ShockWave: From Lab to Pitch

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ShockWave tiles, so-called because of their wave-like contours, slot together like jigsaw pieces to form a combined upper base and shockpad performance layer: the perfect foundation for Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs).

Each and every ShockWave tile passes through a series of quality control tests to ensure it meets Notts Sport’s and our manufacturer’s stringent requirements.

As every tile comes out of the mould, the dimensions are recorded to ensure it is within the tight tolerances of +- 2mm, or +-0.17% of the total length of a tile. During production a sample of tiles are regularly weighed, to ensure the correct density of expanded polypropylene is maintained. The data is continuously analysed to determine if the machine’s settings need to be altered during production which minimises waste and downtime should any abnormalities occur.

The tiles are stored on trolleys when they leave the mould which are then wheeled into large ovens to dry the tiles. The drying process stabilises the tiles to ensure the dimensional stability and functional performance of the tile is unaffected by the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity) when installed and used on site, even in the more extreme conditions experienced outside of the UK.

Each trolley has a unique barcode which is scanned at every stage of the manufacturing process which details the product, batch & production numbers and the stage within the process. When the tiles are loaded onto the delivery vehicle, they receive their final scan which will ensure a tile never misses part of the well-orchestrated manufacturing process.

When the tiles are delivered to Notts Sports warehouse a random sample of tiles are run through a series of quality control testing. The size (length, width and thickness) and mass of the tiles are recorded as well as the functional performance. Force reduction, a measure of how absorbing the tile is compared to a hard rigid floor, i.e. concrete, is undertaken in three positions across the tile using an artificial athlete. The Head Injury Criterion (HIC) and Peak-G values are recorded using a Triax 2000. The HIC test is used in rugby and GAA sports and determines a severity value for head impact injuries. These values are compared against historical data held on the material to ensure it meets the tight tolerances accepted. The artificial athlete and Triax 2000 test devices are regularly calibrated externally and values are recorded before and after testing on known samples to ensure the repeatability and accuracy of the recorded data.

If irregularities are found, the volume and air flow of the material can be investigated at the manufacturing plant to determine the exact cause of the problem. Tiles found to fall short of the tight manufacturing tolerances can be chopped up and reused in other expanded polypropylene or polypropylene products.

All Notts Sport ShockWave Ecobase products are manufactured using virgin material to ensure the tight manufacturing requirements and the long term warranty offered against the product.

View ShockWave in action.

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