Top sporting performances with BASF products
Citius, Altius, Fortius (Swifter, Higher, Stronger) is the Olympic motto that will be motivating athletes from over 200 nations when they compete for medals in Beijing this August. Along with more than 10,000 athletes, numerous BASF products will also be at the Games. But not just in Beijing – BASF products are used in many of the world’s largest stadiums.
BASF expertise and technology are especially visible in the construction sector, starting with the Beijing Olympic Stadium. Nicknamed the Bird’s Nest because of its unique steel-lattice structures, the new stadium, which seats 91,000, has already become a landmark. BASF concrete admixtures enabled a shorter construction period while ensuring top quality concrete and stability. These advantages were also used in the construction of the Olympic Village, the Tennis Center and the Aquatics Center.
Athletes will be setting records on grass too: Artificial turf is becoming increasingly important in international sporting events because it is durable, easy to maintain and weather resistant. Athletes’ muscles and joints are particularly well protected if the turf fibers are placed on an elastic base layer made of Neopolen® P, a special foam made by BASF. The artificial turf fields in Beijing are equipped with a combination of BASF light stabilizers and pigments. BASF pigment Heliogen® is responsible for their deep shade of green. To prevent the color from fading, BASF’s light stabilizer Uvinul® protects the turf against aging and damage.
In other stadiums around the world, BASF products such as CONICA® sports surfaces help to set new records. As the world’s leading supplier of athletic track systems, BASF developed the all-plastic coating CONIPUR® M. It consists of three layers: The two bottom layers are extremely flexible and in this way protect athletes’ joints. A harder but nevertheless elastic third layer ensures that sprinters can perform optimally and achieve new world records. The famous blue track in Berlin’s Olympic stadium – site of the next world athletic championships in 2009 – also consists of CONIPUR® M.
It’s not just stadiums – athletes use ultra modern technology on their bodies too. The ancient Greeks may have competed barefoot, but the shoes worn by athletes today are high-tech products consisting of more than 30 individual parts developed by researchers over many years. A key component is Elastollan®, a thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer made by BASF subsidiary Elastogran. It is used among other things for soles, protective caps, stiffening and damping elements and makes shoes flexible, light and extremely stress-resistant.
BASF products are also found in modern sportswear. BASF’s product portfolio includes the intermediate PolyTHF®, an important component of elastan fibers (also known as spandex in the United States) that are used to manufacture swimwear, for example. In addition, BASF is developing components for functional textiles, such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is used in breathable sports and leisure wear textiles, or polyamide with a sun protection factor of up to 80 that offers protection against harmful UV rays.
BASF products are in demand after the events too. Surfactants offered by BASF in its extensive Lutensol® range successfully fight even the toughest dirt and can be found in many liquid and powder detergents worldwide. Sokalan® dye transfer inhibitors in color detergents ensure that colored clothes retain their color when they come out of the washing machine.
In order for athletes, and not just their clothing, to be in top shape, BASF vitamin supplements in fruit juice drinks and lemonades help to ensure a balanced diet. Vitamins C and E neutralize the oxygen free radicals that are produced in higher quantities in athletes’ muscles, and support the immune system. B vitamins play a key role in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism and are needed by the body to supply energy to the cardio-vascular system and muscles. With this kind of support, athletes can focus fully on the motto Citius, Altius, Fortius and their race for medals.
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