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200J Thermoplastic Composite Toecaps

24 March 2002


Security Composites Ltd of Shrewsbury, Shropshire has commenced of production of the first 200 joule impact resistant toecap for safety shoes.

For a number of years the 200 joule standard, EN12568, has been the ultimate performance requirement for toecaps for use in safety shoes. European harmonisation means that, in the future, where safety shoes incorporate composite toecaps, these will have to be tested outside of the shoe. EN12568 incorporates chemical and temperature effects testing to ensure that composite materials reach the same high standard as their steel counterparts.

Security Composites Ltd has developed a new impact resistant material ArmourliteTM and has installed a manufacturing facility to manufacture 1million pairs or more per annum.

The benefits of thermoplastic composite over steel are:

- Weight saving of up to 50%, i.e. about 80gms per pair of toecaps
- Thermal insulation for both hot and cold environments
- Electrical insulation
- Non-magnetic nature i.e. will not trigger airport or similar alarms
- Chemical resistance – non rusting nature plus resistance to acids, bases and hydrocarbons

In addition to fulfilling the European test requirements, the toecaps pass the American and Canadian ANSI, outside of the shoe with no damage. Chris Price, Managing Director of SCL explained that the toecap is the first in a number of impact resistant applications in ArmourliteTM which will be commercialised this year, the next expected being an anti-penetration shoe sole material, to replace stainless steel.