When the opening match between South Africa and Mexico kicks off on June 11, it marks the start of four weeks dedicated entirely to soccer - with chemical know-how playing an important role. An array of innovations from the BASF pipeline have been developed for soccer players and fans, ranging from construction chemicals for special flooring and pigments for use in stadiums, to special plastics and leather chemicals for soccer boots, to energy-absorbing foams for state-of-the-art artificial turf.
The opening match in June takes place in Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, which seats 90,000 people. It is one of 10 venues in South Africa and, like other venues, contains a variety of BASF products. Green Point Stadium in Cape Town is fitted with 14,600 square meters of durable waterproof industrial flooring made by BASF.
Many stadium seats around the world are colored with BASF pigments. BASF light stabilizers ensure that colors stay vibrant for longer. High performance plasticizers enhance the workability of concrete. Other admixtures accelerate concrete setting times.
Soccer players need top quality equipment. BASF produces a special plastic for the soles and studs of soccer boots to make them lightweight, durable and easy on the joints. A special leather chemical makes soccer boots waterproof by coating each fiber with a protective film. The leather stays breathable at the same time. These properties keep players' feet dry even when it rains .
BASF know-how is also contained in the state-of-the-art artificial turf from Swiss supplier XL Turf. The green turf fibers are underlain by several hundred slabs of energy-absorbing BASF foam padding. The foam layer increases playing comfort and helps prevent sports injuries. Its special fiber structure makes the artificial turf durable, low-maintenance and weather-resistant.
The BASF product for fans is "FRITZ dein Sitz", a seat cushion made of the insulating foam Nepor that doubles as a beverage tray: the six circular depressions on the rear are perfect for carrying drinks safely.