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What Are the Different Types of Rubber Softfall?

Rubber softfall helps to create an environment that is both safe and aesthetically pleasing. This material comes in a variety of types, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

What is Rubber Softfall?

Rubber softfall is a form of impact attenuation matting that is made from multiple layers of rubber. It’s used to cushion people and objects from the force of impact, making it a safe and popular outdoor surface for both commercial and residential applications, including schools, sports surfaces, public spaces and recreational areas.

Softfall consists of a recycled rubber cushioning layer that varies in depth depending on the surrounding fall heights. A coloured layer sits on top, and it is this 15-20mm thick coloured layer that is used to create eye-catching designs and patterns.

rubber softfall cross section

Comparing the three main types of wet-pour rubber softfall

SBR (Styrene-Butadiene Rubber)

Made of 100% recycled tyre materials and coated with special paint, CSBR (coloured styrene butadiene rubber) surfaces have been used in the US for over 30 years and are regularly used in Australian projects.

The rubber granules are derived from nothing but waste truck tyres, and after processing, these black rubber granules get coated with coloured polyurethane to create an aesthetically pleasing finish.

  • Pros: CSBR tends to be the cheapest option of all rubber softfall options. It is also one of the most environmentally-friendly choices as it is made from shredded tyres.
  • Cons: While the integrity of CSBR is good, depending on the brand you go with, the colours tend to come out darker and can fade more quickly.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

This is essentially a virgin rubber that is coloured right through, making it a lot brighter and less susceptible to fading. The integrity of the product is generally good, however, it tends to be substantially more expensive than CSBR.

Well-known brands of EPDM rubber include Primoflex, Opal and Gezolan, which provide a bright and creative coloured finish for projects such as school playgrounds. It’s important to ensure your chosen product is from a reputable supplier and it meets Australian UV standards. Because of the lower-quality pigments and stabilisers used in the manufacturing of EPDM, this option is not as weatherproof as TPV.

  • Pros: Brighter and less susceptible to fading than CSBR, EPDM is usually stronger with high integrity and an excellent quality finish.
  • Cons: EPDM is more expensive than CSBR and the quality can vary from supplier to supplier. It can also be a little more difficult to install than CSBR, being slightly harder to trowel and finish.

TPV (Thermoplastic Vulcanizates)

Usually similar in price to EPDM, thermoplastic vulcanizates are part of the TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) family of polymers, but are closest in elastomeric properties to EPDM thermoset rubber, combining the characteristics of vulcanised rubber with the processing properties of thermoplastics.

This makes TPV strong and rugged with good bonding properties between the granules, creating a long-lasting high-quality surface.

  • Pros: TPV offers high UV resistance, which aids in keeping the colour brighter for longer. TPV is long-lasting and durable and has been known to form a stronger bond between granules because of additional adhesion promoters in the manufacturing process.
  • Cons: TPV can be slightly more difficult to install, being harder to trowel and finish. It is also typically a little more expensive than EPDM, depending on the brand.

Our recommendation

Preferred Turf supplies the full spectrum of solid colours and colour mixes using quality rubber from Primoflex, Opal and Rosehill TPV, and a range of darker earthy colours of CSBR. The right rubber softfall for your project will depend on the size and location of the surface, your budget and the desired visual effect you are looking for.

In all cases, the Preferred Turf team is here to offer help and advice in choosing the right rubber softfall for your project.

Preferred Turf is an Experienced and Professional Supplier of Synthetic Turf and Rubber Softfall

Having extensive experience in the education sector, Preferred Turf can offer help and advice on how to improve your landscaped areas and playgrounds with synthetic turf and rubber surfaces.

We have been supplying rubber softfall surfacing for over 17 years and have a wealth of experience and knowledge in this field. The variety of colours available in each of our products ranges through the entire spectrum of the rainbow and can be poured into any shape imaginable.

You can be sure that our products are the best available on the market. All of our rubber softfall surfaces are compliant with Australian standards, meaning they meet the highest quality and safety requirements.

Our products are also backed by a warranty and ongoing support, giving you peace of mind that your investment is protected. If you’re looking for an experienced supplier of rubber softfall surfacing or safety flooring, contact Preferred Turf.

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