05 Feb Let the Sun Shine
As the sun peeks through the cold February sky in Canada, our thoughts are drawn to the expectation of Spring’s eventual coming. For now, we take solace in seeing the sun and enjoying what winter activities we can.
The sun is a necessary fact of life for us. It gives us light to see and heat so that life can exist on Earth. It triggers the growth process in plants that provides us with food. Sunlight also causes the production of vital nutrients in the body and has been linked to improving a person’s mood. But for all these benefits, the sun also has a pronounced detrimental effect on anything that experiences a prolonged exposure. Materials left out in the sun continuously may experience discolouration, deterioration or any number of similar phenomena as a result of exposure to sun over a long time.
In the playground industry, this most often presents itself as faded colours on the painted surfaces and plastics, as well as degradation of the strength of the plastics. Many companies use UV-protecting additives in the plastics and coatings to reduce these effects and prolong the life of the product, but the UV-protecting additives break down and lose their effectiveness over time.
Because Dynamo products are designed to have a long lifespan in the park, finding ways to counteract the detrimental effects of sunlight was key to ensuring a lasting product. One way that Dynamo has done this is by specifically developing the polyamide nylon weave that surrounds the steel cables to withstand the rigors of sun, water and salt through the addition of UV protection and flame retardant solutions that can only be found in the Dynamo cable and rope system. The process of treating the nylon ensures maximum effectiveness by adding it along with the molten nylon before it is extruded and formed into a solid thread.
Colourfastness in rope can be a concern because of exposure, especially in parts of the world that experience higher sun exposure. In 2009, Dynamo made a change to the process through which the nylon is coloured, which increased the Colourfastness rating of the rope from a Class 3-4, which is average, to a Class 7-8, which is the highest possible rating. With each class value increase (i.e. 3 to 4, 4 to 5, etc.) effectively doubling the rope’s resistance to fading caused by UV light, this improvement thereby increases the colour longevity of the product by up to 16 times! Not only does this greatly delay the signs of fading in the rope, but the addition of the UV additive also serves to resist the wearing or fraying of the yarn.
This is just one example of the thought and technology that goes into the Dynamo design process. Dynamo products are designed to last, no matter what the weather. So let’s all get outside and play, and let the sun shine!