EUREKA SECRETARIAT. EUROSTARS PROGRAMME
CDTI. PROGRAMA INTEREMPRESAS
Nanofriction will develop novel technology for professional footwear, through the combination of nanoparticles and more advanced design criteria of the sole’s geometry in order to improve the frictional properties, thus preventing slips and falls under unfavourable conditions at work.
Several factors are involved in the risk of falling due to slips, being the friction characteristics of footwear the most important. Most accidents happen when there is an unexpected or unnoticed change of surface conditions (e.g. dry to contaminated surface) and a user does not adapt his/her activity pattern.
With the existing materials and design of soles, the professional footwear has problems in order to fulfill the current standards for non-slip safety, even when the requirements are below real safety necessities and the tests do not cover real conditions. In this respect, there is a biomechanical inadequacy of current footwear to work conditions, as the falling mechanism due to slipping is mainly focused (by standards) on simple gait pattern instead of movements, actions and actual working environments. Statistics show that slips and falls are the most common accident and its frequency remains constant along recent years, highlighting that current standards are not enough restrictive to prevent the slips and falls under unfavourable conditions at work.
Furthermore, footwear and sole manufacturers have exhausted current common materials (e.g. Rubbers, PUs, TPUs or PVCs) and geometries’ possibilities, and are unable to significantly improve their friction, not being able to help reduce the risk of slips and falls at work.
Nevertheless, nanomaterials sciences have opened a door to find an adequate solution, as nano-structured surfaces have demonstrated to provide very particular tribological properties (wear, lubrication and friction). Moreover, there exist several nanoparticles which can exhibit excellent adherence and contaminant repellence properties due to their hydrophobicity or lipophobicity characteristics.
The main objective of Nanofriction Project is, therefore, to develop novel technology for professional footwear, through the combination of nanoparticles (as fillers in the most suitable sole’s areas on existing materials) to improve repellence properties, in combination with an adequate design criteria of the sole’s geometry, considering more specific movements made in the workplace, in order to provide a stable and constant friction to the user, thus avoiding slips and falls, and assuring stability in all the possible working conditions (dry, water and oil).
Fecha de inicio: 01-10-2013
Fecha de finalización: 30-09-2015
Referencia del proyecto: 7926/9/Q
Coordinator: AVANZARE INNOVACIÓN TECNOLOGIA S.L
- ANALCO AUXILIAR DEL CALZADO, S.A.
- BASE PROTECTION S.R.L
- INSTITUTO DE BIOMECÁNICA