Levels of concern have been growing in the media about the personal and environmental safety of SBR relating to PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and heavy metals; how the chemicals emitted by rubber crumb might, in the long run, be harmful to users.
Research established that the dangers were negligible – but nevertheless we wanted to raise the bar and create a superior product that was guaranteed to be completely safe.
The result of a year-long research and development programme was PRO-gran, a new product that employs a polyurethane coating as an impermeable barrier between the rubber and both the user and the wider environment.
This barrier is 100% effective at eliminating dust, aromas and chemicals including PAHs and heavy metals. It is so safe, in fact, that it out-performs the safety limits imposed on children’s toys by the EU!
The criteria for REACH 1272/2013 specifies that the levels of eight named PAHs contained within toys and childcare items, such as babies’ teething rings or rattles, must be less than 0.5mg per kg of material. In all tests, PRO-gran has shown levels of zero for these eight specified PAHs.
While safety is our first priority, we were obviously keen that the new product satisfied the needs of those who would actually use the pitches – the players themselves. We were not disappointed: PRO-gran proved to have delivered superior performance in several key respects. It maintains a low surface temperature, it reduces skin abrasions by 25%, it promotes the correct degree of ball bounce and roll, and it lasts the lifetime of the pitch.
Cirencester FC was the first club to invest in a PRO-gran pitch. Cirencester Town Football Club Secretary Scott Griffin said “We didn’t expect the crumb on the new pitch to be anything special, but it’s amazing! The players love that they can control the ball as there’s a consistency, no dust and hardly any splashing. It’s great as are very keen to make sure the pitch is safe and healthy to play on now and for the future. Because of PRO-gran everyone involved with the club has peace of mind.”
In the past, black rubber crumb infilled pitches looked dull, but PRO-gran can be supplied green or brown, and this can make a surprising difference to the aesthetics of the pitch; a real benefit for fans watching live and on TV.
When reviewing alternative playing surfaces, longevity is clearly an important factor in the decision-making process. Because of its unique design, PRO-gran will out-last competing products. Its rugged and resilient construction means that under typical conditions you can expect at least twelve years’ service at peak performance – during which time it will maintain its attractive appearance.
All told, PRO-gran has changed the game in the sphere of artificial playing surfaces. In terms of player safety, environmental friendliness and sporting performance, it is in a league of its own.
To find out more about PRO-gran, please drop us an email or give us a call.