Shockpad made from cork

The world’s largest supplier of cork infill, Amorim, has expanded its portfolio by adding shockpads based on cork.

Shockpads play an essential role in delivering the required performance and safety of a synthetic turf surface. There are deemed so necessary that World Rugby claims that, “It is impossible for synthetic turf systems to be Regulation 22 compliant without having a shockpad.”

At present, most shockpads are produced from fossil fuels. With society increasingly becoming environmental conscious, Amorim saw an opportunity to enter the market. “Developments like the ban on placing polymeric infill onto the market currently proposed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the need for reducing our CO2 footprint will force the industry to review their approach towards synthetic turf,” explains the CEO of Amorim, Hugo de Vries. He advocates that synthetic turf products should be viewed as complicated and integrated systems.

Improved energy restitution

De Vries claims that cork meets all requirements to match the need for sustainable synthetic turf systems, while delivering high performance to players. “It is common knowledge that most shockpads deliver the required shock absorption and vertical deformation but often fail to also deliver the required energy restitution. Thanks to the natural properties of expanded cork, a shockpad made of this material manages to achieve the required performance of all three requirements simultaneously.”

He points out that cork is made of millions of airtight cells. “Amongst them is a gaseous mixture which allows it to be compressed to half its thickness without losing any flexibility, and to be decompressed to return to its original shape. Expanded cork helps to retain moisture, increase the pitch elasticity and conserve temperature during winter.”

Amorim claims that, thanks to millions of airtight cells, the 100% natural material has a high elasticity and compression resistance.

Less player fatigue

The high performance results in less player fatigue and fewer muscle or back injuries, as the energy the field returns no longer travels through the body. “Another advantage is that the ball will no longer bounce as high as what is experienced on fields without a shockpad made of cork.”

The Amorim shockpads are available as an in-situ solution, as well as prefabricated panels.

 

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