Artificial surface chosen for Rio 2016 hockey tournament

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An artificial turf solution based on Dow Chemical Company’s polyethylene (PE) and polyurethane (PU) technologies will be the official playing surface for hockey competitions at the Deodoro Olympic Park during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Dow is working once again with Polytan STI, a manufacturer and supplier for outdoor and indoor sports surfaces. It aims to deliver “a higher-performing, more reliable and faster artificial turf for the world’s best hockey players in Rio,” explains Ana Carolina Haracemiv, spokesperson, Dow packaging and specialty plastics. Dow and Polytan STI first worked together on London 2012’s Riverbank Arena.

Two fields and one warm-up area at Deodoro, as well as two additional fields to be built at the Federal University of Rio, will see installation of the playing surface, which consists of specific high-performing materials formulated together in multiple layers. According to Dow, the surface system is designed to deliver enhanced durability for increased pitch life, and a consistent field-of-play throughout the Olympic competition schedule.

The internationally-certified artificial turf system offers colorability, enabling customized aesthetics and design for the playing surface. London 2012 marked the first Olympic hockey competition to be played on blue and pink turf. Dow says the blue color enabled players, officials, spectators and the media to keep their eyes on the ball more easily, because it provided a high level of contrast against the yellow ball and white lines.

“The solution we developed together is durable, low maintenance, stays consistently flat and fast from game to game, and requires no watering – compared to natural grass,” said Haracemiv.

The Park will remain as one of the main legacy projects for the city after the Games have concluded. Dow and Polytan say they plan to donate material to support the construction of the Deodoro pitches and enable the long-term use of the fields.

March 27, 2015

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