Sport, Leisure, Design

Plastics have revolutionised sports in recent years. From tracks on which Olympic athletes pursue new records to shoes, clothing, safety equipments (helmets, kneepads) and stadium construction (water and drainage pipes, seats, roofing), modern sports rely on plastics. Here are some examples application:

Plastics in ballgames: Plastics materials are used in almost all types of ballgames. Thanks to plastics, football for instance has become faster and more technical than ever before. The newest ball production concept - called thermal bonding and using a high-solid polyurethane layer on a seamless glued surface – results is an excellent responsiveness and ball contact sensitivity, a predictable trajectory, substantially reduced water uptake and maximum abrasion resistance.

Plastics in sports footwear: Running shoes that weigh just a few grams yet provide the strength and suppleness that athletes demand as they power out of the running blocks can make the difference between victory and defeat. Plastics play an important role in today’s sports shoe designs, whether the application is running, jumping or hiking. Take hiking boots for example; the lining and tongue can be made from a loosely woven polyester fabric that repels water and allows moisture to rapidly evaporate from the boot’s exterior, keeping the hiker’s feet dry in the wet and cool in the heat. For comfort and support, the mid-sole can be made from ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), which provides lightweight cushioning. Polyester foam padding, on the other hand, provides extra comfort on the insoles.

Plastics in tennis: Today, sports manufacturers use plastics to make tennis racquets that are light and strong, with excellent shock-absorbing systems. Players now have more powerful racquets with increased ease of manoeuvrability. In some racquet models, the central longitudinal strings are lead through a specially developed plastics core that is embedded in a plastics composite, which reduces shock vibration by 45% when the ball hits the racquet. This innovative technology allows tennis enthusiasts at all levels to enjoy the benefits of plastics on their local courts.

Plastics on water: The mouldability of composite plastics enables sleek dynamic hulls to be produced that are low in weight and high in strength. Power cruisers, sailing yachts and almost every other vessel now has a hull, deck, superstructure and even a mast made of composites. Today’s yachts use advanced carbon fibre compounds that helps taking yacht racing to a new level. This innovative plastics compound has largely replaced traditional materials building methods by providing greater flexibility, superior performance and faster production speed.

Plastics and children: For close to 50 years, the world's toymakers have been using plastics to make some of the best known and most popular toys and products for children. From bicycle helmets and flotation devices to kneecaps and other protective sporting gear, plastics help keeping children safe everyday. Plastics are one of the most thoroughly tested, well-researched, durable, flexible and cost-efficient materials on today's market.

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