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XL Generation uses Neopolen P in its new artificial turf

BASF Aktiengesellschaft : 23 December, 2004  (Application Story)
Neopolen P, a speciality foam made by BASF, is being employed as an elastic padding underneath the dense green fibres of an artificial turf.
Neopolen P, a speciality foam made by BASF, is being employed as an elastic padding underneath the dense green fibres of an artificial turf.

Durable, weather-resistant, easy on the joints, comfortable and stable. These are the properties of the new artificial turf, XL Turf, which the XL Generation Co has recently launched onto the European market. This is the first artificial turf to dispense with sand and rubber granules and to be made exclusively of plastic.

This new turf is patented in 42 countries and has already been successfully in use for about one year in the UK at the stadium of the Scottish Dunfermline Athletic Football Club within the scope of a UEFA project.

The fibres of the artificial turf are made of Thiolon Grass, a speciality polyethylene, manufactured by the Dutch company Ten Cate. Its density, which is four times greater than that of conventional artificial turf, plus the spiral-shaped extra fibres that act like springs, give the fibres a very natural resilience.

The underbase is made of Neopolen P, an expanded polypropylene produced by BASF. This foam makes the surface material more comfortable to play on and prevents sports-related injuries. The underbase is capable of withstanding repeated mechanical impact.

“With every impact, Neopolen P absorbs the introduced energy and releases it again with a time delay as the foam returns to its original shape,” explained Egon Meier, Marketing for Neopolen P. There is no permanent material deformation or breakage and thus no loss of the absorption properties. Consequently, XL Turf is suitable for players of all ages and ability levels.

In developing the artificial turf, XL Generation consistently aimed for the playing properties specified by UEFA for optimal natural grass pitches. Now Neopolen P is employed instead of sand and rubber granules, which frequently cause scrapes and friction injuries. The foam substrate minimizes the stress exerted on muscles and joints of players and accounts for ball characteristics comparable to those of natural grass.

Another advantage in comparison to natural grass is that XL Turf is weather-resistant, that is to say, it can be played on year-round under constant conditions. The new artificial turf does away with warping, holes and stray clumps of grass. This translates into technically superior playing conditions.

The highest quality grade of the artificial turf even meets all of the UEFA criteria in laboratory and field tests. The Dunfermline Athletic Football Club installed this new artificial turf in its stadium, where Scottish premier league championship matches will be held. Dunfermline Athletic is one of six stadiums that took part in an UEFA pilot project with XL Turf. Now that the project has been concluded successfully, UEFA has permitted matches on the artificial turf in the European competitions starting with the 2005/2006 playing season.

XL Turf is based on a panel system that can be completely prefabricated with quality control being carried out prior to delivery. The product can be transported easily and laid as well as removed from the installation site within two days. This means that stadiums can be employed for other events as well.

A simple tongue-and-groove joining system prevents the panels from slipping. The turf is easy to care for and maintain. XL Turf merely has to be vacuumed and brushed, individual panels can simply be removed and replaced.

“This synthetic turf is particularly attractive for clubs in the amateur realm,” explained Meier. “Clubs and municipalities benefit from considerably lower care and maintenance costs in comparison to other types of artificial turf. But XL turf is also of great advantage in big modern stadiums. High spectator stands are responsible for low levels of incident light and poor ventilation. Under such conditions, natural grass is very expensive to maintain and care for.'

XL Turf has a service life of 15 years. The maintenance costs for the entire system are minimal. The acquisition costs can be further reduced through self installation. Moreover, XL Turf also can be disposed of without problems.
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