SATRA will focus on water resistance of footwear as its theme at SIMAC, the annual international fair for footwear and leathergoods machinery to be held in April in Bologna, Italy.

The technology centre plans to demonstrate its Dynamic Water Penetration tester* equipment that offers accurate laboratory assessment for quality control and batch-to-batch consistency. These are essential factors for manufacturers/suppliers of water-resistant footwear.

The machine has twin station apparatus and water tanks, enabling it to test a footwear pair at the same time. Different single items can also be tested simultaneously. Each test can be pre-set for a given number of flexes, or time duration since the flex rate is fixed at 60 per minute.

SATRA receives most requests for this type of testing for active outdoor footwear, a trend that has snowballed with wider consumer interest and the rise in adventurous leisure activity. A quality hiking boot, for example, would be expected to retain water resistance against more flexes than a normal shoe.

SATRA test methods for water resistance have been industry-preferred since the 1950s, when it first developed the outdoor ‘trough test’ to simulate wear under ‘standard’ conditions. SATRA is no stranger to testing against severe conditions either, having designed and developed the assault boot worn by Sir Edmund Hillary to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay.

More recently, the committee responsible for EN and ISO testing of safety footwear is now looking at SATRA’s SIMAC exhibit for possible inclusion in a future revision of EN ISO 20344.

Equipment sales director Stephen Andrew will man the SATRA stand (Hall 32/A1) at SIMAC alongside Mike Wilson, one of SATRA’s footwear testing and research experts. Also on hand will be Phil Shaw, who frequently travels the world to introduce companies to SATRA’s products and services. Phil specialises in global resourcing and management systems used in modern manufacturing.

Stuart Cleaver, head of membership development, will attend to meet with and explain the benefits of joining SATRA to potential new members. At last year’s fair, SATRA received more than 100 membership and technical enquiries from representatives of companies in more than 50 countries.