Applications of EUROFLEX® products
Impact protection slabs, accessories and profiles can be used for far more than children’s playgrounds!
Childhood as a space for development never arises by itself; it must be meaningfully shaped by parents, educators and the social environment. In this context, it is crucial how the “idea of childhood” is understood and qualitatively filled out. Children are born as individualities who want to develop with their talents, inclinations, interests and also handicaps and go their own way.
In doing so, they need competent adult role models, loving and secure relationships and their own development time. Children experience the world through play. Attractive play areas and grass landscapes promote children’s development. The so-called fall protection under playground equipment is often neglected. In the event of a fall, it is the last chance to prevent injuries. Experience shows that about one in three fall injuries on playgrounds is caused by inadequate fall protection.
All safety-relevant regulations in this regard are regulated in DIN EN 1176-1:2017.
This part of EN 1176 specifies the general safety requirements for site-specific public playground equipment and playground flooring. Additional safety requirements for specific playground equipment are specified in subsequent parts of this standard.
Accessibility is thus a basic requirement for inclusion. Corresponding planning instructions and measures for sensory and movement promotion are contained in DIN 18034, Playgrounds and open spaces for play, requirements for planning, construction and operation. Technical requirements for public permanently installed playground equipment for the promotion of users with special abilities are contained in DIN 33942, Barrier-free playground equipment.
In addition to the safety aspects, however, the pure play value of each ground material should also be taken into account. In this respect, synthetic shock-absorbing floor materials in particular offer a wide range.
Depending on the existing drop height of the playground equipment, a corresponding product can be selected in a certain tile thickness.
The range of different qualities starts with standard products made of recycled rubber granulate bonded with coloured polyurethane, through various design panels with different motifs such as numbers or smiley faces, to the EPDM panel, whose surface layer consists of a newly produced EPDM granulate.
This panel quality offers a wide range of plain or mixed colours in RAL gradations. This means that there is hardly any limit to the creativity of any architect. Synthetic rubber granulate sheets offer tested constant fall protection, as they are industrially manufactured with constant parameters. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. Installation and cleaning is simple and can be carried out without great expertise. All products are tested and certified by TÜV with regard to the critical fall height according to DIN EN 1177:2018.
Everyday life is increasingly characterised by a lack of exercise and the resulting health impairments. Movement, play and sport are the central approaches to comprehensive human and social development promotion, in that they not only increase physical well-being and mental stability, but also intensify communication and social integration. One of the essential tasks and objectives of integrated urban and sports development is to make life in cities pleasant, varied, active, full of encounters and worth experiencing. Meeting places, playgrounds, positive experience spaces and opportunities for exercise must be located in the vicinity of housing, especially for less mobile people (e.g. children, young people, mothers with children, the elderly and the disabled). On the one hand, organised sports will continue to exist in the future, but on the other hand, the new trend sports and the need of sportspeople for free, unorganised sports activities must be taken into account, as gentle training in fresh air increases vitality and joie de vivre.
Due to the increasingly limited financial room for manoeuvre of the municipalities, thriftiness is required, not only in investments, but also in the search for low-cost forms of operation and care. Since last year, the new standard DIN EN 16630:2015 “Site-bound outdoor fitness equipment” has come into force throughout Europe. Facilities should have a concept based on sports science.
This new standard contains safety-related specifications in the sense of the Product Safety Act (ProdSG). It specifies general safety-related requirements for the manufacture, installation, inspection and maintenance of site-based fitness equipment in outdoor areas that are freely accessible. The equipment is intended for young people and adults or users with a body height of at least 1,400 mm to promote fitness through the use of the equipment. Equipment to this standard is not playground equipment for children (EN 1176 series of standards), stationary indoor exercise equipment (EN 957 series of standards) or freely accessible multisport equipment (EN 15312), even if it meets the requirements of each of these standards.
However, the safety of users is not determined solely by the equipment but also by the floor materials installed accordingly underneath and in the fall area.
KRAIBURG Relastec GmbH und Co. KG has developed various product quantities especially for this purpose, which, like the EPDM mulch slabs, naturally combine appearance with stability and certified fall protection properties.
These low-maintenance floor materials have already been successfully installed at home and abroad in conjunction with fitness equipment, and have been enthusiastically accepted by users.
For a special type of amusement park, the “spray parks” or water play areas, we offer our Aqua slab developed for this purpose, which has tested properties with regard to chlorine resistance and wet slip behaviour.
The wide range of EPDM colours and mixed colours offer a decorative surface design also in combination with our half balls or balls.
Schools and kindergartens
Education needs movement
Well-planned spaces for movement in schoolyards and outdoor facilities of day-care centres form an important pillar for sporting activities. The division of a school playground into different spaces for use has proven its worth. These spaces do not necessarily have to be equally distributed throughout the schoolyard. The size, shape and topography as well as the materials used depend on the use of the respective space. Under certain circumstances, the interest- and age-specific requirements and wishes that arise in the context of a participation process in one or the other use space would have to be taken into account.
From a development point of view, it is recommended to provide usable, attractive physical activity facilities with a high stimulating character in schools and extracurricular areas for adolescents, but ultimately for many population groups – as an aspect of a healthy and active lifestyle.
Sufficient physical activity thus has a decisive influence on the overall development of a child, promotes health and vitality, thus prevents undesirable developments and also promotes the child’s mental development. Movement plays an essential part in children’s and young people’s experience of themselves and their environment.
With our different offers, whether the numbers bouncing game or by combining different elements such as a half ball, ball or cube as a bouncing course, an option for movement can be created in a simple way that leaves the children enough imagination for their own play ideas.
Outdoor Fitness & Senior Fitness
In Germany, illnesses caused by lack of exercise are on the rise. Coordinative and conditional deficits are already being found in primary school children. The reasons are complex:
- We move too little due to the mechanisation of our working day.
- We spend too much time in front of the television and computer and have become too comfortable.
The municipalities can promote the motivation of the citizens, and they can create spaces for people to move locally. The demographic development must be taken into account. We will soon have fewer people, but at the same time they will be older.
We have to make sports and exercise opportunities possible for all generations and put recreational and health-promoting sports in the foreground. In the future, the movement park should be just as natural for all generations as the children’s playground is today. Tasks of the cities and municipalities to counteract the lack of physical activity:
- Associations of target group-specific measures “For whom and for what purpose”.
- Facilities should have a sports-science-based concept “Actions for sustainable use
- Site selection in cooperation with local clubs “Where and how easily accessible”.
- Equipment and floor materials should comply with DIN EN 16630:2015 “Site-specific outdoor fitness equipment “Gentle training in the fresh air increases vitality and joie de vivre. Training activates the brain and has a positive effect on the psyche!
There is a lot of talk about children’s and young people’s lack of exercise. We present an alternative to increase the motivation for more movement: Climbing!
It does not require much effort to create climbing opportunities. Climbing is a basic form of movement that all children and young people enjoy doing. Climbing is simply “discovering” new sporting and psychological perspectives or horizons.
What could be more natural than to promote these positive aspects?
Especially at school. In the schoolyard, in assembly halls and gymnasiums, in fact everywhere where children run into walls. The fear of accidents is understandable, but mostly unfounded. After all, climbing doesn’t necessarily mean going up, it can also mean going sideways. Safety only plays a greater role from a step height of 60 cm. The ground must then at least be made of unbound soil (e.g. grass). From a step height of 1.5 m, the ground must have shock-absorbing properties, and from 2 m, climbing is only allowed with a rope. EUROFLEX® impact protection slabs then safely cushion voluntary or involuntary falls. In addition, euphoria and over-enthusiasm are quickly punished when climbing. Therefore, from experience, children and young people tend to be responsible and respectful at a climbing wall.
Ball games in groups are fun for trained, healthy people, involving versatile movements, strength and endurance. However, due to the speed of the games and their competitive nature, there is a risk of injury that can hardly be controlled.
To counteract this, a number of important aspects should be taken into account. The surface must be considered under a number of factors. Strength, slope and surface structure. On the one hand, the firmness is relevant for all ball games where the bounce characteristics of the ball are important. A very soft surface, for example, causes a ball to bounce less, which influences basketball or tennis variants, for example.
The other aspect relevant to the game concerns the cushioning properties of the floor. This is important with regard to injury prevention, as soft ground can dampen the forces that occur during landing and falling and prevent injuries.
From a safety point of view, it is also important to consider the slip resistance of the surfaces, which can easily lead to accidents with injuries, especially when wet.
The EUROFLEX® sports pavement slabs not only have a drop height certified by TÜV SÜD in accordance with 1177:2018, but they also meet the highest requirements for sports fields tested in accordance with DIN V 18035-6.
This means that EUROFLEX® sports pavement slabs offer an attractive alternative to locally installed plastic surfaces. The excellent ball reflection properties have been tested according to DIN V 18032-2. The high degree of compaction is reflected in the very good abrasion resistance.
In combination with the high elastic properties, EUROFLEX® ball playing surfaces ensure that playing is easy on the ligaments and joints.
The tested noise reduction of 23dB(A) reduces noise pollution for residents. The surface is easy to line, making it possible to mark the playing field for all types of sports.
Edging and design elements for parks and urban spaces.
- EUROFLEX® balls and cubes and diamonds are suitable as seating elements in pedestrian areas and parks or as boundary elements, e.g. in pedestrian zones, to visually delimit areas.
- EUROFLEX® S-Block and C-Block are incredibly flexible design elements. They can be placed on top of each other, next to each other or next to each other in any way to create great geometric shapes. The elements can thus be used as seating areas, as a play element for children or even as a boundary to other areas in parks or urban spaces.
- EUROFLEX® Rubber Palisades are suitable for demarcating green plantings from walkways or paved areas. An especially deeply integrated steel anchor provides stability and makes the entire height of the palisade fully usable.
- Thanks to the soft, elastic material of recycled rubber granulate, the EUROFLEX® edge protector easily defuses all hard concrete or metal edges and thus minimises the risk of injury on larger, multi-level seating areas.
Campsites – surfacing for walkways, edgings, fall protection for playgrounds
EUROFLEX® Elastic Pavement Blocks are the ideal paving for walkways of all kinds on campsites. The paving elements, which can be combined and are typical of the construction industry, allow for varied and individual designs. The green paving stones can be used to design close to nature without having to forego the positive properties such as a pleasant walking experience or high slip resistance.
- Almost all campsites have playgrounds or multi-purpose sports areas. In contrast to grass or sand, the TÜV-certified EUROFLEX® impact protection slabs protect children’s playgrounds from serious injuries in the event of falls of up to 3.0 metres. This way, children can safely romp around on equipment and live out their play instinct! Our sports pavement slab is suitable for multi-purpose sports areas. It shines with a high ball rebound and is easy on the joints thanks to its elastic surface.
Water parks & spray parks
EUROFLEX® Aqua impact protection slabs are suitable as shock-absorbing flooring for play areas, especially in water and spray parks equipped with a wide variety of water fountains. This generation of slabs combines the usual safety aspect with an attractive EPDM surface in many different colour shades (also in two or three EPDM mixed colour shades). It complies with the DIN EN 1177 standard, which stipulates a certified drop height from total drop heights > 600 mm (according to DIN EN 17232:2019 Water play equipment and features – Safety requirements, test methods and operational requirements).
Visual System for shops and shopping malls
EUROFLEX® Visual System and EUROFLEX® Visual System comfort offer unlimited design freedom in indoor areas. The high-precision printed surface in combination with the proven EUROFLEX® products makes it possible to combine this design freedom with high fall protection values (EUROFLEX® Visual System) and excellent impact sound reduction and walking comfort (EUROFLEX® Visual System comfort). Visual System comfort in particular is ideal for designing colourful areas in shops and shopping centres.
Visual System for offices
EUROFLEX® Visual System comfort offers unlimited design freedom in indoor areas. The high-precision printed top layer in combination with a EUROFLEX® elastic layer makes it possible to combine this design freedom with excellent impact sound reduction and walking comfort. This opens up completely new possibilities in the design of office spaces, whether for demarcating a relaxation and break area or for highlighting walkways. For areas with particularly high fall protection requirements, we also offer a variant with a layer of EUROFLEX® impact protection slabs to cushion falls and impacts.