Problem Solver - August 2014
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Install a Water Drainable Total Glue-Down Surface

When rain, melting snow or ice can drain through a synthetic surface, instead of forming a puddle or having other standing water problems, it is a much better surface than one that will not drain. In wasted efforts to install good surfaces that are also water drainable, partial glue-downs such as spot, strip or perimeter gluing have been attempted, but with poor results. Designing a total glue-down surface that remains water drainable is more challenging but is, by far, much better.

Q: What is needed for a total glue-down on a water drainable synthetic surface?

A: Three layers must be water-permeable after bonding: the top synthetic surface; the bottom, or sub-surface; and the middle adhesive layer, which bonds the top surface and sub-surface together. In addition to holding the two surfaces together, the adhesive must not clog the pores of the joined surfaces, which would prevent drainage. The result is a water-permeable "sandwich."

Q: What are some water-permeable top surfaces, and drainable sub-surfaces?

A: Water-permeable top surfaces include synthetic turf that is knitted or loosely woven or tufted with drain holes punched through the solid unitary backing. There are also urethane/rubber running tracks, plus playground surfaces made from both urethane/rubber and synthetic turf. Drainable sub-surfaces include "popcorn asphalt"; closed cell shock absorbent foam with drain holes drilled through it; and elastic layer, which is a loosely-bound shock absorbent combination of mostly rubber granules, a urethane binder and some other ingredients.

Q: What about the adhesive for the middle layer of the total glue-down sandwich?

A: There are two different one-component, solvent-based urethane adhesives that can be airless sprayed and that apply like a spider web. In addition, upon hitting the surface, the sprayed adhesive "stands up" and does not flow into or clog the surface's pores. It permits a total glue-down surface that remains porous. Also, the adhesive can be applied in variable weather that exists outdoors and is durable after aging and weathering.


Synthetic Surfaces Inc.

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