Polymeric Surfacing: An Introduction

Polymeric Surfacing: An Introduction

Polymeric Activities Surfacing is an excellent choice for facilities that wish to maximize the available area for a variety of outdoor sports while requiring little maintenance in the long run.

For optimal economy, the polymeric sports surfacing is made of rubber granules bonded with polyurethane and can be left untreated. This type of polymeric surfacing also meets the ‘Sport England Type 4 Polymeric Surface’ or ‘Type 4 MUGA’ standard, providing you with complete peace of mind when installing your sports surfacing. This sort of surfacing is frequently used in multi-use gaming areas. Let’s take a look at the basics of this popular sports surfacing material and see why it is so popular.

What exactly is Polymeric Surfacing?

A polymeric sports surface is made up of granules of rubber bonded together by a polyurethane binding agent and coated with a high-traction, colored top coat. This composite is set on a firm basis, primarily tarmac, and is held in place by curbing.

Polymeric Type 4 surfacing is made up of carefully graded recycled SBR black rubber particles ranging in size from 1-4 mm and a polyurethane binder that is prepared on-site and often applied by a specialty paving machine to make a continuous surface. Prior to the application of the colored textured wearing course, the surface is generally applied to a thickness of 12mm.

The polymeric surface is most commonly used in athletics running tracks, although it is also used in tennis, netball, and basketball courts.

Selecting a Polymeric Surface

The major surface options for sports tracks are porous, sandwich, and solid, with differences in performance specifications, longevity, and cost.

A polymeric surface is appropriate for netball, football, basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball, athletics, and sprint training and as a general enjoyment area in multi-use games areas. For netball and football, pre-designated MUGA types ‘Type 3’ and ‘Type 4’ are specified on polymeric surfaces.

Polymeric surfaces are made up of multiple layers, each of which brings specific properties to the playing field.

Playing Surface

Rubber granulate and a binding agent make up the polymeric playing surface. These materials are blended on-site and extruded straight from the machine head onto the base. The system will then be coated with a high-traction top coat (formulated to the desired color) that will function as the playing surface.


To protect the user’s knees and ankles, polymeric surfaces require an impact absorption system; the composition of the shockpad will vary depending on the kind of surface used. The porous track system is placed on top of a pad of rubber granulate that is kept together using a binding agent. High-quality tracks are built on EPDM, and pre-formed surface and pad solutions are also available.

Layered engineering

Typically, the polymeric track or MUGA will be put over an Engineered layer of single or double macadam. This layer guarantees the surface’s long-term stability.

Soil Formation, Stone Layer, and Textile Membrane

A track or MUGA’s base structure consists of a free-draining stone layer and a textile membrane on top of prepared soil formation.


Polymeric surfacing is one of the most versatile, effective options for any sports surface, and its popularity is not without reason. If you are looking for a high-performance solution that will not break the bank, you can’t do better than a polymeric surface.