Types of Safety Structures and Surfacing for Playgrounds
Regardless of who you consult with to design and purchase a new playground, typically that vendor can also provide an option for poured in place rubber safety surfacing. Are all of these rubber surfaces the same? Short answer is sure, they’re all built with rubber. Unfortunately the similarities end there and the real answer, and the answer most vendors don’t want you to know is, everyone’s surfacing is different and varies in terms of safety and durability.
Enter the RubberBond ELEVATE system. ELEVATE is a revolutionary unitary poured in place rubber surface that possesses optimal safety ratings and durability. Comprised of a bi-layer system, ELEVATE combines the superior safety ratings of a loose-fill safety surface system, with the accessibility, durability and design options of a unitary system.
A valid question, and there are several distinct reasons for this.
Wear Course Thickness: The ELEVATE rubber surfacing system is comprised of a wear course, or top layer, that is 1.5″ thick compared to our competition’s which usually measures in at about just half an inch. ELEVATE’s wear course being about 3x the competition provides that long wearing visible top layer that prevents failing of the system in high-use areas such as slide exists and underneath swings.
Sub-Base Layer: The layer that you don’t visually see on a poured in place playground surfacing is the layer that provides the safety from falls. The competition’s system will typically use a cheap, dust-like rubber granule. This layer would typically be 2-3″ in depth, providing a total system depth of 2-3.5″. ELEVATE skips the popular cheap infill product and replaces it with a 3.5″ rubber mulch under-layer, bringing the system’s total depth to 5″.
Safety Ratings: The goal of all playground safety surfacing products is to minimize serious head injury from an impact or fall. To measure these safety ratings, a head injury criterion (HIC) measurement is utilized via a tool referred to as a drop test machine. (Click here to view a fun video referencing a drop test). The lower the HIC rating on a surface, the safer it is for children to fall on. The average competition’s HIC rating comes in at about 800 and above. ELEVATES? 400. We let that stat speak for itself!
Fall Height Rating: If there is one thing everyone knows about children it is that they will always push their boundaries. On the playground, this means climbing up slides the wrong way, standing on top of hand railings and sometimes even finding their way on top of the roofs. ELEVATE takes this into consideration with a fall height rating at 16′. Unfortunately the competition’s product simply cannot do this due to the lack of rubber mulch in the base-layer, resulting in an average max fall of 6-8′. The difference here is substantial and often times can be very different outcomes for falls from higher heights.
Aside from being superior in every facet of safety and durability, ELEVATE features a vibrant, brightly colored EPDM particulate blend that stays colorfast for years. It easily installs over a variety of substrates, saving on costly concrete or asphalt sub-bases. When deciding on which poured rubber playground surface to go with on your next playground, consider the safety of the children who will be playing in the area and choose RubberBond ELEVATE.