Rich green for sports and recreation

Colortherm® pigments often serve as coloring components for artificial turf

In the U.S.A. they have long been taken for granted; now they are beginning to take hold in other parts of the world - sports facilities with artificial turf. One reason for this is that the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) gave its approval in 2005 for international matches to be played on this surface. During the soccer World Cup 2010 in South Africa two stadiums used artificial turf and the trend is increasing.

More and more roofed stadiums are being built, in which real grass grows poorly at best due to a lack of natural light. This is not an issue with artificial turf and it also offers other advantages. It is easier to care for and, because it wears better, is much longer-lasting. However, artificial turf needs the proper coloration if it is to be virtually indistinguishable in appearance from its natural counterpart. Colortherm® iron oxide pigments and organic phthalocyanine pigments are a proven combination for this application.

Colortherm® iron oxide pigments are not only cost-effective, they are also very lightfast and resistant to weathering, with no decrease in color intensity over the life of the turf.

As little pigment as one to four percent by weight in the polypropylene (PP) fiber “blades of grass” provides a rich, attractive green. Colortherm® pigments are also easy to process. Micronized during the manufacturing process, the pigments are in the form of a very fine powder that is easily distributed into the plastic. A special protective layer surrounding the pigment particles provides high thermal stability. They can be heated to temperatures up to 260°C and suffer no adverse effects during the extrusion of the colored polypropylene fibers. A natural constituent of the earth’s crust, iron oxide pigments are environmentally friendly and harmless to health. The strict U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Colortherm® for the coloring of food packaging and toys, for example.

Colored artificial turf can also be used in other applications such as golf courses, field hockey and cricket pitches, tennis courts and even bowling greens. It is also suitable for indoor applications such as lawn areas surrounding roofed recreational pools or water parks with a tropical theme. Yet another potential application is for air fields. Flocks of birds often gather on the green areas adjacent to the runway – a particular safety risk for planes during takeoff. Birds tend to avoid artificial turf, however, and it hardly alters the overall impression of the landscape.

The Global Competence Center Specialties will gladly answer individual customer inquiries with respect to this field of application or provide further information about LANXESS pigments.