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Abbreviations for polymeric materials

Shortened forms of the names of polymers used in footwear can be a source of confusion. Here we list the main types and provide a guide to correct usage.

During recent decades, polymeric materials such as synthetic rubbers and polyurethanes have played an increasingly major role in footwear. Most of the formal chemical names are rather long – such as ‘acrylonitrile butadiene rubber’, and are therefore inconvenient for easy use. As a result, a system of abbreviations has evolved. These are commonly used worldwide across all industries and by chemical specialists and non-specialists alike.

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