Specialist silica sand manufacturer introduces advanced solution for synthetic tennis courts


Aggregate Industries’ specialist sands division, Garside Sands, has launched a new sport sand that can be used to replicate the performance of a clay tennis court when used in conjunction with a suitable synthetic carpet.

Terracotta Sand is an advanced alternative application for synthetic tennis courts, which has been engineered to replicate the performance characteristics normally attributed only to a traditional clay surface. The unique mineralogy of the sand and the thermal process involved (‘calcining’) maintains the integrity of the sand and creates the required terracotta color. Unlike authentic clay courts, using this engineered method means a court requires minimum maintenance to meet the requisite performance criteria and can be used all year round.

Clive Martin, commercial manager at Garside Sands, explains: “This is a significant step in the development of sport sand and provides an alternative, low-maintenance solution for synthetic tennis courts. The sand infill of Terracotta Sand replicates the slide and bounce that is normally unique to a clay surface – something that was substantiated by all the professional coaches and players we consulted, who remarked that the play characteristics of the surface were similar to that of a traditional clay court.

“A thorough testing process was also carried out in the Climatic Chamber at Staffordshire University [UK], where researchers found that the terracotta color was resistant to abrasive wear and environmental degradation, after subjecting the sand to the equivalent of a seven-year cycle.

“Terracotta Sand has already been utilized for courts nationally and internationally, including at the University of Warwick (above), Totteridge Tennis Club (both in the UK) and the Tennis Club Vira in Northern Switzerland (top). Based on this early advantage, we’re excited to see what aces the product serves in the future.”

Construction and building materials supplier Aggregate Industries has quarries in Ardleigh, Leighton Buzzard and Levenseat. The Garside Sands range is renowned for its high silica content (typically over 90%), grain shape and naturally occurring color range and is washed, dried and graded to meet individual requirements. It’s exported all over the world for applications including water filtration, sports pitches, brick manufacture and energy processing.

Terracotta Sand comes with a five year ‘color integrity’ warranty, subject to the correct maintenance strategy being in place.

November 17, 2016

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