MarChem enhances color fastness and improves installation characteristics of rubberized playground surfaces


Market: Safety Surfaces

Customer Challenge: With outdoor playgrounds getting more complex and artistic, playground customers are demanding that the playground installed is not only state of the art, but they must meet all safety standards, all while be aesthetically pleasing. This has pushed the industry to move toward colored rubber surfacing. Playground surfacing installers were having problems with the brightly colored EPDM rubber they put in, while colorful and vibrant right after installation it would show a significant amount of yellowing over a short period of exposure to ultra violet rays. This was caused by yellowing of the polyurethane adhesive used, an MDI binder, which rendered the surface visually unacceptable.

MarChem Solution: MarChem’s team of chemist worked to develop alternative technology. Other color fast binders on the market provided an improvement over standard MDI binder, but the issue was the installation characteristics of these binders differed so much from MDI binder, that installation crews had a very difficult time working with the material. MarChem’s team of chemists came up with aliphatic isocyanate chemistry, creating a product that had the same installation characteristics as standard MDI binder, greatly reducing installation time and expense over other color fast binders on the market, and increasing its reliability. Furthermore, the color fastness achieved was far superior to anything else available.

Customer Benefit: As playground surface installers used this new binder, they saw many benefits. The color of the surface remained stable and vibrant over longer periods of time. This greatly enhanced the beauty of the surface. Also, due to the ease of use, crews were able to install the surface in less time, saving everyone money while improving the reliability of the installed product.