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Category: Apparel, Athletics

Leaves Change, Polyurethane Stays Constant

With back to school season upon us, so are Fall sports.  As athletes hit the fields for football, soccer, and cross country they have an extra teammate in polyurethane.

Across all sports, polyurethane is an essential element in clothing and sneakers. It provides stretch and water resistance in clothing. It is the foam that cushions feet in sneakers. It even is the glue that holds the soles of shoes and cleats in place.

Many youth football teams are adding polyurethane fiber caps on top of helmets for practice and even games. When players wearing polyurethane fiber caps hit each other, the force is spread across two soft surfaces, instead of two hard surfaces. When a helmet coated in polyurethane collides with another helmet, the force is dissipated across the entire surface and less harmful than if concentrated on a small portion of a hard helmet. The addition of polyurethane to protective headgear has been proven to reduce the impact of blows by up to 33%. As the cap is not permanently attached to the helmet, it can move independently – this, too, can reduce the impact of rotational forces, which can place strain on the neck.

For cross country athletes, much of their time is spent on rugged terrain, but the training they do on track surfaces is made more comfortable by polyurethane. Polyurethane makes up nearly 70% of the track market. It is used widely because its chemistry can be adjusted to provide just the right type of surface for a facility – harder tracks for competition and softer for daily training.

And even for spectators, polyurethane is likely part of the chairs they set on the sidelines and the coats they snuggle in to keep warm through late games. May the versatility and durability of polyurethane help your team achieve an incredible season.