- The main objective has been to design a polyurethane safety boot which reflects the values of Bata Industrials in every aspect. It was desirable that the new boot had the feel and the look of an 'ultimate gumboot', also in line with EU standards.
The company asked me to design a boot with two different sole concepts, which can be suitable for differend kind of usage. One of the concepts had to focus on built environments like food-processing facilities, with mainly flat but heavily slippery surfaces caused by different kind of fluids. The other concept was designed to support slip resistance in building sites and enironments with more bumpy surfaces.
During the design process I had the main focus on studying slip-resistance on a deeper level.
- The overall research process covered the following subjects:
I Poliurethane production methodsI EU safety standards for slip resistanceI Market analysisI Brand valuesI Practical usage of the productI Product attributesI User needs and behavioursI Anatomy of the feetI Fieldwork in foodprocessing facilitiesI Design DNAI Mood-boards
- The design process started with an observation of the currently available manufacturing processes at the Bata factory.
The first concept were built on the idea of designing extra equipments for protecting the most sensitive and injurable parts of the feet.
Because of the desired price of the final product could not alove this kind of improvements the idea of extra parts was thrown out, so I had to stay on improving the sole for more slip-resistance.
- CONCEPT FOR FOOD-PROCESSING FACILITIES
- Understanding the basic priciples of slip-resistance I developed a model on how the cleats and the channels should be positioned in order to protect the feet from slipping on liquids and contaminants. The more contamination can get out from under the feet the better the slip-resistance is going to get.There are many things that effect the level of slip-resistance on the sole. Bigger cleats lead to bigger stability, but less grip and less transmission of the contamination from under the feet. In order to get the most stability without loosing any slip-resistance I came up with an idea on using multiple density materials on the sole.
The higher density material (rubber) is for keeping the sole stable while the lower density cleats (EVA) are responsible for straining against the harder material so the contamination is pushed away quicker when the feet is hitting the ground.
- CONCEPT FOR BUILDING SITES
- THE PROTOTYPE