June 2021 | News

Steel Blue releases world’s first graphene enhanced safety boot,
made in WA.

 

World first graphene enhanced safety boot.

Already renowned as innovators in the safety boot industry, Steel Blue has teamed up with First Graphene to develop a technologically advanced footwear range with a graphene enhanced Scuff Cap and Outsole for superior durability and additional strength.

If you’re in the mining, mining services, civil construction, heavy industry or oil and gas industries, your safety boots are an essential work tool. They’re used in some of the toughest conditions and environments around Australia, if not the world.

It’s for this reason Steel Blue decided to take its world-renowned work boots and enhance them with graphene, which is one of the strongest, impermeable materials discovered to date.

“We’ve been working for some time now to try to find an innovative solution to make our boots even more durable, particularly for our customers who work on mine sites – iron ore, for example, can be extremely abrasive,” explains Garry Johnson, Steel Blue CEO.

“We started asking ourselves, what we could add to our already durable outsole and other features of our boot that would improve abrasion resistance to endure extreme conditions.”

The search led Steel Blue to fellow West Australian company First Graphene, which produces PureGRAPH®, a high quality pure graphene powder.

By adding PureGRAPH® to the TPU Outsole and Scuff Cap of the popular Southern Cross® styles, the two companies have created a leading-edge range of ultra-durable work boots called GraphTEC™.

GraphTEC graphene technology - graphene enhanced safety boot - Steel Blue

“Graphene has remarkable benefits for the wearer in terms of durability and abrasion resistance – it is 200 times stronger than steel and also superior in strength to diamonds. You could say the product is our little diamond,” laughs Garry.

But while the idea of adding PureGRAPH® to the various boot components seemed a simple enough idea, in reality it took time to develop a product that boasts the strength of graphene yet upholds Steel Blue’s 100% Comfort Guarantee.

“We worked closely with WA-based First Graphene to best incorporate the PureGRAPH® material into our GraphTEC™ range of boots,” Garry said. “In the end, the comfort is identical.”

Twice the durability is also a win for the environment, a benefit that fits nicely with Steel Blue’s commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

"to be successful in business, you have to be a good environment and community partner"

“We believe that to be successful in business, you have to be a good environment and community partner,” explains Garry. “And to be honest, you can do this without impacting your bottom line.”

On the climate front, Steel Blue’s Australian operations are carbon neutral and global operations aim to be carbon neutral come the end of this financial year. Steel Blue is also taking steps to reduce waste, eliminate the use of solvents in its construction processing and is reviewing packaging options.

Purple and pink charity boots - steel blue

Since 2007, the company has run its Pink & Purple Boots campaign, which raises money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care WA. Likewise, the Blue Boot campaign raises awareness and funds for men’s mental health organisation Beyond Blue.

The company also operates a joint venture factory in Indonesia – one of only 20 in the world to have FDRA Responsible Factory accreditation.

The GraphTEC™ range however, is being made locally in Malaga, WA, using a new multimillion dollar state-of-the-art moulding machine – another first for a company renowned as industry innovators.

“We were the first to offer a 30-day money back 100% Comfort Guarantee, we were the first to develop and patent Trisole® Comfort Technology using PORON®,  we were the first to be endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, and the list continues,” says Garry.

“You can say we have a long and proud history of being a company of firsts.”

The GraphTEC™ range of work boots are available through Australian Steel Blue retailers from June 2021.