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Category: Apparel, Athletics

Polyurethane Takes to the Gridiron

With fall in full swing, football season is here. As your favorite teams take to the field this autumn, you may be surprised at all the places you’ll find polyurethane on the gridiron — helping to improve gameplay.

Polyurethane Helmet Caps

It may be a strange sight to see, but many teams are employing polyurethane fiber caps on top of regular football helmets to add a layer of padding to the outside surfaces. A helmet coated in soft polyurethane may help dissipate force across the entire region of the helmet rather than concentrating it in a single area. 

A well-known polyurethane helmet cap — the Guardian Cap — was developed by the Hanson Group and has been used in Division One college programs, high schools and local youth sports. A helmet developed by BASF called The Xenith LOOP is also getting attention for its comfort and performance for non-tackle football. It uses a newly developed intelligent energy absorbing foam. 

Polyurethane Football

You likely know that polyurethane can frequently be found in sportswear, such as pants and jerseys. Many manufacturers are blending polyurethane into materials that can help wick away moisture and keep athletes cool. Polyurethane can be made stretchy to move with the athlete. It’s also lightweight, cutting out excess bulkiness.

In football wear, polyurethane is also used for protective wear in shoulder pads and knee pads, helping soften the blow of an impact. It’s also used in equipment for specialized positions, such as receiver gloves. A coating of polyurethane on the outside of receiver gloves helps increase grip and the chances of successful completion. 

On the Field

Many sports teams are now using artificial turf on their athletic fields for maintenance efficiency. Football is no exception. Polyurethane provides the backing for such artificial turf systems, which makes them easier to install and maintain without the need for antifungal treatments.