For the first time in history, the summer games are taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From 5th to 21st August 2016 around 10,000 athletes from 166 nations will be competing with each other in 28 sports. LANXESS quality products, too, could be playing their part. For specialist chemistry goes into stadiums, balls, mats, tracks, the sports hall floors or artificial turf, for example. It ensures that athletes can rely on their material.
If record sporting feats bring spectators to their feet, the seats will have to bear mighty loads. A seat has to be able to tolerate up to 600 kilograms in celebrations. Durethan is the trade name of the LANXESS polyamides used in the manufacture of stadium seats. The material has to be able to withstand not only weight, but also the effects of weather such as hail, ice, snow and the sun’s rays. Furthermore, the seat buckets are made in one piece with an injection molding technique, so they do not have dangerous edges or seams.
For a lush green
Whether it’s tennis, football or hockey – you won’t get world class sports on poor playing surfaces. Playing surfaces with artificial turf, on the other hand, provide reliable conditions. Since the late 1980s, professional field hockey, for example, has been played only on artificial turf. The particularly smooth playing surface allows faster play and better ball control. Polyolefins are tried and trusted materials for artificial grass blades. To make sure they keep their green color, rain or shine, many manufacturers rely on inorganic pigments of the LANXESS brands Bayferrox and Colortherm. The addition of the organic pigment Bayplast Yellow 5GN0 provides a brilliant and natural-looking shade. A Keltan granulate is incorporated into some artificial turf pitches. This EPDM rubber by the LANXESS Joint Venture ARLANXEO makes the ground softer and reduces the risk of injury.
Premium pigments for design and safety
“Olympic Way”, a boulevard of black and light gray concrete paving stones, meanders along the entire stretch from the entrance, past the 15 venues, to the tip of the triangular grounds. The eight-centimeter-thick stones, placed in a wave shape, symbolize the confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões (Amazon River). The concrete paving stones symbolizing this “Meeting of the Waters” were manufactured with over 40 metric tons of the iron oxide black pigments Bayferrox 318 and Bayferrox 340.
Numerous quiet zones around the sports park are also of colored design, as is the large square in front of the public viewing park right off the boulevard. Their prominent red coloring comes from Bayferrox pigments. Drainage stones measuring 40x40x8 centimeters and colored with over 20 metric tons of Bayferrox 110 have been laid over more than 12,000 square meters of the park. These highly water-permeable paving stones prevent puddles from forming after heavy rainfall.
Shoes are runners’ most important equipment. Nowadays, these use similar technology to that used in modern gas-saving car tires: Silica technology, which gives tires good traction and makes them especially economical, also ensures a good grip on wet running tracks. Krynac is the name of the ARLANXEO material which has proved particularly durable and flexible. Long-distance runners, especially, also need special cushioning to protect the joints. Running can result in loads reaching three times the body weight. So midsoles made of a modern high-performance rubber such as Levapren from ARLANXEO act as a buffer between the foot and the ground. The ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVM) rubber adds spring and stability.
The demands on the materials’ properties are as many and as varied as the range of sporting equipment for applications such as shoe soles, bicycle components, body protectors and helmets. All these performance demands can be fulfilled by customized Tepex material solutions from LANXESS. These combine a reduced weight of parts and components with optimal performance, e.g. load transmission and impact resistance, and at the same time ensures visible parts and surfaces have a first-class look.
Hit the ball into the target
In a great many disciplines the ball is the single most important element of the game. From volleyball to football, basketball to water polo – even rhythmic gymnastics can’t do without a ball. Butyl rubber is a particular specialty of the leading rubber specialist ARLANXEO, and the material of choice for the air bladder in balls. This synthetic rubber is particularly impermeable to moisture and air. It is therefore found in car tires, bicycle inner tubes and even balls, when it is important to keep the damp out and the air in.
Golf is going to be on the program for the first time in 112 years at the Rio de Janeiro summer games. Before now, golf was part of the games only in the 1900 and 1904. In this sport, too, a small white ball plays the central role. These hard balls, which are allowed to weigh no more than 45.93 grams and must have a diameter of at least 42.67 millimeters, have long been a technically elaborate piece of sports equipment, with highly developed specific properties. Scientific tests have been performed for years on the mantle, core and dimples – the small indentations in the surface. For the core of the golf balls, synthetic rubbers are used, such as those supplied by ARLANXEO.
For undisturbed pleasure in sports
Furthermore, LANXESS is not just a presence in the sport, but is also protecting athletes and spectators from dangerous mosquito bites, important in Brazil, of all places. The reason for this is the spread of the Zika virus, in South and Latin America above all. It is transmitted by mosquito bite. The Zika virus is suspected of causing malformations in unborn children. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of mosquito repellents, including repellents containing the active substance icaridin, for pregnant and breast-feeding women, as well as children from two months of age, on trips to affected areas. Icaridin is marketed by LANXESS under the trade name Saltidin.