Install artificial turf with an isocyanate-free adhesive, that meets new needs and demanding conditions

Kiilto’s isocyanate-free SMP assembly adhesive offers an excellent alternative for the traditional assembly adhesive, meeting the demanding needs of sports construction, for example. Assembly adhesives are used for gluing the seams of artificial grass carpets needed in locations such as sports fields and playgrounds. Kiilto has supplied traditional installation adhesives to meet these needs for years.

The recipe for the new product was developed under the supervision of Kiilto’s RDI Manager Tapani Harjunalanen, an experienced product development expert.

Harjunalanen set out to tackle especially the challenges related to demanding installation conditions. When used in a traditional assembly adhesive, isocyanate presents a specific problem: it cannot be used in humid or cold conditions.

“When using an isocyanate-free SMP assembly adhesive, excess moisture does not affect the process, as the adhesive is moisture curable, meaning that moisture completes the adhesive reaction. The glue can also be used in any temperature above the freezing point,” says Harjunalanen.

Usability in cold and moist conditions is an advantage, especially in the Nordic countries, where the cold autumn and spring take up a big part of the year, and even the summer may be quite rainy.

Improvements in occupational safety

The European Union has paid close attention to the occupational safety of employees working with isocyanates. As a result of this, the EU-mandated isocyanate training requirement will enter into force in August 2023. The requirement aims to ensure that any employees working with isocyanate will be educated to handle the substance safely and correctly.

Many European countries have already implemented preemptive measures anticipating the new requirements. Sweden’s legislation also includes a principle of substitution, which requires construction operators to always use a safer product if one is available.

By developing an isocyanate-free assembly adhesive, Kiilto was able to offer its customers a solution that meets the new requirements and promotes occupational safety.

“Occupational safety is improved when workers are no longer exposed to harmful chemicals. The isocyanate-free SMP assembly adhesive is safer for gluing artificial grass carpets,” says Kiilto’s Head of Product Safety and Sustainability Lilli Puntti.

“Contractors and designers are able to choose the products used in their projects independently. It is, however, worth comparing the new isocyanate-free product to the older one containing the chemical. For example, the minimum training required by the European Union legislation should be taken into account when calculating the total price and costs,” Puntti says.

Product testing completes the end result

Product testing is an essential part of Kiilto’s product development process. When the product recipe has first been developed in a laboratory, the customers will test the product in its intended applications.

“Testing allows us to adjust and fine-tune the product’s properties. It allowed us to ensure that the isocyanate-free SMP assembly adhesive functions as desired with the application and working methods used for the installation of artificial grass carpets,” Harjunalanen explains.

The product development work, spanning approximately two years in total, is now done.

“Developing this product is a part of Kiilto’s efforts to become a better, safer, and more environmentally friendly company,” Lilli Puntti says.