FLEXX with grABS & GRIT — adhesive bond tech article

Polyurethane Shoes with GRIT & grABS™ Technologies

[26 January 2016]

Build a better direct-glue “plastic” shoe with improved adhesive bond strength.

When farriers and veterinarians require something other than nails for a specific shoeing problem they now have many products available.  Gluing aluminum shoes to the hoof has been a growing practice for almost 20 years.  But sometimes the shoeing solution requires a shoe with a bit of flexibility to allow some movement in the heels or hoof capsule.  There are now products available to meet this need using a generic “plastic”.  These “plastic” shoes may look similar to metal shoes, but most are thicker with a wider web to achieve the minimal strength, wear and durability of the metal they want to replace.  Sound Horse builds a “direct-glue shoe” that overcomes these farrier objections and can equal or outperform forged or machined aluminum shoes.  Flexx® horseshoes are unique because of the tight dimensions & superior performance delivered through careful material selection coupled with our new technologies (two pat. apps.).

Farriers seem to prefer shoes with similar dimensions to the steel or aluminum shoes used in traditional (nail-on) shoeing applications.  Only Sound Horse delivers this sizing requirement by using a high temperature, thermoset urethane to build our “direct glue” Flexx® shoes.  Thermosets are more rugged than the common thermoplastics used by most other suppliers. Sound Horse is the only supplier using a high temperature thermoset to deliver the best performance.  Additionally, we improved wear, grip & traction with our GRIT technology (pat. app.).  We have added grABS™ technology (pat. app.) to double the bond strength and reliability while eliminating most of the farrier’s shoe prep work.

Sound Horse is committed to continuing development work to deliver superior products to the market.

GRIT Technology (pat. app.):
horseshoes have always been built with our distinctive GRIT technology (pat. app.).  We add hardened grit to the urethane and locate it at the lower part (ground surfaces) of the shoe to improve the wear, grip & traction of the shoe.  This material is exposed and working shortly after the farrier applies the shoes and the horse is turned out.

grABS™ Technology (pat. app.):
Flexx® horseshoes are now built with a modified material on the hoof side — grABS™ technology (pat. app.) — to generate a remarkably strong, reliable, adhesive bond without the need for surface preparation.  This is achieved by using a thermoplastic material that is more compatible with the commonly used acrylic adhesives.  The material is ABS ….  (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), it can deliver extraordinary adhesion performance.  By using this new grABS™  technology (pat. app.) on the hoof side and high temperature, thermoset urethane with GRIT tech in the lower part of shoe we deliver the best combination of performance at a very competitive price.

Why Use a Thermoset “Plastic”?
All plastics are not created equal.  There are a broad range of plastic chemistries and processes from which to choose.  Only Sound Horse has chosen to incorporate both, a thermoplastic ABS and thermoset polyurethane in a single shoe.  The Flexx® shoes use the right materials in the right place.  Thermoplastic is incorporated on the hoof side for adhesive bond strength, ease of application and reliability of joint bond.  Thermoset polyurethane is used for balance of the shoe to utilize this material’s hardness, durability, load capacity and resistance to abrasion.  We also chose a high temperature variant of thermoset urethane to get the best blend of strength and performance properties available.  The diagram shows a typical, loosely connected thermoplastic compared to the more rugged cross-linked, polymer chains of thermosets.  This may not look very different but the performance difference is astounding.

FLEXX® — The right materials in the right place to deliver the right performance.