The primary principle of selecting surface materials is to obtain materials that maintain their loose nature without over compaction, while providing stability for your riding activity. The major component of most arena surfaces is silica sand, and whilst many companies profess to offer equestrian grade silica sand, there are in fact only a handful of quarries in the UK that produce a sand suitable for equestrian use.
Sand particle shape is key, a sand that is of equestrian grade must be "sub-angular" in shape. Sub-angular materials do not have the sharpness, they are naturally occurring materials that are mined and processed to exacting specification. Some angularity is required to enable a greater void space between the particles therefore offering greater resistance to movement, a blend of exacting particle size is of paramount importance.
Many that are reading this with the intention of purchasing either a surface or additive will possibly be so confused with the many various products available that you do not know where to begin, often resulting in relying solely on recommendation, and whilst this is advisable,
"one surface does not fit all". What may constitute the ideal for one individual/discipline may not be as intended for the next.
We invariably discuss with our customers, in detail, just what they are looking to achieve from their surface. Influenced in the main by their discipline, budget, maintenance and life span, we then move to accommodate those needs.
Many factors are taken into consideration when incorporating fibre additives, moisture retention, moisture release, compaction, resilience, cushion, root structure etc, this is where the science must play a part. Exact material sourcing is a key element whether it be chopped felts, carpets fibres, rubber etc, it is crucial that the materials are exact, and you know their origins.
Many of today's carpets are a blend of synthetic and non synthetic materials , wool blend, polyester,nylon or polypropylene, most of which are either hessian or foam backed. Both of which degrade over time as does wool. This is often witnessed on a surface that has a high percentage of non synthetic material that has been down for a period of time. The membrane begins to form a silty discoloured layer, and whilst many will insist that this is such a small amount and that it has no detrimental effect, it is paramount that you discuss the origins of the materials you are purchasing.
Recycled rubber is used either as a topping on sand or blended within the sand.
The commonly known 20mm chip has been widely used for many years as a 2" - 50mm topping to sand. The product generally derives from recycled car tyres that have been processed and removed of their wire element and finer dust particle. The use of rubber as a topping will assist in the sand's ability to retain moisture.
As an addition to sand smaller particles of rubber are widely used and incorporated into premixed blends to aid drainage and increase cushion.
The materials we supply are exacting - sourced, processed and incorporated into high grade sub-angular silica sand. We follow a stringent procedure when processing the materials we supply and as such have complete confidence in all the products we supply.
We do not process waste or bi-products, we supply only premium products that are tried, tested and exacting.
If we can be of any help in your decision making please do not hesitate to contact us, no matter how small your enquiry.
Fibrelok are at the forefront of synthetic fibre processing and supply to the equestrian sports industry, suppliers of premium products:
Pre-mixed surfaces ~ Silica sand ~ Fibre additives ~ Geotextiles
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