Rubber is the newest trend in playground equipment, Blog Post
Why consider rubber belting for playground equipment?
Metal and plastic are rigid, which can sometimes hinder creative ideas in new projects. Designs using these materials can typically only be created at specific angles or in straight lines because of the nature of their properties. Rubber, however, is flexible, moldable and offers different textures. It flows with activity and can create different sensations through touch, all while meeting the strength requirements for its use. It offers abrasion resistance and some forgiveness with a misstep or short fall when climbing.
Designers have recognized that rubber belting has safety benefits in parts of the playground where hard surfaces have traditionally been used. Rubber also provides a key inclusive component – its adaptable nature supports playground manufacturers’ ability to design structures that are more accessible to children with a mobility or physical disability.
How can rubber be incorporated into structures?
It can be used as climbing features, bridges, swings, structural guides, art, surfacing, and more. Additionally, remnants from standard belt production processes can be shredded and used as ground cover which reduces waste.
Most of the interest we are seeing has been for 3-ply belting because of the tensile strength over spans, however, 2-ply constructions are under investigation for use in features as well. Conveyor belt patterns such as mini rough top has been tested to deflect heat while providing some texture and grip. Belting manufacturers may have capabilities to create custom shapes, or playground equipment manufacturers may choose to purchase bulk belting and do the cutting in-house via their own technologies.
As rubber belting gains momentum in the recreation industry, observers will notice new, never been seen before creations incorporated into structures. Designers are thinking outside of the box, making custom design requests, and using this new material to drive innovation in their industry and build a better experience for their customers and their customers’ customers – kids!
What are the benefits of using rubber belting in playground design?
The sheer strength and durability of the product sets it apart from others. Furthermore, the rubber compounds can be formulated to resist degradation through the coldest of winters and the hottest of summers. And because of the different textures and pattern offerings for rubber belting, it doesn’t overheat as bare metal or plastic can. Equipment manufacturers worldwide are realizing rubber belting is a unique material can endure the most inventive games that children can play.
Are you a playground manufacturer interested in how rubber can enhance your next iteration of playground equipment? Contact email@example.com to speak to an expert and learn more.