The difference between a 10mm and a 15mm top layer
30. June 2022
The top layer of a rubber safety surfacing is the one that supports wear and tear. For this reason a special type of material is used that, being flexible, withstands the wear due to abrasion much better,( such as EPDM or TPV granules).
These EPDM or TPV granules are pigmented during the mixing in the manufacture of the rubber panels that are subsequently granulated.
The level of use of the facility and its dimensions are highly variable. Certain facilities can have hundreds of users throughout the day, while others are practically not being used for most of the day, with only a few peak hours with an influx of users, for example after leaving school or during week ends and holidays.
In any case, certain parts of the flooring, such as trampoline landing areas in playgrounds or the vicinity of goals or baskets in sports areas, suffer a much greater wear due to successive impacts or friction from normal use.
Traditionally, since the beginning of the use of rubber safety flooring in playgrounds, the top layer was made in a minimum finished thickness of 15mm.
As this safety surfacing system expanded around the world and competition among installers of these surfaces increased, cost tensions started, and some installers began to reduce the top layer thicknesses to a final 12 or even 10 mm.
IIn a large number of countries with a higher number of competitors or price sensitivity, the final thickness of 10 mm has become the standard practice.
In certain countries with poorer quality standards and / or with lower awareness for safety in playgrounds, thicknesses of the upper layer can be even less than 10mm!
The consequence of the reduction from 15 mm to 10 mm is that the useful life of the surface is significantly reduced. Within 1 to 2 years of installation, the flooring already requires repairs in areas with more intense wear, the disappearance of the granules of the upper layer leaves SBR absorption layer fully visible, this layer should not be visible to users.
Unfortunately, some customers only consider the initial budget of the installation and do not consider the total cost of the useful life of the area.
At Conica, we want you to be fully satisfied with the life cycle of your project. It is good for the planet, better for your total budget and probably even for your nerves. This is why we encourage you to take a long term-view. Sometimes it is worth investing for the long term.