Science Gives New Meaning To The Phrase “Runner’s High”: Technology Behind New Insole Material PORON® Vive™ Energy Activated Cushioning
We’ve received a lot of exciting feedback about our latest video demo featuring the newly launched PORON® Vive™ Energy Activated Cushioning. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do here! PORON Vive Cushioning offers the footwear industry’s best combination of shock absorption with added energy return, which make it a perfect insole material for athletic footwear including running, court and aerobic shoes. Due to its uniqueness, many have wondered – how did Rogers R&D develop an insole material that is resilient yet cushioning? How does it compare to other PORON formulations used in other athletic gear?
Below I’ll answer some of these and other questions we’ve received, but please send me others you may have in mind!
How is resilience measured?
A way of characterizing if an insole material is resilient is to perform a simple ball rebound test – ASTM D 2632-96 is one of the methods used in our laboratory.
The test basically involves a steel ball of a known weight, a fixed drop height, a fixed sample thickness, and an incremental ruler measuring the distance between the sample and the drop height. Once the samples are loaded into the apparatus, one pushes a release mechanism that allows the steel ball to drop onto the sample. Then you visually mark the ball return upon rebound. A handful of drops are performed on the same material and then an average percent rebound is reported according to the test standard procedure.
What is the ultimate challenge for a resilient insole material?
To give back all the energy that has been put in while still remaining comfortable.
Can 100% energy return really be possible?
There are some natural losses due to noise and friction, but, a high energy return can be possible with the right chemistry and part construction. The ultimate performance of the final part is also design dependent. Resilient materials can be combined with other materials which takeaway or enhance its performance.
Why is comfort a big issue for resilient materials?
A way of achieving high resilience is to make a material hard. When a material is very firm, it will not yield readily; all opposing forces go straight back into the moving object. Yet, hard surfaces are typically not comfortable and unsuited for an athletic insole material in basketball shoes, running shoes and other court shoes. Comfort can be achieved though by balancing the resilient and the hardness properties of the material.
How does PORON® Vive™ Energy Activated Cushioning compare to other PORON® Insole Materials?
Our amazing R&D team has been in the works designing a PORON formulation that gives the same firmness with varied degrees of resilience. By evaluating different molecular makeups, PORON Materials can now offer a variety of resilience!
For example, PORON Vive Cushioning records a 55% rebound, while other PORON Materials used for insole applications roughly range between 15-20%.
PORON Vive Technology has essentially little molecular springs that are ready to push back when a force is acted upon, but these molecular springs are also incorporated into a material matrix that allows for some softness to the material. Additionally, PORON Vive foam cell structure enables for excellent shock absorption and long-lasting performance throughout the life of your shoe.
If you are attending the Outdoor Retailer Show next week, please stop by our booth in the Design Center, 155-513 to sample a pair of insoles made with PORON Vive Cushioning!