Trinseo helps artificial turf manufacturers get Fifa approval

TECHNICALLY strong soccer teams benefit in particular from high quality turf. Artificial turf provides an especially even surface. Many factors come into play in the production of artificial soccer fields and the tuft withdrawal force is only one of many criteria for a good and robust surface.

In addition, turf producers must comply with specific low volatile organic compounds (VOC) industry requirements in order to maintain players' health.

Trinseo, which describes itself as a global supplier of latex binders, recently helped two artificial turf manufacturers in China to meet rigorous testing requirements to get the certification of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa).

The Fifa certification for artificial turf has long been seen as the highest international standard and as such, obtaining certification can be a door opener for artificial turf manufacturers to the international market. The key tests and requirements for latex-based backing are:

  • Immersion in hot water (European Standard EN 13744 & ISO 4919) - surfaces for sports areas: Procedure for accelerated ageing by immersion in hot water (includes two weeks’ immersion in water at 70deg C: ≥30 Newton);
  • Tuft withdrawal force (International Standard ISO 4919) - Carpets: Determination of tuft withdrawal force (an average of minimal 20 samples: ≥30 Newton; relative Standard Deviation is 25-30% (low precision);
  • Dimensional stability (EN 13746) as function of temperature and wet conditions.

Meeting strict environmental standards
‘Trinseo is one of the few organisations able to produce latex binders for artificial turf in compliance with the specific low VOC industry requirements for exports to Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East,’ says James Kennedy, industry textile binders manager EMEA.

Many VOCs are known carcinogens and in the short term, using products containing VOCs can increase asthma and allergy symptoms for individuals. When used industrially, VOCs can also lead to increased air pollution and smog.

‘In order to limit these effects, many governing bodies and organizations have set limits on the VOC amount a specific product can contain,’ explains James. ‘Trinseo’s latex binders help reduce the concentrations of organic chemicals emitted as gases.

‘By manufacturing artificial turf with lower amount of VOC in indoor air (often called total VOC - TVOC), these Chinese artificial turf manufacturers can achieve a larger market share of these exports.’
Delivering functionality for adhesion and low VOC

As a supplier of Styrene Butadiene (SB) latex, Trinseo says it modified its standard product with performance enhancing additives to meet the specific needs of the artificial turf manufacturers:

  • Good wetting of the polymer that reduces the drop-in tuft lock after immersion in water test
  • Superior Inner Tuft Lock (ITL) properties
  • Easier processing
  • Good wetting of polypropylene backing
  • Other key benefits of SB latex include cohesive and adhesive strength, dimensional stability, flexibility, water impermeability, efflorescence resistance and water, chemical, stain, acid, alkali, abrasion and oil resistance, says Trinseo.

‘With more than 60 years’ experience producing latex binders, Trinseo’s recent collaboration with artificial turf manufacturers exemplifies its continued dedication to the development of binders’ solutions,’ says James.

‘Our range of latex binders offers performance, processing efficiencies and environmental and regulatory compliance, all while exceeding individual customer needs.

‘We’re thrilled our latex binders helped these customers obtain such a prominent international certification,’ says James. ‘We pride ourselves on producing the highest quality products in the most environmentally friendly ways and this partnership really highlights this commitment.’