A level playing field
Providing women’s and girls’ football with a place where athletes can celebrate success and enjoy a sense of team spirit – this was FFC Bergheim’s goal when the club decided to relocate to the Lukas Podolski Sportpark. Founded in 2013 as a women and girls only football club, FFC Bergheim would now like to make itself even more attractive at its new location: in laying synthetic turf on the old cinder pitch at the sports ground, after a year and a half of extensive renovation work, the club is taking another important step in terms of youth promotion – and in ensuring consistent game quality in all types of weather.
STAUF R 201 defies frost and rain
When Raimo Maasik and his crew arrive at the cinder pitch on this late November morning, small droplets of dew are still clinging to the pallets of STAUF R 201 that are already waiting at the edge of the pitch. The sun is still pale in the sky, the thermometer shows a temperature in the single digits. The synthetic turf installation experts are unperturbed: the synthetic turf adhesive can be used even in extreme climatic conditions. And STAUF R 201 is also impervious to moisture. “Bonding synthetic turf in winter presents a special challenge, but the STAUF products work very well”, confirms Raimo Maasik. The amiable bearded man and his colleagues are set to give the old cinder pitch a completely new surface in just four days. The synthetic turf experts start by laying so-called shock pads: these underlay sheets, which are bonded together, form the base layer on which the synthetic turf is laid. A forklift driver then fetches the rolled-up synthetic turf strips and places them in position at the edge of the pitch, while the installers roll out the turf on top of the shock pads. At the same time, the STAUF R 201 adhesive is prepared for use with the STAUF application machine: this involves pouring hardener No. 10 from its plastic bottle into the bucket with the resin component and stirring the adhesive until it has a uniform olive-green colour. In very cold or frosty conditions, the installers switch to using the single-component STAUF R 401 adhesive.
Flexible solutions with STAUF
The roll of seaming tape has already been fitted in the application machine, ready for action: due to constant movement on the pitch – and because the synthetic turf is not fully surface-bonded – the sometimes very elastic shock pads are exposed to constant flexing. In the worst case, this can result in tearing of the seaming tape and the adhesive. The combination of STAUF synthetic turf adhesive and STAUF seam tape is extremely flexible, counteracts this effect, and accommodates the movement. Now the solvent-free and water-free R 201 can be poured into the application tank and the machine can be positioned between two turf rolls. For this, the turf seam must be opened a little. The application machine is then pulled along the length of the seam to the other end of the turf rolls. The machine opens the seam automatically, lays the seaming tape in place and applies the adhesive in ridges. One of the installers follows the machine and uses a special tool to lay the synthetic turf back in place on the adhesive bed. The tank must be regularly topped up with adhesive. The next step is to apply the white pitch markings: this involves cutting recesses in the newly laid green synthetic turf and gluing strips of white turf into them on STAUF seaming tape.
On 28 November, the installers handover the new pitch to the club. Wolfgang Faust and Stephan Milden of FFC Bergheim and Sebastian Stotzem, Departmental Head of Sport, Culture and Swimming Pools at the Municipality of Bergheim, are extremely pleased with the new professional turf, on which the club’s women and girls will hopefully soon be able to successfully train and play again. And the next goal for FFC Bergheim has already been set: planning work for a new club house in the Lukas Podolski Sportpark has already begun.