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Posted: September 1, 2010

K-Swiss Chooses Ion-Mask Liquid Repellent Nanocoating

(Nanowerk News) K•Swiss is the latest premium sports footwear brand to announce that it has teamed up with P2i, the world leader in liquid repellent nano-coating technology, in a move which is set to revolutionize the performance of its two latest product lines Kwicky Blade-Light™ and California™, debuting at retail in February 2011.
Kwicky Blade-Light™, the company's top-of-the-range super-light, super-cushioned, training shoe and California™, a lightweight stability running shoe, have both been developed with P2i's ion-mask™ technology, which applies a nanoscopic protective polymer layer to the whole shoe so that when liquids hit the surface they simply roll off, instead of being absorbed by the shoe fabric.
David Bond, Vice President of Product for K•Swiss Inc, explained: "The ion-mask™ technology blew our elite athlete wear testers away, and they're a pretty tough crowd to please. They found that our running shoes, when treated, stayed dry and light even in extreme conditions. They also noticed that ion-mask™ kept their shoes cleaner."
Since ion-mask™ gives the whole shoe (including the stitching) superior water repellency, it delivers two crucial benefits; it stops external water getting in and it encourages evaporated perspiration to flow out. As a result, shoes dry out more quickly, won't get heavier over time, and maintain the natural airflow of their construction material.
Although the presence of ion-mask™ is imperceptible to wearers its protective layer is one thousand times thinner than a human hair it is molecularly bonded to the whole shoe surface and thus is extremely durable. In practice ion-mask™ lasts as long as the shoe material itself and is not compromised by everyday flexing during wear. By contrast, traditional water repellency techniques, such as dip-applied chemicals and taped seams, have been shown to swiftly lose their effectiveness under 'real-wear' conditions. Plus, by resisting the absorption of water, ion-mask™ helps guard against stains and dirt residue.
Bond added: "The addition of P2i's ion-mask™ technology, which we believe to be the most innovative moisture management technology available on the market, positions the latest additions to the K•Swiss family at the cutting edge of sports footwear."
Stephen Coulson, CTO of P2i, comments: "The recognition, by this prestigious footwear brand, of the benefits which can be achieved with our revolutionary liquid repellent nano-coating technology further validates the effectiveness of ion-mask™. The previous generation of membrane and thick chemicals simply cannot match the amazing levels of performance that it has been shown to deliver."
Kwicky Blade-Light™ and California™ from K•Swiss will be available (at retail) from February 2011.
About P2i
P2i is the world leader in liquid repellent nano-coating technology. It was established in 2004 to commercialize liquid-repellent treatments developed by the UK's Ministry of Defence. Now on a commercial scale, P2i's patented process has been successfully applied to a wide range of products in a wide range of markets including lifestyle, electronics, military and institutional, life sciences, energy and filtration. In consumer sectors, the presence of P2i's technology is indicated either by ion-mask™, its brand for footwear, outdoor clothing and accessories, or Aridion™, its brand for electronics. See www.p2i.com for more information. Corporate enquiries to: Tel: +44 (0)1235 833100 Fax: +44 (0)1235 861214 Email: info@p2i.com
How the P2i technology works
P2i's technology works by applying a nanometer-thin polymer layer over the entire surface of a product. Using an ionized gas (plasma) this layer is molecularly bound to the surface and will not leach away. The process confers superior oil and water repellency by reducing the surface energy to ultra-low levels down to one third that of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). In footwear and textile applications, P2i's technology also minimizes liquid absorption from outside elements and evaporated perspiration. Tests show that P2i's patented nano-coating technology can deliver performance benefits for a wide range of materials, including polymers, metals, fabrics, leather, ceramics, glass and paper. Even complex, 3D objects incorporating several different materials can be treated successfully with the P2i process: from footwear to hearing aids, bio-consumables to filtration.
Source: P2i (press release)
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