The first CO2-neutral football turf

LigaTurf Cross GT synthetic turf made from bio-based plastic

The first CO2-neutral football turf

The LigaTurf Cross football turf has become an absolute model of success since it was launched on the market. The high demand it enjoys can be attributed to the special combination of smooth and textured synthetic turf fibres in one system. Not only does this give the sports surface natural playing properties, it is also robust and easy to maintain. For FSB 2019 in Cologne, Polytan has taken the turf another logical step further, adding the component of sustainability. The fibres of the new LigaTurf Cross GT consist to 80% of bio-based PE plastic. That, along with additional in-process measures, have made it the first CO2-neutral synthetic football turf in the world.

The bio-based plastic used for the new LigaTurf Cross GT is called I’m greenTM polyethylene and is manufactured by the Brazilian world market leader, Braskem. It is extracted from sugar cane, a renewable raw material, far from the Amazon region. Another decisive environmental aspect for Polytan is that the sugar cane is cultivated first and foremost for the production of food: only the third pressing, which can no longer be used for table sugar, is used to manufacture the bioplastic.

Polytan is currently producing the fibres for the LigaTurf Cross GT synthetic turf from I’m greenTM polyethylene – accounting for a share of up to 80%. That ensures the optimum environmental balance, because this bio-based raw material allows more than 2 metric tons of CO2 to be saved for every ton of material that is used for the fibre filaments. Over a complete football pitch, this adds up to about 56 tons of CO2. This is the basis for the CO2 neutrality of the new LigaTurf Cross CT. It is ultimately achieved thanks to a whole raft of measures introduced by Polytan, including switching the entire production in Gefrath over to 100% green electricity and optimising the manufacture of the back coating of the synthetic turf.

This CO2-neutral eco-balance of the LigaTurf Cross GT enhances the attractiveness of the synthetic turf for clubs and local authorities still further, because in addition to the high player comfort delivered by the smooth filaments and the extremely hard-wearing and easy-to-maintain properties of the textured filaments, it also meets high environmental standards. And as if that were not enough, the special combination of fibres allows the quantity of infill crumb to be reduced by another 40 per cent or so to less than 2 kg/m². What is more, the higher stitch density ensures better retention of the crumb in the surface, optimises player protection and reduces the unwanted splash effect.

Friedemann Söll, Polytan Chief Product Officer Region EMEA, on the innovation presented in Cologne: “LigaTurf Cross GT, the world’s first CO2-neutral football turf, is already the fourth product in the Green Technology range we launched in 2017. All GT product innovations are characterised by an improved eco-balance in the manufacturing process and can be easily recycled at a later stage.” The bio-based I’m greenTM polyethylene from Braskem has already proven its worth in the Poligras Tokyo GT hockey turf, the fibres of which are likewise made from this raw material. The hockey surface was developed with an eye on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where it supports the aim of being the first CO2-neutral Olympic Games.

High-tech sports surfaces made from sus-tainable raw materials

Polytan presented Green Technology at FSB 2019

High-tech sports surfaces made from sustainable raw materials

How sustainable can modern high-tech sports surfaces made from synthetic material get? Polytan gave the answer to that question at this year’s FSB in Cologne, the leading international trade fair for public space, sports and leisure facilities. There the Burgheim-based sports surface specialist presented four innovations from its Green Technology initiative, which includes both products and services. It has given rise to a new product line that features particularly eco-friendly sports surfaces.

Climate change, microplastics, particulates and pollutant emissions – these are the issues that will occupy us now and in the future. How we deal with them is an even greater challenge for companies that process plastics than for manufacturers in other industries.

Polytan is facing up to this responsibility: two years ago, it launched the Green Technology product range, which features particularly sustainable products. All life cycle phases of a product are taken into consideration – from selection of the raw material through production, installation, use and maintenance all the way to disposal and recycling. The aim is to supplement the product range step by step with environmentally-compatible innovations and move over entirely to Green Technology in the long term, but without having to suffer any loss of quality in terms of the performance and long life of the synthetic turf systems, tartan tracks and soft-impact surfaces.

Natural raw materials and CO2-reducing manufacturing processes

The good environmental balance of the sports surfaces from the Green Technology range is founded on bio-based plastics that are obtained from sustainable agriculture, rapidly renewable natural raw materials and new manufacturing processes that produce lower CO2 emissions. For that Polytan requires experienced partners from the industry, which the Burgheim sports surface specialist has found in the world market leaders Braskem, for bioplastics, and Covestro, for polymer materials.

Poligras Tokyo GT – synthetic hockey turf made of 60 per cent sugar cane

The new Poligras Tokyo GT synthetic hockey turf made its début at FSB 2017. It was developed for the hockey pitches of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in cooperation with the international hockey federation, the FIH. The synthetic turf’s impressive eco-balance stems from the use of the bio-based I’m greenTM polyethylene plastic from Braskem: obtained from renewable raw materials, this plastic accounts for 60 per cent of the base material for the filaments. The sustainable raw material has the same good properties as the original, crude oil-based polyethylene. Many hockey pitches are already equipped with it, including the Sparkassenpark Mönchengladbach and the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in England. Another plus point for players and spectators is that the hockey turf is not only more sustainable that its predecessor models, but also much faster, which means exciting matches are in store!

LigaTurf Cross GT – world’s first CO2-neutral synthetic football turf

In the LigaTurf Cross GT synthetic turf, Polytan has presented the first CO2-neutral synthetic football turf in the world at this year’s FSB. It is a refinement of the successful LigaTurf Cross turf in which smooth and crimped fibres were combined for the first time. Like the Poligras Tokyo GT hockey turf, it is made from the bio-based I’m greenTM polyethylene plastic from Braskem. The already excellent eco-balance is boosted even further by the switchover of production to 100 per cent green electricity and the optimised manufacture of the back coating of the synthetic turf.

Fusion GT – sustainable infill made from 70 per cent natural material

Polytan’s Green Technology product range now contains an infill made from renewable raw materials that significantly improves the playability of the synthetic surface in all weathers and offers first-class functional sports properties. The Fusion GT is a combination of selected, highly elastic EPDM plastics and particularly sustainable raw materials. Its elasticity enhances player comfort and contributes to active player protection against injuries and grazes. Despite its impressive eco-balance, the infill is resistant to UV and weathering and robust against mould formation. The particular shape of the crumb and the low bulk weight reduce the infill quantity required by around 20 per cent – another aspect that improves the sustainability of the product.

PolyBase GT – elastic layer with CO2-reducing binder

Elastic layers form the basis of modern synthetic turf systems from Polytan, which retain their consistently high elasticity for more than 30 years. They are made from recycled elastic materials. The innovative PolyBase GT product has been made even more sustainable by the use of a new binder from Covestro, the manufacture of which uses carbon dioxide as the raw material, saving on fossil resources such as crude oil.

Polytan presented the unfilled LigaTurf Motion synthetic turf at FSB 2019:

Polytan presented the unfilled LigaTurf Motion synthetic turf at FSB 2019:

Three yarns, no infill

A highly functional synthetic turf system for football that doesn’t use infill crumb? Thanks to Polytan, what was previously only standard in field hockey is now also finding its way into the world of amateur and professional football. LigaTurf Motion, the product innovation presented at this year’s FSB, combines three different synthetic yarns in one system for the first time, offering playing properties that come very close to the sand and rubber-filled synthetic turf systems that have been proving their worth for many years.

Polytan has responded to the public debate about infill in Germany over recent months by developing a synthetic turf for football that doesn’t use a rubber crumb, cork or any other performance infill whatsoever. What is so special about the innovation is that it doesn’t come at the expense of the playing properties of the pitch – they remain roughly as good as those of the sand and rubber-filled synthetic turf systems that have been established for many years, where it is the infill that is primarily responsible for the good playing properties and player protection.

With its LigaTurf Motion, Polytan has now succeeded in bringing onto the market a synthetic turf that is also suitable for football despite the lack of infill. It was the clever combination of three different synthetic yarns in one product that made this development possible.

Three filaments, one synthetic turf system

The first LigaTurf RS+ filament used in the LigaTurf Motion is smooth and was originally developed for synthetic turf systems that are employed in professional football especially. Since the LigaTurf RS+ filaments are longer than the rest of the surface of the turf, they stand out visually and also ensure a pleasantly soft feel on the skin when tackling. Other positive properties of the fibre include a very good rebound capacity and high resistance to wear.

The second filament, the LigaGrass Pro yarn, has a crimped structure, helps to stabilise the turf and generates the necessary traction for the footballers. Fullness and an appearance similar to natural turf are provided by the third filament in the group, the likewise crimped and particularly soft Synergy yarn. All three filament types are hard-wearing and UV-stable, while the patented CoolPlus pigments reduce the amount by which the surface of the turf heats up on hot days.

The TriColour scheme combining three shades of green in one yarn gives the pitch a fresh and natural look. Friedemann Söll, Chief Product Officer Region EMEA of Polytan, sees enormous potential in the product development presented for the first time at FSB: “The LigaTurf Motion CoolPlus allows us to offer all football clubs an easy-to-maintain synthetic turf system with very good playing properties that doesn’t use any infill whatsoever.”

New LigaGrass Synergy synthetic turf for clubs and local communities:

50 per cent less rubber granulate infill

Constant product innovations in our own research and development laboratories make it possible for the new generation of LigaGrass Synergy synthetic turf from Polytan to need a further 50 per cent fewer infill granules than its LigaGrass Pro CoolPlus predecessor – which already had a reduced amount of infill – without having to compromise on the highest standards of injury protection for players and the playing qualities of the turf. The Burgheim-based sports surface specialist has been able to reduce the amount of infill required in its synthetic turf systems to approx. 2 kg/m², depending on the respective system design and type of rubber granulate. This is 80 per cent less than the international infill requirement of around 16 kg/m².

The current debate on the discharge of rubber granules from synthetic turf playing fields into the environment means that sports clubs, local authorities and communities are increasingly faced with concerned questions from their members, management boards, sponsors, athletes and parents. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of synthetic turf, Polytan can give the all-clear here – at least with regard to its own synthetic turf systems, which currently represent state-of-the-art technology for synthetic turf pitches in Germany.

Synthetic turf in Germany is not the same as synthetic turf in Europe

Synthetic turf playing fields in Germany differ significantly from the European EN 15330-1 standard in terms of their construction: the German DIN 18035-7 industrial standard stipulates the use of a stable, elastic base layer. The turf laid on top of this has substantially shorter filaments and requires a lower amount of rubber granulate infill at the same time. At Polytan the latter consists of recycled materials, is between 25 and 30 cm thick and has optimal levels of force reduction to protect athletes against injury. It has a minimum lifespan of 30 years.

Crimped filaments: “permanent wave” holds granules in the turf

The use of textured filaments, or stalks with a “permanent wave” as it were, is another way of making sure that less infill material is needed and has been standard practice at Polytan since the early 2000s. Not only are the textured synthetic turf filaments more hardwearing than smooth ones, they also reduce the amount of infill and splash of Polytan synthetic turf systems even further.

All of these attributes come together in the new LigaGrass Synergy. In addition, it has been possible to lower the infill requirement of this new synthetic turf system by 50 per cent within the textured turf, thanks to a higher fibre content and an even denser turf structure.

LigaGrass Synergy with innovative MultiTuft technology

With the newly developed MultiTuft technology, Polytan has for the first time succeeded in combining two textured filaments of different shapes and fineness to form an optimal complete system. A multitude of soft and flexible Synergy filaments are combined with the larger and firmer LigaGrass Pro filaments in this process. As a result, the infill is held more firmly in place in the turf without having to compromise on traction and rotation.

  • Info box: The filling quantities of sand and rubber granules are reduced by 50 per cent with LigaGrass Synergy – from approx. 4 kg/m² with LigaGrass Pro (with EPDM ST infill) to approx. 2 kg/m² with the new LigaGrass Synergy (with Fusion GT infill). Note: This amount is around 16 kg/m² for synthetic turf filled in accordance with European standards, i.e. eight times as much.

Apart from the use of a durable elastic layer and textured filaments, the Fusion GT granules also help to reduce the infill requirements of the new LigaGrass Synergy synthetic turf system from Polytan. This new EPDM rubber granulate product is a combination of natural and fast-growing renewable raw materials and was brought to market by Polytan in 2017. The almost natural shape of the granules reduces the bulk density of the material – and hence the material requirements – at the same time.

LigaGrass Synergy – making clubs and communities fit for the future

The high wear resistance, low maintenance costs and natural grass appearance of LigaGrass Pro synthetic turf make it the ideal system for clubs and communal facilities. Its successor, LigaGrass Synergy, has an even lower infill requirement of just 2 kg/m², making it fit for the future from an ecological perspective as well while also guaranteeing the same level of player protection and comfort.

And for those who would prefer it, there is always the option of doing without any synthetic fillers: the new LigaGrass Synergy is also available from Polytan as a purely sand-filled version.

Fast hockey turf made from renewable raw material

WORLD’S FIRST POLIGRAS TOKYO GT FOR CREFELDER HTC

Poligras Tokyo GT is the name of the new synthetic turf system for hockey that has been developed by Polytan as official Global Supplier to the FIH (International Hockey Federation) for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Not only is the dark-blue playing field faster than ever before, but the turf fibres also consist predominantly of a bio-based synthetic from Braskem. The hockey players at Crefelder HTC are delighted with the world’s first Poligras Tokyo GT, which was installed at the Gerd Wellen hockey facility in Krefeld in September 2018.

Crefelder Hockey und Tennis Club 1890 e. V. (Crefelder HTC for short) has nearly 600 active hockey players and is one of the most successful hockey clubs in Germany. The men’s field hockey first team has played continuously in the top division since 2001, for example, winning the German championships in the 2005/2006 season and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 2006/2007.

Top-flight hockey tournaments are regularly held at the club’s own Gerd Wellen hockey facility, the most recent one being the German Field Hockey Championships (FINAL FOUR 2018) in June. The club, the city and the state have jointly invested around 500,000 euros in a new hockey pitch to ensure that the next round of the FINAL FOUR 2019 is also a resounding success in May – and, of course, because, the existing Sidney synthetic turf had become outdated and worn after 15 years.

Poligras Tokyo GT, which has been developed by Polytan with a view to the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, was the system of choice for the new pitch. Club manager Robert Haake on the new synthetic turf: “Poligras Tokyo GT is currently the best hockey turf in the world and we are delighted to be the first ever venue where it has been installed.” What’s more, he anticipates that the blue base will exert a strong pull on other teams. “We expect that many national teams will want to hold training sessions at our facility,” continues Haake. Two more pitches with a Poligras Tokyo GT system are planned and completed in Mönchengladbach and China respectively.

Forward-looking investment in its sports facilities is a long-standing tradition at Crefelder HTC. The first synthetic pitch was installed as early as 1990 and it has since been replaced twice – in 2003 and 2018. When Poligras Tokyo GT was installed in 2018, the shock-absorbing base had finally worn out after 28 years and it was replaced with a 35 mm thick PolyBase GT elastic layer. PolyBase GT stands out for its high level of environmental compatibility – as does the Poligras Tokyo GTsynthetic turf system. This is denoted by the code GT, which stands for the new GT Green Technology label.

The Poligras Tokyo GT turf achieves a better environmental balance by using the bio-based plastic I’m greenTM by Braskem, the world market leader in this field. Renewable raw materials make up 60 per cent of the polyethylene (PE) base material for the filaments. It is possible to increase this proportion to 100 per cent PE base material, but at a higher cost. As was shown during testing, not only does the new material improve the eco-balance of the synthetic turf, it also optimises the playing qualities of the surface: the ball roll distance increases by up to 25 per cent compared with the predecessor product. This promises to make games of hockey even faster and more dynamic, with even more precise moves.

The PolyBase GT elastic layer is the most recent arrival in the Green Technology product family of Polytan. The product PolyBase GT owes its sustainability to a newly developed binder for the permanently elastic bonding of granules whose manufacture produces lower CO2 emissions.

Quite apart from the ecological aspects and improved playing qualities, the blue colour of the new Poligras Tokyo GT synthetic hockey pitch in Krefeld is also a winner. The blue playing surface has been all but standard practice at top-flight hockey competitions since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It sharpens the contrast with the yellow hockey ball and makes it easier to follow the progress of play. This benefits players, spectators and, above all, television viewers. Crefelder HTC has even designed a playing field that exceeds the required dimensions of 100 x 60 yards (91.4 x 55 m) for the purposes of television coverage, which means LED perimeter systems can also be set up for television broadcasts.

FIH promotes green turf technology for the 2020 Olympic Games

Polytan & Braskem are proud to provide the hockey fields made of I’m green™ polyethylene for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020

Burgheim, 21 January 2019 – In 2016 the International Hockey Federation announced a partnership with SportGroup’s leading brand, Polytan, as World Cup and Olympic Partner and supplier of hockey fields for the 2018 and 2022 hockey World Cups as well as the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

Tokyo has set itself the goal of organizing the first ever carbon-neutral Olympic Games in 2020 by using green technologies. Polytan, a leading supplier of world class hockey fields and Global Partner of the FIH, is making an important contribution by developing the sustainable hockey turf Poligras Tokyo GT (Green Technology): the filaments with a base material that is manufactured proportionally to 60 percent from the environmentally friendly polyethylene I’m greenTM from Braskem. Polytan is using bio-based polyethylene to add a sustainable dimension to the outstanding playing properties of its tried-and-tested polyethylene monofilament fibres.

An elastic base layer ensures optimum absorption and is an important part of the entire hockey turf system. The Polytan PolyBase GT elastic layer, which has also been newly developed, gives the hockey turf an even better environmental balance. A binder which can score highly thanks to its reduced CO2 production is used for the permanent elastic binding of the granules.

“FIH is delighted that this new turf technology will support Tokyo’s carbon-neutral vision and make a positive contribution to the Games. FIH has a strategic priority to improve hockey’s environmental footprint, which is why partnerships with progressive companies such as Polytan are crucial. We are pleased to note that the surface that will be used in Tokyo requires 2/3 less water than surfaces used at previous Olympic Games. FIH firmly believes that hockey can contribute to a more sustainable environment by making use of all the technological possibilities modern turf offers”, FIH CEO Thierry Weil stated.

“With the development of the Poligras Tokyo GT, we have succeeded not only in making a hockey pitch more sustainable, but also in significantly improving its performance. Never before has a hockey turf been more environmentally friendly, never before has a turf allowed such a dynamic and precise hockey game. I am very proud of this,” said Polytan Director Product Management Friedemann Söll.

“We are so proud that Polytan and the FIH have chosen Braskem’s I’m green™ polyethylene for the hockey fields for the games in Tokyo in 2020. Tokyo has set itself the goal of organizing the first carbon-neutral games, and we are happy Braskem that can make its contribution together with the FIH and Polytan,” added Marco Jansen, Commercial Director, Renewable Chemicals Europe & North America at Braskem.

I’m green™ polyethylene is a plastic obtained from ethanol derived from sugar cane. It is a vegetable raw material that, during its growth, captures carbon dioxide from the environment. The reason why Polytan has chosen this raw material for its artificial turf production is that the carbon footprint of I’m green™ polyethylene has a positive impact compared to fossil polyethylene. For every kg of I’m green™ polyethylene used in Polytan’s hockey fields for the games in Tokyo in 2020, almost 5 kg of CO2 will be saved. All this is being achieved without any compromise on the quality of the turf.

Socca World Cup in Lisbon: Polytan synthetic turf for small-sided football World Cup

Socca World Cup in Lisbon

Polytan synthetic turf for small-sided football World Cup

It’s a truism that after every world championship the focus is on the next. The same applies for football. But it would be a mistake to think of 2022 and Qatar already. Because the next World Cup is happening at the end of September – and it will be held in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital will play host to 32 teams from around the world as they battle it out for the biggest title in small-sided football. The venue for the Socca World Cup is the stadium in the Praça do Comércio, which has been built specially for this event. This square marks the centre of the vibrant capital city and is where all the matches in the tournament will be held.

 

Germany’s national team will also be in on the action under the excellent leadership of national coach Malte Froehlich and assistant coach Sebastian Maak. The games will be played just like the “big ones”: the group stage consists of eight groups, each with four teams. The teams all play each other with the aim of finishing in the top two of each group to reach the last sixteen. They then move on to the knockout stage to try and make it to the final on 29 September 2018. The German team’s first opponent is India, followed by Croatia and Angola. The games are played on a half-size pitch – and on synthetic turf from Polytan.

 

Polytan has created the “LigaTurf Socca” playing surface in conjunction with the International Socca Federation (ISF) specifically for this major event. This synthetic turf is custom-made and has smooth and textured filaments like the LigaTurf Cross system, although in this case they are green and blue. And this surface is likewise extremely robust and easy to maintain. Friedemann Söll, Head of Product Management & Marketing at Polytan, comments on “LigaTurf Socca”: “We are proud that our latest technological advances enable us to contribute to an event that brings so much pleasure to people across the world. Events of this kind show that sports events are moving increasingly from out-of-town stadiums into the inner cities and the big squares where they can reach spectators on an emotional level. We provide easy-to-install, temporary systems to cater for this clearly identifiable trend so that professional sport can be practised in such venues as well. And, needless to say, we are also taking the opportunity to demonstrate the numerous attributes of synthetic turf systems in Lisbon in conjunction with our partner ISF.”

 

Shahzeb Trunkwala, Vice-President of the ISF, emphasised the fact that its partnership with Polytan is set to continue after the current World Cup and into the future. Christoph Koechy, who manages all the sponsorship activities around the World Cup, believes he is receiving the best possible support from Polytan and the “very best artificial turf you can get anywhere”.

The best synthetic turf in Serie B

New LigaTurf RS Pro II CP in the Stadio Comunale of Virtus Entella:

The best synthetic turf in Serie B

Since the summer of 2017 professional footballers at Virtus Entella, a Serie B Italian club, have been playing their home games on a LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus pitch from Polytan with Infill BionicFibre granules. The high quality of the synthetic turf made an instant impression not only on players and trainers, but also on the jury for the annual quality rankings, which assesses grass and synthetic pitches in Italy’s Serie B: the playing surface from Polytan in the Stadio Comunale was awarded first place in the synthetic turf category.

Virtus Entella is a traditional Italian club which started playing in Serie B, Italy’s second division, for the first time in its 100-year history during the 2014/15 season. The professional team plays its home games in the Stadio Comunale in Chiavari, which was renovated after promotion to Serie B and now holds 4,150 spectators. In order to ensure suitable conditions for training and competitive play in the future, the badly worn grass pitch was replaced with a modern LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus system from Polytan in July 2017.

High level of player comfort thanks to modern synthetic turf technology

In combination with the 25-millimetre thick elastic base layer, which provides for long-lasting, optimum force reduction, the premium synthetic turf system – which has been specially developed for football – is ideal for the high demands of professional football. The highly resilient smooth filaments are similar to real blades of grass, yet they provide consistently high standards of quality, even when the weather is cold and wet. Players enjoy the same level of comfort as on well-maintained real grass pitches thanks to the addition of Infill Bionic Fibre – modern infill granules made of EPDM rubber with a special organic structure.
The team captain of Virtus Entella, Michele Troiano, also confirmed that the pitch in the Stadio Comunale is of high quality:
“The pitch is outstanding. They’ve done a really excellent job and there is now even less of a difference to real grass. Our impressions have been really positive. Compared with last year, you could say it’s a whole different ball game.”

First place for Polytan in the pitch rankings of Serie B

The prerequisite for exciting football matches with top players is an optimal base. Ideally, this should be in the best possible state throughout the year, in all conditions and in every situation. The Italian Liga B put up prize money in order to raise awareness of this requirement among clubs in Italy’s Serie B and to initiate any necessary measures for improvement. The jury, which consists of team captains, trainers, TV producers and the Liga’s agricultural engineer, draws up two ranking lists – one for real grass and one for synthetic turf pitches. Having had LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus installed by Polytan in July 2017, the professional club Virtus Entella is in top place after the first-leg fixtures in the 2017/18 season. Not only is it the first synthetic pitch in football-mad Italy with an Infill BionicFibre system, it’s also the first synthetic turf system from Polytan to have been certified with the FIFA Quality Pro seal of approval.

Bayern talent factory with sports surfaces from Polytan

Ideal training conditions at the new FC Bayern Campus:

Bayern talent factory with sports surfaces from Polytan:

Talented junior players in the U9 to U19 teams and the women’s teams of FC Bayern Munich have been training at the new FC Bayern Campus on Ingolstädter Strasse since 1 August. A 70 million euro state-of-the-art football academy has been built on the site of a former barracks within sight of the Allianz Arena in the north of Munich. Polytan was in on the action as the fitter of choice: the Burgheim-based sports surface specialist laid around 22,000 square metres of synthetic turf and synthetic surfaces outside – with 20,000 square metres consisting of the LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus premium synthetic turf system with top quality Infill Bionic Fibre infill granules.

Great importance is attached to the development of young talent in Munich: the ultra-modern sports facilities on the club’s 30-hectare site include a sports hall, a ground with three stands for 2,500 spectators, a basketball court, a beach soccer pitch, fitness/technique/coordination areas, mini pitches, a circular track and seven full-size pitches. This unique offering is rounded off by the academy for 35 talented junior players, the club house, a cafeteria, a medical practice and much more besides.

At the request of the German record-holders, sports surface systems from Polytan were installed over an area of around 22,000 square metres on the open-air site, with synthetic turf from Polytan being laid on two full-size pitches, two mini pitches and the fitness/technique/coordination area. In addition, Polytan synthetic surfaces were the ideal choice for the basketball court and the circular track: the basketball court was fitted out with the hard-wearing PolyPlay S all-round surface, while the Rekortan M professional sports surfacing system ensures that the running track is suitable for competitions. Both areas have been laid in classic brick red, the usual colour of choice in professional facilities used for competitive events.

When it came to the synthetic turf, FC Bayern Munich opted for the LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus system with Infill Bionic Fibre infill granules, which currently represents state-of-the-art technology in professional football.

Polytan had already been awarded the contract for the synthetic pitches at the training ground on Säbener Strasse by the German record-holders back in 2009 and 2011. Thomas Hanke, the Sales Director for Germany at Polytan, attributes the fact that the club has again opted for premium products by the Burgheim-based sports surface specialist to the continuous advances in its systems. “In combination with the elastic base layer, which provides for long-lasting, optimum force reduction, the LigaTurf RS Pro II CoolPlus synthetic turf system is ideal for the high demands placed on it by FC Bayern Munich. The highly resilient smooth filaments are similar to real blades of grass and yet they provide consistently good playing qualities, even when the weather is cold and wet. There is no need to close the pitches, and the turf heating system means that training sessions can run continuously, even if temperatures fall below freezing or there is a bit of snow.”

The state-of-the-art Infill Bionic Fibre granules contribute to even better playing qualities and help to reduce the risk of injury to players. The EPDM granules are of an irregular shape, in contrast to the angular, smooth-cut form of conventional infill. The result is a softer and naturally springy surface. Thomas Hanke emphasises yet another advantage: “The organic structure of the infill granules reduces what is known as “splash”, when material sprays up in other words, and duelling and tackling are possible to almost the same extent as on real grass.” Furthermore, stalks of grass in two shades of green and the green infill granules give the turf a fresh, natural look which lasts all year round. The playing field is prevented from heating up excessively on hot summer days by Polytan’s patented CoolPlus technology, which incorporates UV-reflective pigments into the filaments.

The new Polytan Fusion GT infill

Polytan presented infill made of rubber and renewable raw materials at FSB 2017:

Unique fusion of nature and technology

At this year’s FSB Polytan presented for the first time a new infill for synthetic turf systems consisting partly of natural materials: the Polytan Fusion GT infill granules. It combines high-quality, newly produced EPDM rubber granules with components made from fast-growing renewable resources. GT stands for Green Technology at Polytan and alludes to the product’s particularly high level of sustainability and environmental compatibility.

There are infill granules on the market that are made of various materials and come in different colours and shapes. Polytan generally recommends fillings made of high-quality, newly produced EPDM granules. Not only do these rubber versions easily meet the strict requirements of the European Union REACH regulation, they are also completely weather-, moisture- and ozone-resistant and insensitive to temperature fluctuations and peaks. What is more, they offer the sort of consistently high playing qualities that protect players against injury.

The latest infill development from Polytan combines the proven attributes of these EPDM granules with the natural properties of a renewable raw material. The outcome is a pioneering product with improved environmental compatibility.

Not only does the fast-growing natural product used in this process have an excellent eco-balance, it also has a positive influence on the heat generation of the synthetic turf surface – studies by Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences show that temperatures can be lowered by up to 15 °C. This is down to the natural evaporative cooling system, which keeps the synthetic turf pleasantly cool even in high temperatures. The natural fibre content of the new Polytan Fusion GT infill means that it can absorb higher amounts of water and then release it evenly in the same way as a natural grass substrate. The light brown colour of the infill granules also contributes to the reduced heat generation on the synthetic turf and makes the whole pitch look fresher and more natural.
Further information at www.polytan.de