These mats, which are made by the Austrian sporting goods manufacturer Berger, can be used for example to cushion ski lift uprights, rock walls, and barriers. Berger's crash mats contain a specially-designed Neopolen E hollow chamber system. On impact, the BASF foam provides optimum shock cushioning, thus helping to protect skiers from injury.
Neopolen E is a closed-cell, physically crosslinked polyethylene particle foam (EPE). As a core material for mats, Neopolen E is not only stable but flexible and durable, and it also has an excellent shock-absorbing effect. This means that the material provides outstanding absorption of the energy striking the mat in case of impact. Moreover, it returns to its original shape after the load is released. This allows even repeated loads to be reliably cushioned. Because of the light weight of Neopolen E, these crash mats can be easily transported and set up on ski slopes.
Furthermore, Neopolen E offers another decisive advantage on the ski slopes: unlike other foams, this material absorbs virtually no water. This is an important feature because if the cover of the mat is damaged, moisture can penetrate and then freeze at winter temperatures. This will cause the mat to lose its shock-absorbing effect. In this case, it can no longer provide skiers with optimum protection on impact. In addition, Neopolen E retains its properties over a broad temperature range from 70 to 90 degrees Celsius.
“The need for greater safety in winter sports has increased dramatically over the last few years. After all, speeds on downhill runs are steadily increasing – not least because of continuous new developments in skis and snowboards. The special combination of properties provided by Neopolen E allows us to offer the industry a crash mat that meets the special requirements of winter sports. At the same time, the material is very easy to process”, says Johann Berger, CEO of the family owned company Berger, which also provided crash mats for the goal areas at this year's World Ice Hockey Championships in Slovakia.
Neopolen E is a speciality foam that combines optimum cushioning properties, excellent elastic recovery, and high elasticity. In addition to its use in sports and leisure applications, these properties make Neopolen E a preferred material for the packaging and automotive industries. The construction industry, moreover, highly appreciates Neopolen E for its minimal water absorption, high durability, and extremely favorable chemical and temperature resistance. It is used for example in expansion cushions for long-distance heating pipeline systems.The foam is free of CFCs and HCFCs and can be recycled in different ways. Neopolen E is also certified according to the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100.