Building on the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games experience, the innovative artificial turf solution based on The Dow Chemical Company’s (NYSE: DOW) polyethylene (PE) and polyurethane (PU) technologies will be the official playing surface for hockey competitions during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, at the Deodoro Olympic Park.
Dow, the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games, is working once again with Polytan STI, a global leading manufacturer and supplier for outdoor and indoor sports surfaces, to deliver a higher-performing, more reliable and faster artificial turf for the world’s best hockey players in Rio. Dow and its customer worked together on London 2012’s Riverbank Arena which helped set the new standard for hockey’s most important competitions.
Two pitches and one warm-up area at Deodoro, as well as two additional pitches to be built at the Federal University of Rio, will benefit from a comprehensive playing surface that consists of specific high-performing materials formulated together in multiple layers. The surface system is designed to deliver enhanced durability for increased pitch life, and a consistent field-of-play throughout the busy Olympic competition schedule.
The production of synthetic turf is a highly elaborated process. The system begins with the production of the master batch and the yarn for the turf. The subsequent tufting and backing process provide a strong turf bind, even when the surface is wet. For the upper surface layer, the polymer yarn provides wear resistance and energy absorption, combined with softness and speed. The complete turf system, including embedded shock pad properties, provides stability, durability, shock absorption and force reduction properties for the benefit of the players and the game.
The internationally-certified artificial turf system offers colorability, enabling customized aesthetics and design for the playing surface. London 2012 marked the first Olympic hockey competition in history to be played on blue and pink turf. The blue color enabled players, officials, spectators and the media to keep their eyes on the ball more easily, because it provided a high level of contrast against the yellow ball and white lines.
“Our unique position as the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games and a global leader in the plastics industry, combined with our customer’s experience in artificial playing surfaces, enables us to deliver the best turf conditions for the world’s greatest athletes – in hockey and other sports,” said Ana Carolina Haracemiv, global marketing director, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “The solution we developed together is durable, low maintenance, stays consistently flat and fast from game to game, and requires no watering - compared to natural grass.”
Contributing to the Olympic Legacy in Rio
Beyond the Olympic athletes, citizens of Rio will largely benefit from the innovative playing surfaces to be installed in Deodoro, as the Park will remain as one of the main legacy projects for the city after the Games have concluded. Dow and its customer plan to donate material to support the construction of the Deodoro pitches and enable the long-term use of the fields.
“The contribution we are receiving from Dow and its customer is an extraordinary example of how the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are changing – for the better – our city and communities,” said Sidney Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Rio 2016. “It takes true Olympic spirit, strong partnerships and great corporate citizenship to help us deliver this unique legacy for the future of Rio.”
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