This year’s ESTO Innovation Award recognized Dow for its two breakthrough solutions set to transform the user-friendliness and durability of artificial turf.
The solutions – developed in collaboration with multiple partners in the value chain – have been specially designed to address two very important performance criteria: skin injury reduction and longer term durability of pitches.
Two functional polyethylene resins:
The first, a so-called friction resin, was developed in partnership with a long term customer who is a yarn producer, alongside a global OEM machine manufacturer and tested by a leading certifying body, Labosport.
“Application relevant tests showed that the yarn produced with this new resin offered the pitch as much as 20% reduction in friction tester temperatures, meaning the risk of player injuries from skin burns is also drastically reduced,” explained Eduardo Alvarez, Technical Service & Development Engineer, EMEA Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “Furthermore, better friction management allows faster ball roll and less watering of the pitch in some sports like hockey, a sustainability aspect we should not forget.”
“With the artificial turf industry demanding improved performance when it comes to skin health, we believe this new development will be yet another major step forward, enabling further market acceptance of artificial pitches which have already made leaps and bounds in the last decade,” he adds.
The award also went to a new polyolefin additive, recently launched to the market, with some European pitches already featuring the breakthrough development. The new tuft lock polyolefin additive can help increase adhesion of PE yarn to Polyurethane backing sheets by up to 60%, extending pitch lifetime, helping to maintain original quality and contributing to a more sustainable carpet.
“Both of these developments are being made available to the artificial turf industry worldwide, as we believe that by working in close collaboration with partners across the global value chain we will support positive future development of the sector as a whole,” added Abby Turner, EMEA Marketing Manager. “The fact that ESTO has given its endorsement to these latest innovations is a great source of pride not just to us, but to the partners we work closely with on such new and exciting developments.”