces a novel shoe-forming member made of a thermoplastic elastomer with a unique composition and structure. The inclusion of specific resins and crosslinking aids contributes to the performance and durability of the shoe-forming member, making it suitable for use in the production of shoes.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.