Materials selection testing

In parallel with optimizing the shoe’s design and patterns, I’ve been conducting testing to select fabric and adhesives. The adhesive used is critical because it holds the rubber rands and sole to the fabric shoe uppers. Several shoemakers I’ve spoken with suggested a Renia adhesive over the Barge cement I’ve been using on prototypes. However, since they mostly work with leather and I plan to make fabric uppers, I set up a rough delamination testing fixture. With this fixture sample swatches of fabric could be glued to rubber and then loaded until failure.

By comparing how much weight (based on the volume of water) swatches could hold, I determined which adhesive was best for the SFT shoes and the optimal procedure for curing the adhesive.

Sample 7 of 12 after testing.

Sample 7 of 12 after testing. Top: felt sewn to a webbing strap to attach to the bucket. Bottom: rubber sample with remnants of glue and felt.


4 thoughts on “Materials selection testing

  1. It must be hard to find an adhesive that works well and isn’t a hazard to the environment. Alan (cabinet maker husband) has dealt with this over the years, first trying to find veneer adhesives and also non-solvent finishes which are finally improving functionally. Maybe spruce gum derivatives! – although they may be toxic even their natural state. Materials are sometimes harder than design. Looking forward to the product launch!

    • I’m starting with “works well” and hoping to move towards “isn’t a hazard” later. It’s interesting that you mention spruce derivatives – I used to try to glue together leaves with tree sap when I was little! Perhaps it’s time to revisit that with a better understanding of chemistry.

  2. Too bad glass ratings for materials are next to impossible to find if it isn’t bought directly from the manufacture.

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