Polyester producer Teijin Fibers is supplying its high-strength polyester Nanofront nanofibre for use in running socks made by New Balance. Frictional force, one of the noteworthy properties of Nanofront, creates outstanding slip resistance to help prevent the sock from sliding inside a shoe, thereby reducing blisters and shoe sores.Nanofront also boasts high absorbency for added comfort.
The socks are being marketed by New Balance Japan and sold in its own shops in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as other sports retail stores nationwide from this month. Nanofront is also used in shoelaces made by New Balance Japan.
Nanofront is a high-strength polyester fibre with a thickness of just 700 nanometres, or 7500 times thinner than a strand of hair. The nanofibre is used in most of the sock, except the toe, heel and cuff.
According to Teijin, nano-sized bumps on the surface of Nanofront raise frictional force and produce a surface area dozens of times greater than that of regular fibre, giving the material outstanding slip resistance. The ultra-fine fibre is also soft and stretchable and is said to have excellent absorbency and opaqueness.
In addition, Teijin's proprietary island-in-sea composite spinning technology which is used to create Nanofront is said to eliminate the problem of unstable quality associated with conventional mass-produced nanofibres.
Teijin Fibers started commercial production of Nanofront in 2008 and has been developing applications in areas such as innerwear, sportswear and industrial materials. In November 2009 the company announced that it had begun to market Nanofront for use in the palms of golf gloves manufactured and marketed by Acushnet Japan Inc. under the FootJoy brand. Called Nanolock, the product was thought to be the world's first golf glove to use nanofibre material.
Teijin is a global technology-driven group operating in eight main fields: aramid fibres, carbon fibres and composites, polyester fibres, plastics, films, medical and pharmaceuticals, fibre products marketing and IT businesses.
The group, comprising 150 companies and 17,542 employees worldwide, had consolidated sales of JPY 815.7 billion (USD 10.6 billion) and total assets of JPY 761.5 billion (USD 9.9 billion) in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2011.
Author: Billy Hunter