TOKYO, April 19, 2006 _Ube Industries, Ltd. today announced that its proprietary, new generation polyamide elastomer UBESTA XPA has been adopted by Mizuno Corporation as the primary sole material for its Mizuno Pro 2KM-40100 (High Cut Model) and 2KM-40200 (Low Cut Model) baseball shoes. Mizuno is marketing the shoes in anticipation of the annual National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament, to be held this spring
The physical activity of a baseball player requires a wide range of motions including throwing, hitting and catching. It also involves repeated movement through instantaneous and powerful dashes and stops. Shoes play a crucial role as the interface between athlete and playing surface, with the sole material having a particularly important role. The material must deliver extremely advanced impact resistance and low-temperature characteristics, as well as being extremely lightweight, strong, and durable.
In addition to these characteristics, which enable Ube Industries' new generation polyamide elastomer UBESTA XPA to endure the harsh usage of baseball players, the material also delivers extremely advanced flexural fatigue characteristics and wear resistance.
In developing its latest baseball shoes, Mizuno required a material with flexibility and rigidity, in addition to flexural fatigue characteristics and wear resistance. Furthermore, the material needed to encase high strength polyester fibers, which are used to reinforce the rigidity of soles, yet offer transparency to reveal the high strength polyester fibers themselves.
Mizuno chose to adopt UBESTA XPA as an ideal material offering better performance over existing leather soles. Not only does the material offer excellent adherence to high strength polyester fibers, but it also offers transparency and gives the sole favorable "snap" characteristics.
The features of UBESTA XPA as a primary material for shoe soles are as follows:
Ube Industries successfully developed UBESTA XPA in 2004. The company currently produces 200 tons of the material annually at the Ube Chemical Factory in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. UBESTA XPA is mainly sold as a material for shoe soles, as a covering material for power tools, and for casters used in low-temperature storage.
Ube Industries is aiming to achieve 2.2 billion yen in net sales of UBESTA XPA by 2010. To achieve this goal, the company is focusing its efforts on developing applications that take advantage of the superb characteristics of UBESTA XPA, while promoting further technology development that further extends these characteristics.