Evonik is doubling its global capacity for VESTAMID E, polyether block amide (PEBA), with a twofold approach including a major expansion of its production plant at the Multi-User-Site (MUSC) in Shanghai, and an optimization project at its production facility in Marl, Germany. Construction at the Shanghai site starts in Fall 2023 and will increase the company’s ability for the polymerization of PEBA, a key step in producing the raw material, which is highly demanded by the global, athletic footwear market.
“As the worldwide footwear production continues to grow, this latest investment in Shanghai will significantly increase Evonik’s PEBA production capacity, expand our regional presence, and put us in an optimal position to address the global market that is centered primarily on local manufacturing in Asia,” says Ralf Düssel, head of Evonik’s High Performance Polymers business line.
Complementing the expansion in Shanghai, several other projects are currently ongoing to eliminate bottlenecks and optimize overall production at Evonik’s other major PEBA facility in Marl, Germany.
Evonik’s VESTAMID E, is a long-established compound with exceptional qualities that are ideal for use in high-performance athletic shoes. Continuous technological developments have allowed midsoles featuring VESTAMID E to be extremely lightweight, offering an excellent energy return that enhances the performance of the athlete. In addition to these attributes, VESTAMID E also exhibits great low-temperature impact strength, excellent chemical resistance and is easy to process and color – making it highly sought after in many demanding applications in the automotive and medical technology industries.
As part of Evonik’s “Next-Generation Solutions” strategy, which has a 2030 goal of having more than 50% of its sales from products with superior sustainability benefits, the company is also placing high emphasis on producing VESTAMID eCO, which retains all characteristics of a PEBA molding compound. VESTAMID eCO features a 42 percent lower carbon footprint – it is made using 100 percent renewable energy and has 50 percent of its raw materials based on recycled tires, through a third-party audited, mass-balance approach.
“Constant innovation continues to drive this industry in the improvement of weight reduction, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. PEBA-based foams made with VESTAMID E or VESTAMID eCO, are leaders in this category and are widely regarded as one of the highest performing materials in the market,” says Ralf Düssel.
With more than 50 years of experience in developing and manufacturing specialty and high-performance plastics, Evonik has a comprehensive product portfolio that offers innovative solutions for virtually any industrial application.