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News Link • Inventions

Tyvek paper shoes keep things light and airy

•, By C.C. Weiss
 Shoe manufacturers have employed all kinds of tactics to cut weight, making shoes that are lighter, quicker and smoother for training, sports and everyday living. Try as they might, there are only so many ounces to be lost when building a piece of gear from foam, rubber and leather. That's why Unbelievable Test Laboratory (UT.LAB) looks to an unconventional material called Tyvek paper in building its barely there Light Wing shoes.
A paper shoe sounds like something that would fall apart before you made it to your car in the shoe store parking lot. That would probably be true of a shoe that you origamied out of construction paper, but the Light Wing uses a stronger type of paper.

In fact, DuPont's Tyvek isn't technically paper at all, but a proprietary spunbonded fabric made from high density polyethylene fibers. It has a look and feel similar to paper, and is created in sheets, but it offers many advantages over paper, including rugged tear resistance, a higher strength to weight ratio and moisture resistance. The combination of properties have made it a popular choice for a variety of applications that includes envelopes, industrial packaging and vehicle covers.

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