From Everyday Life to Olympics: Plastics & Rubber in Sports and Leisure Applications
Publish Date: 2019/12/24
Plastics and rubber materials have provided endless possibilities to sports and leisure activities over the years, and technology advances continue to improve safety, comfort and performance. The applications are diverse and widespread - ranging from artificial turf, sporting attire, sport equipment, to the venues.

Plastics products are widely used for sports clothing. They offer the advantages of durability and are difficult to tear. They are also waterproof and can be designed to minimise the wind resistance of an athlete's body. They can also be easily coloured and decorated to ease recognition by spectators and sports officials.

A preference for athletic high-quality footwear is expected by the consumers. This expectation have fueled the thermoplastic polyamide elastomers demand and enabling companies to produce footwear with light weight, lasting, trendy and comfortable features in the field of athletic footwear technological progress. Adding thermoplastic elastomers toughness and flexibility makes them ideal for use in applications such as running or cleared shoes. The demand for thermoplastic polyamide elastomers is likely to be driven by a growing demand for running shoes, cleated shoes and ski boots.

Plastic materials are used in almost all ballgames. Modern ball production relies on the thermal bonding of a polyurethane layer on a seamless glued surface, which delivers excellent responsiveness and ball contact sensitivity, a predictable trajectory, substantially reduced water uptake, and maximum abrasion resistance. In addition, referees' whistles, goal nets, corner flags, shin pads, football boots and jerseys are all made with plastics.

In Tokyo 2020's Summer Olympics, medalists will stand on podiums made from recycled plastic waste collected from local households or the ocean, Tokyo 2020 organizers said. The overall goal is to collect 1.5 million pieces of plastic packaging consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene plastic from consumers to produce recycled plastic resin, to make the approximately 100 podiums needed for the summer's showpiece. It would be the first time Olympic podiums were made from recycled material. Also, the uniforms to be worn by runners in the torch relay will be partially made from recycled plastic bottles.

In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the world's top hockey players are playing on the latest synthetic turf technology featured on the Deodoro Park's hockey pitches. This synthetic turf is created in a complex process where synthetic plastic fibres undergo a tufting process to produce a strong turf bind. Plastics ensure the highest playing condition regardless of the weather while providing shock absorption and durability to benefit the players and the game.

As for the venues, plastics lend its hand to create the Arena da Juventude (Youth Arena) that are staging the women's basketball tournament and fencing competition. The eastern and western facades of the building were constructed with PVC (plastics) composite membranes. Plastics make the structure wind resistant and thanks to its translucency, natural light can illuminate the arena. At the same time the breathable facade material allows natural ventilation of the interior spaces.

From the tracks on which Olympic athletes pursue new records to the shoes, clothing and safety equipment they wear and the stadia they perform in, modern sports rely on plastics. "CHINAPLAS 2020" brings together innovative plastics and rubber technologies, which showcase in Chemical & Raw Materials zones and Thermoplastic Elastomers & Rubber Zone, to provide comprehensive solutions for the sports and leisure industry.

One of the highlighted concurrent events "Design x Innovation" will introduce a new theme namely "Sports & Leisure x Plastics". In the Design Forum, design masters will share cases of successful brand stories and future trends, while designer pieces will be showcased at the Design x Innovation Gallery throughout the show period. Further details will be announced at webpage soon. Please stay tuned.

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Source from:
Plastics Today
Plastics Europe
British Plastics Federation