Softfall® has become a generic term for any impact attenuation product. Examples are sand, bark chip, synthetic grass, wet pour rubber, rubber tiles or other exotic products.
Although we have supplied all types, we primarily deal with synthetic grass and wet pour rubber Softfall®.
For synthetic grass and wet pour rubber, Softfall® comes in three styles:
- closed cell EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam pads
- wet pour rubber installed in-situ
- wet pour rubber mats
The Softfall® tradionally used under synthetic grass is an EVA closed cell impact absorbing foam. It comes from the same family as the flotation products used in life jackets, and consequently, water absorption is very low.
The thickness of Softfall® varies from 10mm to 40mm.
This material is only suitable for installation with synthetic grass and preferrably on a roadbase base (not concrete). Wet pour rubber will not adhere to this pad and will lift off.
Wet Pour Rubber In-situ
Wet pour rubber Softfall® is used under a wet pour rubber wear layer and synthetic grass. It is a recycled black rubber shred or granule which is bound together with the same binder used for wear layer i.e. single component polyurethane binder. This Softfall® layer is free draining and is a very durable product. It will withstand the rigours of playgrounds and still perform years later as new. The thickness of the material varies from 20mm to normally 100mm but thicker layers can be installed.
Wet Pour Rubber Mats
Wet pour rubber mats are factory-manufactured in a 1m by 1m square. these mats can be installed under synthetic grass or wet pour rubber and have similar proerties to in-situ wet pour rubber Softfall®. The mats come in a variety of thciknesses and can be stacked on top of each other to increase the thickness of teh Softfall®.
Why do I need Softfall®?
Softfall® is required once the height of the play equipment exceeds 500mm. In child care centres the maximum allowable height for platforms is 1.5m. In other areas it is unlimited although Australian Standards do specify a 2.5m safe fall height.
How is Softfall® Installed?
The sub base can be road base (gravel), crushed rock or compacted earth. Then a layer of crusher dust is used to compact and level the base to achieve the desired shape and contour of the area.
The EVA Softfall® pads are butted and securely taped together with masking tape or similar. It is then laid evenly on top of the well-compacted base. Then the Soffall® is cut to allow for any play equipment. Synthetic grass is then laid on this surface with the nap or grain going in the one direction. The product is secured around the perimeter of the area with galvanized clouts to a timber edgeboard or solvent-based adhesive to a concrete kerbing.
For wet pour rubber Softfall®, the recycled rubber is mixed with in the correct proportion with polyurethane binder and trowelled out similar to a concrete slab. This Softfall® is susceptible to wear and so is covered with a wet pour rubber wear layer or synthetic grass.
The wet pour rubber mats are laid on a crusher dust or concrete base and can be glued together with polyurethane adhesive such as Sikaflex or other brands. A wet pour rubber wear layer or synthetic grass is installed on top.