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Poured in Place Rubber Surface: Is it Sustainable?

By Whirl Construction (534 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on November 22, 2017

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Poured in place rubber. It’s kind of what you would expect from the name. It’s a ground surface that is poured in at the site and sets, rather than alternatives like rubber mats which are glued in with adhesive or wood chips which are scattered across the surface but are loose. It’s also a very viable – and sustainable – option for playgrounds and other kid-friendly outdoor areas.

What is Poured in Place Rubber Surface made of?

Poured in place (PiP) has become popular as a playground surface worldwide. The flooring consists of two different layers – both with different types of granulated rubber that combine with a binder. The base layer of PiP is a combination of both styrene butadiene rubber (SBR, generally made from tires) and urethane (a thicker layer), and a thinner top layer of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) or thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV) compounds (also made from recycled tires) and urethane. Both rubber types are made from recycled products, to help ease environmental impact. The thickness of the cushion layer – the base layer - can be adjusted depending on your safety needs. This can vary from between 1.5"- 4".

You can choose from aromatic or aliphatic urethane binders. Aromatic binders have a propensity to turn yellowish under UV exposure, so are unsuitable for some colors. Aliphatic binders set clear and will not yellow, however they are triple the cost of aromatic binders, so you’ll have to decide whether the clear finish is worth it overall.

In terms of whether to use EPDM or TPV for your top layer, EPDM is the more durable of the two materials, however some of the colors may fade more readily than TPV due to reactions under UV.

What Colors are Available for Poured in Place Rubber Surface?

Poured in place can be found in a range of colors, so there will be one to suit your theme perfectly. There are standard colors and more premium colors available to choose from. If you take a look through our gallery you can see a range of different colors that various clients of ours have chosen. While the cost of poured in place rubber is more expensive than some other ground coverings, the maintenance required as opposed to other surfaces is considerable less time consuming and expensive – so this evens out over the course of the surface’s life.

Is Poured in Place Rubber Surface Right for Your Playground?

Poured in place should be poured onto the right surface – non-porous materials such as a concrete slab. Having materials under the surface such as limestone will degrade the structural integrity of PiP and lead to having to replace it sooner.

PiP pouring shouldn’t be conducted in extreme temps (below 50 or above 90), or in conditions where humidity levels are over 85%, as it will not cure properly.

Overall you can expect the lifetime of PiP to be around 15 years, if you perform the recommended maintenance. If you would like to know more about Poured in Place rubber or any of our other playground safety surfaces, contact us – we’re happy to answer all of your questions.

 

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