SHANGHAI, Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The amount of land dedicated to natural green fields or playgrounds has been decreasing due to urbanization. Faced with the challenge of encouraging people to stay active, urban planners and city administrators have sought alternatives like gyms or indoor playgrounds.
In fact, designers and celebrities have driven the "athleisure" trend in fashion while skinny models with sunken cheeks have been replaced with healthy-looking lean and tanned models on the hottest runways. Driven by social media usage and fitness celebrities engaging their audience through social media channels, the uptick in people actively engaging in sports activities has also been inspired by the quadrennial Olympic Games and World Cup.
The global revenue from the professional sports industry grew from USD 107.52b in 2006 to USD 145.34b in 20151, marking a rise in worldwide interest in games and sports, not just as viewers but as participants too. With demand rising and available land dwindling, we need alternative solutions for sporting facilities that are both safe and convenient.
Sports in modern cities - when the options are shrinking
As modern homes have gone smaller and more compact, the 'lawn' has become a symbol of luxury and lifestyle goals. An integral part of the modern city dwellers' dream home, lawns facilitate both leisure and sport activities, hence the surface must be high endurance, safe and preferably low maintenance to function as landscaping as well as a surface on which sports are played.
The turfs need to allow players to excel, offer excellent protection from motion-related injuries and demonstrate great durability and resilience. The versatility to be used both indoors and outdoors in residential as well as public spaces is also important.
Artificial turfs - an alternative to natural fields
Artificial turf started to gain popularity in the 1960s, especially in the United States. People soon got used to playing or watching football or baseball matches on synthetic turfs. Today, artificial turfs have evolved significantly to become the playing surface of choice for both contact sports like football and non-contact sports like tennis, gradually replacing the original natural grass-laden fields.
Unlike natural turfs, the synthetic ones are made of inanimate chemical products that needs no fertilizer, water and other resources to be maintained, hence it can be used after a quick turnaround. In addition to being low-maintenance, they merely need 'cleaning' - not the regular mowing or irrigation that natural fields need. Artificial turf is currently in its sixth generation, and by combining superior applicability with safety, it outperforms its natural equivalents on many levels.
Advanced artificial turfs - unlocking the potential
Synthetic turfs generally consists of three layers of materials beneath - the shockpad which is a buffer layer usually made from rubber or foamed plastic, the backing and the infill sitting directly below the grass-like yarns.
Dow offers a complete portfolio of advanced solutions
Dow Chemical, well-known for its industry know-how and strong technological expertise, has a rich experience of applications in the field of artificial turfs. In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the hockey matches played at the Deodoro Olympic Park used Dow's polyethylene (PE) and polyurethane (PU) technologies. Sporting facilities and events world over choose Dow not only because it a leading name in the global market for best-in-class sixth generation artificial turfs but also because it is advanced and reliable.
Dow provides a wide range of tailor-made artificial turf solutions at every level of artificial turfs:
High flexibility and abrasion resistance. Dow's ATTANE™ Ultra Low Density Polyethylene Resins improve the softness of artificial grass yarns - making the tactile sensation of artificial turfs closer to natural grasses yet minimizing abrasion on athletes, while DOWLEX™ Polyethylene Resins and ELITE™ Enhanced Polyethylene Resins can greatly enhance the wear resistance of yarns. The turf yarn using DOWLEX™ or ELITE™ resins show less cracking than conventional turf yarn after a 20,000 time Lisport abrasion test.
Resilience Improvement. In sport turf pitch, the resilience and performance of turf yarn is critical. Dow's INFUSE™ Olefin Block Copolymers adds excellent and long-lasting resilience to turf yarn, making sure the yarn can quickly recover after having been stepped on.
Durable and environmentally friendly. The artificial turf yarns made from DOWLEX™ or ELITE™ resins effectively extend the service life thanks to its outstanding wear resistance. And it eventually saves the total cost, saving the materials over the years and making it a more environmentally friendly option.
Safer. Made completely of PE materials compliance with FDA requirements. Dow's grass yarns have non-virulent insipidity even when exposed to the sun for a long time. With the woven structures, the yarns and substrates have great permeability and are not vulnerable to rough weather, including rain and snow.
Keep the ball rolling and the heart racing
It is a reality that weather conditions, scare resources and limited space have all constrained our opportunities to remain active in sports. Artificial turfs play a vital role in enabling us to remain active in games and sports in our lives.
Committed to its efforts to research and develop the best artificial turfs, Dow's ongoing pursuit of technological innovation leads to safe, healthy and eco-friendly solutions that not only improve the quality of lives, but also promote a dynamic lifestyle for its customers.
1 Global sports market - total revenue from 2005 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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