Artificial grass offers several advantages when compared to natural turf. This is most obvious when it comes to maintenance: artificial grass does not require mowing or fertilising. Additionally, artificial pitches are far more resilient and must not be repaired as frequently. The appearance also plays an important role, namely that artificial grass always shines in a rich green. “The choice of light protection additives has a considerable influence on how long the artificial blades of grass can retain their tensile strength and colour,” says Dr. Alfred G. Oertli, Business Manager Plastics Industry at BTC Europe. Now, users with high demands have a high-performance solution at their disposal thanks to Tinuvin® XT 55, a new development from BASF.
The innovation is based on the proven principle of HALS (Hindered-Amine Light Stabilizers). These protect the monofilaments and polyethylene ribbons, which make up artificial grass, from ageing due to ultraviolet rays and high temperatures. “Compared to traditional additives, Tinuvin® XT 55 increases tensile strength immensely. Even after 8,000 hours of use, the tensile strength is at 80% of the original value,” says Oertli. Equally, the additive improves the colour fidelity.
Manufacturers of plastic films and ribbons for sports areas pay attention to how much water is carried away during production. “Conventional additives score far worse than Tinuvin® XT 55,” Oertli explains. A new development offers another advantage: the product is available as pellets. They are extremely abrasion-resistant and allow for low-dust processes. Customers have the choice of using the additive as master batch, compound or via direct dosing.
Dr. Alfred G. Oertli has worked for Ciba, then BASF and BTC for 22 years. His career includes working in a wide variety of areas such as technology, business development, marketing or in sales. But the work by Dr. Oertli, who has a doctorate in plastics chemistry, always focusses on one thing: the world of polymers. “I am still thrilled by this industrial sector and its very diverse applications. This allows us to shape the future, whether in the automobile industry or construction sector,” says the Business Manager Plastics Industry at BTC. “And I am able to contribute to this future thanks to the solutions developed by BASF and my team. And I would be most pleased if they contribute to a more sustainable future.”