Taking advantage of UV stabilizers in field hockey turf production

Have you ever wondered what type of artificial grass system is used in hockey stadiums and what difference it truly makes? It’s an appropriate time to ask the question, as August marks the 2021 Olympic Hockey Tournament in Tokyo, an event where artificial turf is front and center. 

Hockey (often known as field hockey) was one of the early adopters of using artificial grass for sports fields nearly 20 years ago. What type of artificial grass system to use is a decisive choice because it can affect the playing styles of athletes and the pace of the game. 

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) developed an internationally recognized quality-assurance program, the FIH Quality Program for Hockey Turf, which includes consistent and dependable industry standards and test methods that turf producers need to comply with if they want to become FIH certified.


Where Solvay and Polytan play for sport and leisure applications

Female field hockey player passing to a team mate on a modern

Polytan, one of Solvay’s customers and part of SportGroup, is a recognized technology market leader of artificial turf for sport and leisure applications. Polytan provides the market with artificial turf and its components, such as masterbatch (a mixture of pigments and additives used to color and stabilize polymers), fibers and coating material. Solvay provides Polytan with UV stabilizers used in turf production, specifically CYASORB® light stabilizers, which are added to the artificial fibers to extend their outdoor durability despite challenging environmental conditions. Through ongoing collaboration, Solvay and Polytan aim to extend durability and improve the sustainability profile of sporting materials, one application at a time.

“Solvay works with us on the continuous development of high-quality artificial turf products,” explains Stephan Sick, Vice President R&D Director of SportGroup. “Poligras Tokyo GT hockey turf is the newest example of this ongoing collaboration. Polytan is bringing to the market the first synthetic turf to feature filaments partly made from regrowable raw materials. Polytan is using BioBased PE to add a sustainable dimension to the outstanding playing properties of its tried-and-tested polyethylene monofilament fibers. With a turf structure that is specifically adapted to the BioBased PE formula, Poligras Tokyo GT enables incomparably dynamic and precise play.”

Polytan is FIH certified, thanks to Solvay’s range of products that enhances the performance and durability of artificial turf.

“We work closely with Polytan to provide them with the best UV stabilizer for this application. CYASORB® light stabilizers are exclusively produced by Solvay,” says Sophie Poelmans, Global Marketing Manager for Polymer Additives in Solvay’s Technology Solutions global business unit.

Artificial turf needs a high-performing UV stabilizer so it’s built to last

zoom on artificial turf fibers

Poligras Tokyo GT hockey turf with Solvay’s CYASORB® stabilizers is a great example of sustainable innovation. Poligras Tokyo GT, when compared to a standard hockey pitch, promotes reduced water consumption without compromising playing conditions. Watering hockey fields is a common practice at top-level hockey tournaments. A watered pitch presents fast, consistent playing conditions and a soft surface for hockey sticks and knees.

Watered pitches are safe surfaces, as the water layer absorbs impact better than a sand-filled pitch. A watered pitch also gives players the ability to control their slides. Falls on these surfaces are less likely to leave players with skin abrasion injuries because the surface of watered pitches is softer and cooler to play on. Additionally, a ball can run more freely on a watered pitch compared to sand, so players can enjoy a faster, more responsive style of play.  Watered pitches also help players reduce equipment replacement costs because sticks last longer on wet turf and are not worn out by friction on sand.

“Special UV stabilizers go in any product made out of polypropylene, polyethylene, or plastic that is used outdoors or exposed to sunlight or used in specific applications where strength is required. CYASORB® light stabilizers show the best performance in comparison to our competitors’ products. The UV stabilizer is an important component of the Polytan turf system. It provides high longevity and lasting playing performance, and it augments the Poligras Tokyo GT hockey turf’s stability and durability,” further explains Stephan Sick.

Essentially, artificial turf allows for a more even playing field, permitting the ball to travel faster and uninterrupted, which changes the pace of the game. It also possesses the durability needed to withstand normal game-time wear and tear, without the formation of holes typically caused by scoops from hockey sticks.

So the next time you watch a hockey game, keep an eye out for the grass 

 

Contacts

For additional information about Solvay’s CYASORB® light stabilizers, contact Sophie Poelmans.

For more information about Polytan products, contact Tobias Müller, tobias.mueller@polytan.com.