Rubber Binders: Aromatic vs Aliphatic

Poured in place rubber surfacing has become increasingly popular for playgrounds across the country. They are colorful, safe for toddlers, and easily customizable. They offer a high level of safety and are generally very durable, especially when compared to loose material surfaces. When these surfaces are not installed and maintained properly, they no longer provide the necessary impact attenuation and can pose a trip hazard if pieces of the surface begin to break off.


Aromatic vs. Aliphatic

Poured in place rubber surfacing has two basic components: the rubber and the binder. One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your surface is to use the binder that is best suited to your playground’s needs. Aromatic Binders are usually an amber color. They are generally used on darker colored surfacing, as the binder will tend to darken over time which might alter the look of lighter-colored surfaces.


Aliphatic Binders are a lighter colored option, popular for light-colored surfaces and splash pads. This kind of binder is generally more UV resistant. Aliphatic binders are also more chlorine resistant than Aromatic binders, making it perfect for use around pools.


Why is this important?

Choosing the right binder is the most important part of installing a poured in place rubber surface. Using the wrong binder can lead to faster degradation of the surface. Rubber granules will start breaking away and trip hazards like holes will appear sooner and more frequently. If the right binder isn’t used, the surface will also fade or become discolored more quickly. No matter what binder you are using for your project, it is important to do regular maintenance. Rubber surfaces will need rebinder applied when rubber granules start to break loose. Make sure that you are also repairing any cracks or holes as soon as they appear.