By Cameron Chai
Berger, a manufacturer of sporting goods in Australia, has produced crash mats that have a uniquely-designed hollow chamber system made of Neopolen E, a physically cross-linked, closed-cell polyethylene particle foam from BASF, in order to protect snowboarders and skiers from injury by providing optimal shock cushioning on impact.
Crash mats with a core of Neopolen E provide greater safety on ski slopes and downhill runs. Credit: BASF
In addition to having superior shock-absorbing effect, Neopolen E has superior stability, flexibility and durability. The novel material also retains its initial shape once the load is released, making it offer reliable cushioning for repeated loads. As the material is light in weight, the Berger crash mats are easily transportable and can be set up easily on ski slopes.
Neopolen E virtually never absorbs water, which is a key aspect to prevent moisture entry when the mat cover is damaged. Thus, the mat can retain its shock-absorbing effect and offer continuous protection to skiers on impact. The material does not lose its properties over a wide temperature range between 70 and 90° C.
The speciality foam has superior elasticity, elastic recovery and cushioning properties, making it a suitable material for the automotive and packaging industries. With its superior temperature and chemical resistance, superior durability and lower water absorption, the material finds applications in the construction industry. It does not have HCFCs and CFCs and can be recycled in different ways. The innovative material has also earned the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.
Johann Berger, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Berger, commented that Neopolen E’s novel properties and its easy processibility enables the company to provide a crash mat that fulfils the needs of winter sports professionals.