Recreation and playground equipment allow for opportunities to expend energy and have fun doing it. Large, integrated pieces of equipment are designed with a plastic material that won’t splinter or crack, succumb to weight or shock, and won't degrade due to UV exposure. With the right types of plastics, playground and recreational equipment can provide years of use and reliability.
Plastic playground equipment such as slides, bridges, and guardrails must be made of material that can handle constant UV exposure. Polymershapes offers a variety of plastic materials that feature moldability, low weight, and reliability in various weather conditions. Materials such as HDPE, ABS, and PVC are all used to promote playground safety year-round.
Polymershapes partners with leading manufacturers like SIMONA and SABIC to offer the safest and most reliable playground plastic equipment. From watercraft sports and boating to plastic outdoor play equipment, Polymershapes provides a vast array of performance plastics for the outdoors. To learn more about our selection of recreational plastics and playground materials, contact a Polymershapes distribution center near you today.
Benefits of Plastic Playground Materials:
- Weather, UV, fire, and chemical resistant
- Sound dampening
- Impact and wear resistance
- Variety of rolling resistance & load-bearing capacities
- Easy to fabricate and thermoform
- Variety of colors
- Thermal insulation
- Withstands a variety of temperatures (extreme hot and cold)
Plastics that are Commonly Used for Playground and Recreational Equipment
Some of the most common plastics used for recreation and playground equipment include:
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polytone®
- Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE)
- Acetal (Polyoxymethylene, POM)
- Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate, PMMA)
- Acrylic-PVC, Boltaron®
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
- Polycarbonate (PC), LEXAN™
- Polyurethane (PU)
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
High-Density Polyethylene is widely used in outdoor applications due to its extremely high tensile strength, UV resistance, and ease of fabrication. HDPE can be routed, cut, and drawn into various shapes and sizes without losing its strength qualities, making it useful in a near-limitless number of outdoor applications. It is commonly found in more strenuous applications that require durability.
HDPE is often used to make safe and durable plastic slides, play sets, and more. Its ease of fabrication makes the material very cost-effective and accessible. Its UV resistance allows it to endure constant sun exposure. Plastic playground sets made from HDPE are known for improved fall protection compared to wood and other alternative materials. Overall, HDPE has many qualities that make it the go-to material for plastic playground equipment and play sets.
HDPE is also used in various outdoor vehicles and equipment, such as ATV body panels and fenders, seat and seat backing material, picnic tables, storage boxes, sleds, and more.
Lastly, HDPE is one of the most popular plastics for outdoor signage, especially in parks and golf courses.
Some playground slides may need additional features. SIMONA's Polytone® is a moisture-resistant, UV-resistant plastic used for waterslides and playground equipment plastic. Available in a rainbow of solid colors and two-tone options, our portfolio of Polytone allows your playground designs and play areas to be bright, colorful, and engaging. The vibrant colors also help make play spaces or equipment visible, improving safety. To invest in Polytone®, reach out to a Polymershapes representative today.
Hockey and skating rinks are equipped with various safety features to protect the skaters and onlookers. Puckboard is impact resistant and offers reliable performance in cold temperatures. It is commonly used as dasher boards, kick rails, snowboard ramps, slides, sled/ski runners, etc.
Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE)
Some equipment manufacturers may need enhanced durability for more demanding applications. With improved durability, stiffness, and smoothness, UHMW is a higher-grade material suitable for a broader range of demanding applications.
UHMW is one of the most durable plastics used in ATVs and snowmobiles, found as snowmobile body panels, ATV body panels, snowboards, snowmobile skis, personal skis, sleds and toboggans, and more.
Acetal (Polyoxymethylene, POM)
Hailed for its high dimensional stability, strength, and low friction coefficient, acetal is a durable material ready to withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Acetal separates itself from other materials due to its wear resistance. It is a long-lasting material that is proven in all kinds of recreational environments. Acetal can be found as various components on recreational vehicles, jet skis, boats, and more.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
ABS is an incredibly impact and highly thermoformable chemical-resistant material. It has extraordinary strength and rigidity while retaining some flexibility, making it great for various outdoor or recreational environments. Despite its flexibility, it is very impact resistant. It is a cost-effective, durable material that can be shaped and formed to best fit your needs. Lastly, it can withstand harsh temperatures and won't be damaged by prolonged UV exposure.
ABS is commonly used as vehicular dashboards, fenders, interior consoles/instrument panels, outdoor shower stalls, equipment cases, outdoor kitchen appliances, and more.
Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate, PMMA)
Acrylic, otherwise known as PMMA or polymethyl methacrylate, is a plastic material known for its ideal combination of strength, flexibility, and optical clarity. It's a durable material commonly used for its impact resistance and strength. While it is known for its optical applications, such as helmet visors and windshields, it is also widely used to manufacture basketball backboards.
LEXAN™ Polycarbonate (PC)
LEXAN has a long-standing reputation for being one of the strongest, most durable plastics available. Its nearly unbreakable strength and its optical clarity make it a fantastic material for an array of safety materials. Polycarbonate is usually deployed as golf cart windshields, visors on helmets, hockey shields, clear barriers for dasher board systems, and more.
Like many other plastics, polyurethane contains exceptionally high strength, a wide resiliency range, and reliability under harsh conditions. It is also water, grease, and oil resistant. However, what sets PU apart from the rest is its load-bearing capacity despite its softness. It's softer than other plastics but tougher than rubber surfaces, which makes it a revolutionary material for roller coaster wheels. It's commonly used to make gym mats as well.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is known for its resistance to weathering, chemical resistance, and rigidity. Rigid PVC is deployed in various outdoor applications due to its water and moisture resistance. One of the most popular outdoor features is the swimming pool, and Rigid PVC is the go-to material for swimming pool piping systems.
PVC is also a cost-effective, long-lasting playground surfacing option that can be installed for long-term performance. PVC is used as play space/playground surface material, playground decking, and more.
Common Playground and Outdoor Applications Include:
- Playground equipment/plastic play sets
- Canoes, kayaks
- Dasher boards
- Sleds and toboggans
- Swimming Pools
- Amusement park rides
- Bowling alleys
- Jukebox repair and reproduction
- Hockey shielding and dasher systems
- Picnic tables
- Puck boards
- Outdoor signage
Invest in Polymershapes Playground Plastics
Polymershapes is a leading distributor of plastics used in outdoor, recreational, and playground equipment. Our stock includes HDPE, ABS, PVC, and other options from the most reputable plastics manufacturers. Contact a Polymershapes representative to learn more about our playground plastic material options today.