What Does Composite Toe Mean?

What Does Composite Toe MeanWhy be the old school guy when the modern things are more appealing and trustworthy?

I mean…why to stick to steel toe boots when composite toe boots are better, safer, stronger and lighter

Composite toe caps are OSHA, ANSI & ASTM approved and are among the safety toe caps that are non-metallic yet provide the best protection while being very light and comfortable. The word composite comes from the word composition wherein these toe caps are composite mixtures of plastics, carbon fiber, fiberglass, aramid and Kevlar.

But do you know about each of the materials used in the making of these composite toes, how much weight can composite toe caps take and why are they better than steel toe caps, where to wear them, and many such interesting facts about them?

Then, just read on…

Because today in this article I am going to tell you all possible details regarding composite toe caps.

What Does Composite Toe Mean?

As described earlier, composite toe caps are made mixing different materials such as plastic, Kevlar, fiberglass, carbon fiber and aramid. But these toe caps are even harder than steel toe caps and does not even have any chance to cause any harm to your toes which might be caused by steel toe caps. They protect the feet, particularly the toes from any injury like from heavy falling or rolling objects.

Now let us see each material in details that are used in the making of the composite toe caps:

Aramid:

aramid-fiber

This material is used primarily in the making of space voyage and ballistix-military synthetic fiber. The molecules in them have an ability of chain formation as the base component is a hexagonal aromatic chain. They are carbon-based in composition. Aramid has no melting point and therefore has excellent electric current resistance power. They are also non-combustible. They even have better solvent and abrasion resistance power than carbon.

Fiberglass:

Fiberglass

When glass is melted into super thin fibers, they make fiberglass. They have high elasticity and are pretty strong. Fiberglass is mixed with plastic to make fiber-reinforced plastic. But fiberglass alone cannot be used in the making of safety toes as they are brittle in nature.

Kevlar:

Kevlar

This is actually a form of aramid. While Kevlar is 5 times lighter than steel, it also 5 times stronger than steel at the same time. They are also used in making military equipments such as grenade, tyres, bulletproof vests, etc.

Carbon fiber:

Carbon fiber

These are commendably hard and can be made thinner, harder and lighter than anything else. Carbon has immense bonding power and don’t forget that the hardest naturally occurring substance; diamond is made of carbon. But carbon fibers are good conductors of electricity, are highly flammable and do melt in high temperatures. So, carbon fiber is mixed along with other materials in the making of composite toe caps.

Plastic:

These are carbon-based and have the same hexagonal aromatic benzene structure like aramid, Kevlar and fiberglass. They do not conduct electricity but are flammable. Therefore, they too need to be mixed with other materials in the making of composite toe caps.

Are Composite Toe Boots OSHA Approved?

osha-approved-composite-toe-bootsWant to know what OSHA is?

Well…

I will explain all about it…

The full form of OSHA is Occupational Safety and Health Standards. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) section which covers footwear safety and health standards is included in the section of OSHA.

OSHA recommends conducting an assessment either by company’s safety personnel or by a consultant to determine the need for PPE and the types of footwear that the employees should wear.

OSHA requires employees to wear only those foot wears which comply with their standards and issues fine if the standards are not met.

Now, the question is, are composite toe OSHA approved?

The answer is while most composite toes are ANSI and OSHA approved, the cheaper ones are not.

How Strong are Composite Toes?

Composite materials are generally made by mixing of more than one non-metal. Therefore, they are such molded that the final product becomes stronger than their individual counterparts.

Composite toe impact and compression:

Footwear manufacturers rate and test their shoes and boots according to the standards set by the ASTM international. The relevant standards for footwear with a protective toe cap are ASTM F2412 and ASTM F2413. The ASTM F2413 standard specifies that toe cap must be first tested for impact and compression. The test and methods for impact and compression are specified by ASTM F2412 standard as follows:

Impact and compression test

1.) Impact test:

It is concerned with the effect of what happens when something very heavy falls on the shoes or boots.

2.) Compression test:

It is concerned with the effect of what happens when something very heavy rolls on the shoes or boots.

So, in ASTM tested footwear, the toe cap will offer the same level of protection irrespective of the material it is made of-whether steel or composite. 

And yes composite toe caps pass both the tests effectively and we are going to show you just down below the proofs.

Impact test result on composite toe cap:

Yes the composite toe cap is resistant to 200J energy!

COFRA Impact test on TOP RETURN composite toe cap

In a video we saw that even after the impact of 200J over the composite toe cap, it had no crack on the inside, only a slight denture on the exterior of the cap. That is your toes would be completely safe inside the composite toe cap even if a load of 200J falls on it. Isn’t that superb guys?

How much weight can composite toes hold?

Actually composite toes can allow as much weight over it as the steel toes. It can take as much weight as 1.1 metric tons.

composite safety toecap- ran over by a 4.5t folklift truck

In a video we saw that a 4.5 ton forklift truck was even finding it difficult to run over the composite toe at the first attempt. Even when the truck weighing 4.5 tons ran over the composite toe completely, the composite toe was unturned and remained the same without even any deformity!

This is a complete proof that how strong composite toes are and that they can really bear a tons of weight and are a great savior for your toes.

Obviously when it could handle the truck just like that, it can even handle heavy loads of your construction site as well.

Benefits of composite toe caps:

Well there are a number of benefits of wearing a composite toe cap:

      1. They are generally 30% lighter than their steel counter parts. Even 45% lighter in some cases!
      2. They can pass through metal detectors easily.
      3. They are much more comfortable to wear.
      4. They have cold insulation that is they do not conduct cold to the feet while the temperature outside is freaking!
      5. They protect your feet from electrical hazards.

Will composite toe caps set off metal detectors?

Set off metal detectors Alloy toe vs Composite toe

NO, as composite toe boots are made of non-metallic toes, they will NOT set off metal detectors.

Do composite toe caps offer resistance from electric hazard?

Yes, composite toe caps are non-conductors of electricity. Therefore, they provide protection against electrical hazards and must be worn in any hazardous work environment.

Are aluminum toes lighter than composite toes?

The answer is NO. there is no other safety toe cap that is lighter than composite toes, yet composite toe caps offer the best protection amongst all.

Do composite toe caps offer insulation?

While steel toes do not offer insulation, composite toe caps on the other hand do not get hot or cold depending on the temperature of the environment. In other words, composite toe caps offer insulation.

Which brands make composite toe caps?

Though nearly all the brands recently use composite toe caps, yet you can trust the brands like Timberland, Redwing, Keen, Caterpillar, Skechers and Danner.

Before we say Good Bye:

Well that was all about composite toe caps. Hope we were able to give you utmost details regarding the making and usages of composite toe caps. 

That’s all guys for today. Take care and…

Keep walking!