Polymeric surface construction is a very wide-ranging area which involves many different types of products used in the construction industry. These are mainly synthetic and organic materials that are made up of long molecular chains or sequences, bonded together. These are used in a variety of ways in the construction industry including cladding, membranes, paints, adhesives and sealants.
In recent years there has been a significant increase in the use of polymeric materials, due to their performance, low cost and sustainable properties, when compared with traditional building materials. Polymers are used extensively in a range of applications within the building industry as a result and it is likely that this will continue to grow in future.
Some of the most common examples are polystyrene (EPS), expanded polystyrene (Expopol) and polycarbonate, used in various forms as insulation or sheathing membranes. Polyurethane and vinyl acetate are also used in insulation. These are generally combined with other materials such as cement or wood fibres to produce a more thermally efficient product.
Another important category of polymeric surface construction material is elastomers, such as rubbers and thermoplastic elastomers, which have a wide range of uses. They can be fabricated into a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be cured to give specific physical properties. This can include tensile strength, stiffness and hardness. They are also flexible, able to expand and contract according to temperature changes.
A very popular type of surfacing is a polymeric sports surface, which is used at a lot of sporting centres. This is essentially granules of rubber held together with a binding agent of polyurethane, sprayed with a high-traction, coloured top-coat. It is laid onto a solid base, usually tarmac, and retained by kerbing. It is most commonly used for surfacing athletics running tracks, but is also popular for tennis, netball and basketball courts and multi-use games areas. If lines are required, these can be sprayed on once the top-coat has set.
These surfaces are also porous, which allows rain water to drain away easily. This means that the facilities can be used year round, regardless of weather conditions. In addition, the surface is impact absorbing which reduces injuries to athletes and makes the surfaces suitable for young players.
The surfaces can be modified to change their functionality, either by adding small moieties or oligomers (surface functionalization), or even other polymers (grafting copolymers). This is done by using either a plasma treatment or a chemical process called co-polymer grafting.
Surface modification is an important step in ensuring that biocompatible materials are produced. This is particularly important for medical prostheses, where the presence of adsorbing proteins can initiate cellular interrogation and lead to the failure of some surgical implants. Polymeric surface modification techniques have become increasingly sophisticated over the past decade, enabling precise control of adsorption and grafting.
Fox Sports Surfacing are experts in the supply and installation of a wide range of Polymeric Sport Surfaces. Our professional team have years of experience in laying and installing these types of surfacing, so you can rest assured that your new surface will be made to last with the best materials and laying methods.