Rubber coatings for playgrounds: tips on choosing and using
Children's games at children's and sports grounds physically develop them. However, these games are often accompanied by falls, which lead to bruises, bruises, bumps, and more dangerous injuries. In order to protect the active activities of children, there is a special rubber coating, which in addition will relieve dirt and decorate the playground.
Advantages and disadvantages
In modern sports and playgrounds for children, river sand is used at best, asphalt or fine gravel at worst. Naturally, they do not comply with safety regulations.
Rubber coatings, widely used abroad, are still new and not fully mastered materials. These coatings that meet all the requirements of the standards are currently becoming the best and environmentally friendly material for playgrounds. This rubberized coating has its advantages.
- Provides a high degree of safety during children's games on the court. Such coatings of high elasticity reduce the possibility of serious injury even when falling, since the damping properties of the coating with rubber soften the blow. Small children feel stable on a rough surface, which does not allow the risk of slipping.
- It has a long service life, which can reach 10 years.
- It has great strength, as the raw material for its manufacture is rubber, outdated automobile tires. Therefore, it has a good resistance to various mechanical damage and can withstand heavy loads.
- Does not respond to weathering. It can tolerate temperature fluctuations ranging from -30 to + 50 degrees, which allows its use throughout the year, and in regions with different climates.However, at sub-zero temperatures, elastic and springy properties are somewhat reduced. After the rain, the moisture goes into the ground through the pores, which means that the puddles do not stagnate, and after the frost does not form ice crusts.
- It is an environmentally friendly material. The constituent elements of the coating are devoid of components harmful and hazardous to the health of children, and there are no unpleasant odors.
- Does not cause allergies. It is resistant to the development of mold, fungal and other infections, does not attract rodents and harmful insects, weed does not grow on it.
- It has a large variety of colors that do not fade under the influence of the sun and retain saturation and their properties during operation.
- Gives an aesthetic look to the site. A large assortment of colors and patterns makes it possible to create beautiful compositions and turn a playground into a fabulous and attractive city for children.
- To care for such a coating is easy and simple. It can be vacuumed, water removes dirt, it is acceptable to use conventional detergents. But in order not to damage the surface, you can not use metal brushes.
- You can lay it yourself, because it has a simple installation that does not require special tools.
And yet, the coating has some drawbacks. First of all, it is its ability to smolder and melt, leading to fire, which makes the coating a fire hazard. That is why it is impossible to kindle fire near the site. Another big disadvantage is the high price, although it is justified by a long service life.
And another small drawback can be considered laying conditions - only in dry weather (it is deformed in wet weather).
Types and characteristics
The development of technological processes has allowed to create a different and safe material for the design of children's areas for games in the form of rubber coatings. These coatings can be of the following types:
- monolithic (continuous) seamless canvas of crumb rubber;
- modular rubber tile;
- modular plastic coating;
- rolled rubber coating.
Seamless monolithic coating
A distinctive feature of this type of coating is that its composition includes several components, and it is prepared right during laying. This is a self-leveling coating: rubber crumb connects with a bindercomposition of polyurethane resins in compliance with certain ratios. Dyes are used to impart color.
The technology of laying makes it possible to realize various patterns and patterns. The product can be applied once (single layer), and twice with the use of reinforcing lattice of glass fibers between the layers. Holistic coating has a number of special qualities.
- Increased moisture transmission. Holistic mats are covered with small pores through which water seeps.
- Greater safety guarantee against injury due to excellent cushioning properties. It has several types of thickness, taking into account the various heights of children's gaming devices and equipment. On a smooth, seamless surface, the child does not have the opportunity to hit the edge, to trip and fall.
- Long operational period while maintaining a good overall appearance.
- Easy installation that can be done independently.
- A high degree of hygiene, because there are no joints where dirt and various infections are usually collected, and the integrity of the flooring facilitates care.
- Pretty reasonable price, which is slightly higher than the cost of tiles, but wins due to the simplicity and ease of installation.
The only difficulty in using this type of coating is that the solidity makes repair more difficult. The damaged part needs to be cut out, and then apply a new layer, which may differ slightly in color from the original, since it is difficult to find the desired shade.
Modular rubber tile
Tiled mats can be made in two ways: cold or hot pressing of crumb rubber. The resulting material, having a high degree of elasticity, remains soft. The porous structure provides good moisture-carrying capacity, which contributes to the rapid drying after precipitation. This variant represents polygons of various shapes and sizes. The size of the sides can reach 1 m, and the thickness - 1-6 cm. The fixing of the tiles between them is carried out by the “thorn-groove” type, and the assembly takes place, as in the case of ordinary puzzles. Thin floor mats consist mainly of one layer and are evenly and completely colored.
Thick tiles may contain several layers separated by a reinforcing fiberglass mesh. Small granules are the basis of the lower layer, and it becomes not so porous, but more springy.The top layer consisting of a large rubber crumb, is painted in different colors. Characteristics:
- possesses good ability to pass water;
- provides a greater degree of security;
- it is resistant to wear and therefore serves for a long time without losing an attractive appearance;
- characterized by simplicity and speed of laying on a flat plane, without requiring additional equipment and tools;
- the possibility of repairing the coating in case of damage by replacing the damaged element with a new one;
- has lower price, than a monolithic seamless covering.
Possessing excellent technical properties, the tile still has not such wide use, and it is rarely used for playgrounds. When installing it is necessary to strictly follow all instructions of the manufacturer.
Modular plastic coating
This type is a collapsible structure consisting of elements of various dimensions. Make it out of high quality plastic. Easily tolerates temperature fluctuations and long interaction with water. It meets the requirements of environmental safety and is easy to install.It can be easily disassembled, the product can be installed in another place, and even transferred in assembled form. Plastic coating is much cheaper than other types.
Rolled rubber coating
The rolled coating has the form of strips of different widths and lengths. The material for the manufacture is frozen rubber crumb, cut into strips, which are then rolled into a roll. The rolled coating can have 2-3 layers, and the thickness can be 2-5 mm. For playgrounds, its thickness can reach 10, 15, 17, 20 mm. This kind of flooring can be mounted independently.
How to choose?
Playgrounds must meet high requirements, so it is very important to choose the right cover. First of all, you need to understand what qualities they should have. The level of shock absorption is the property to soften the blow in the fall, and one of the most important safety requirements for rubber coatings. This indicator determines the height when falling from which the child can get a dangerous injury. The height of the baby equipment must comply with these parameters.
When choosing, you should be guided by a state standard specification, which defines the standards for elasticity, strength and durability. Choosing a coating, also pay attention to such factors:
- safety of the coating and its environmental friendliness: the coating must have a certificate of environmental quality and may not contain any harmful impurities;
- service life: the coating must be resistant to sunlight, not fade and not lose color saturation, to tolerate temperature fluctuations, while not deformed and not to crack;
- cushioning qualities to avoid injury;
- aesthetic appearance: bright and colorful coatings are suitable for the playing area, and calmer colors are suitable for sports fields;
- ease of care for the coating and the possibility of its repair;
The choice of the type of rubber coating depends on the functional tasks that it will solve. So, for the children's play area, a seamless covering would be more suitable, for edging the sides of the pool or for covering the tracks - rolled coating or rubber tiles. From the point of view of safety, the best is a seamless self-leveling coating with a thickness of 5 to 20 cm. When choosing this type of coating and its components, it is also guided by its functional application.
Depending on what functional tasks the rubber coating will solve, determine its density, texture, thickness and size. Thus, the functional load of the playing field for very young children is completely different from the load of the playing field for older children. When choosing a rubber tile, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that there are no foreign solid particles in it, since they are able to tread out the surface and cause harm to the child during operation. The tile surface should be uneven, uniform.
Typically, the value indicator speaks of product quality. Therefore, choosing a coating, you need to remember this. The cost is much lower than the average suggests that the manufacturer has saved on raw materials, and hence the quality is much lower. This may affect the safety of children and the appearance of the coating.
The technology of mounting a rubber coating, regardless of its type, begins with the preparation of the base for the coating. The basis can be wooden, concrete or asphalt.
Laying the coating in rolls is much easier than everyone else:
- the prepared base is cleaned from dirt, dust and other debris;
- polyurethane glue is applied to the cleaned base;
- roll cover;
- joints are treated with glue.
At the intended location of the playing area, the finished foundation is leveled and cleaned from sand, dirt and fine gravel. Existing roughness and irregularities are overwritten with cement. When laying tiles on the street, pre-do drainage with an angle of about 20 degrees. The finished base is smeared with polyurethane glue, then the tile is laid with minimal gaps between them. It is also important to maintain a level that should be the same.
Installation of a monolithic (filler) seamless fabric has its own method. The coating consists of rubber crumb, polyurethane binding it, and dyes. Stages of installation:
- the prepared base is polished, cleaned of all kinds of dirt, wet the concrete base;
- installation is carried out at a temperature of at least +6 degrees;
- prepare a special primer of glue and solvent, taken in equal proportions, and put it on the basis of a day;
- the coating is also poured on a sunny and dry day;
- according to the instructions, the solution is prepared from crumb rubber, polyurethane glue and dyes in certain proportions, mixing it well;
- this solution is applied to the substrate with a layer of about 8 cm, smoothed with a spatula, then dubbed again with a roller moistened with anti-adhesive film;
- freezing occurs within 2 days;
- then the surface is varnished with a roller from velor.
Repair of seamless material and replacement of damaged tiles is carried out using the same technology.
The use of rubber crumb coating allows you to create a modern type of playgrounds. It is especially beautifully combined with various attractions. Often, the design of the playing area is decorated with a combination of rubber coating with artificial grass that simulates bright green islets. An interesting option is to place a sandbox on the surface, like a small island with a beautiful bridge. The covering can have various multi-colored drawings: stars, multi-colored circles, stylized animals and flowers, butterflies, and also geometric shapes.
You can also draw squares for a classic game or arrange a playground,imitating the street to learn the rules of the road. A tile of various colors can be laid in a staggered manner, in the form of tracks of various configurations. It is possible to combine rubber with other types of coatings, for example, with bark mulch, modular plastic plates and artificial turf. Rubber crumb flooring can realize any fantasy ideas.
How to apply a rubber coating for the playground, see the following video.