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Heierling and EMS developing recyclable ski boots

The Graubünden based ski boot manufacturer Heierling is developing a pair of ski boots that can be fully recycled. For this, EMS is supplying a special polymer that can withstand heavy impacts and strains in addition to repeated recycling without modifying its properties.

Magdalena Martullo (right) and Hans-Martin Heierling (left) present their project for the first fully recyclable ski boot. Image credit: EMS-Chemie Holding AG
Magdalena Martullo (right) and Hans-Martin Heierling (left) present their project for the first fully recyclable ski boot. Image credit: EMS-Chemie Holding AG

Two long-standing companies from Graubünden in the Greater Zurich Area are joining forces. As announced by Heierling AG and EMS as part of the EMS Group’s annual press conference, the firms are jointly working on the development of the first fully recyclable ski boots. “We are developing the first recyclable ski boot, which will hail from the Graubünden Alps”, comments Hans-Martin Heierling, CEO of the Davos-based ski boot manufacturer. These ski boots feature a timeless design with a modular construction and can be repaired at the end of their service life.

Heierling secured the services of EMS to supply the synthetic material from which the shell will be injection molded. The company, a specialist in polymers based in Domat/Ems GR, has tested this high-performance polymer in terms of its reusability. The result: the material is resistant not only to severe impacts and strains, for example from sunlight and the cold as well as from mechanical stress, but it was also able to be recycled ten times without any change to its properties. The long molecule chains ensured that recycling did not adversely impact the material, EMS explained.

The companies are now planning to manufacture the first ski boots using this polymer via an injection molding process. Heierling will launch the boots on the market at the end of the year.

“It is always best when a material can be recycled”, comments Magdalena Martullo, Delegate of the Board of Directors at the EMS Group. Such synthetic materials are commonplace at her company: “Our applications have a long service life because they are used in technical areas”. High-performance polymers could help to reduce the carbon footprint. After all, they require less energy in production processes than alternatives in aluminum pressure die- casting, for example. Thanks to a lightweight nature, they could also help users to save energy.

Heierling has previously brought ski boots featuring polymers from EMS to market back in 1974. These were so durable that the boots remain functional and useable out on the slopes to this day.

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