Canadian Plastics

Polyethylene Sports Mats Cushion Falls, Reduce “Ouch” Factor

If you've ever winced at the sight of a gymnast taking an awkward spill from a pommel horse or parallel bars, you no doubt appreciate the importance of having a good gym mat on the floor.

November 1, 2009   Canadian Plastics



If you’ve ever winced at the sight of a gymnast taking an awkward spill from a pommel horse or parallel bars, you no doubt appreciate the importance of having a good gym mat on the floor.

A new step in the development of sports mats comes from BASF’s Neopolen E, an expanded polyethylene foam designed for use — among other things — as core material for durable, hard-wearing and safe gym mats.

Neopolen E is described by BASF as a closed-cell, physically crosslinked particle foam — which means that the number of connections between the individual molecules is higher than in the non-crosslinked material. Because of this finer cell structure, mat cores made of Neopolen E are more stable and keep their shape longer. After loading, they absorb the energy and quickly revert to their original shape, making them a good choice to absorb the force of a falling gymnast. And the cushioning properties of the BASF material can reduce the likelihood of sports injuries even when an athlete hasn’t fallen, by helping the gymnast stick to a firm standing position on landing.

BASF supplies sports mat manufacturers with Neopolen E panels in sizes of approximately two metes by one meter, and in a thickness of between 40 and 120 mm.

BASF Canada (Mississauga, Ont.);

www.basf.ca;

1-866-485-2273


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