Just like grass yarns, there are various foam pads or bases ever used in the market, such as PVC, EPE, EPDM, EVA, etc.
Most of these materials are petrochemicals with lower cost than our foam's, but why we at last uses NBR (Nitrile rubber) foam for NAGIC golf driving range mats?
There are three considerations:
Considering toxic DOP additive used in PVC foaming, we stopped developing this material years ago. However, we still see there are many golf driving range vendors using PVC foams.
Though PVC is easy to be processed and controlled in production, we project it will gradually disappear, as many countries have prohibited the usage of DOP.
Densities of most of petrochemical foams are much lower (around 30kg/cu m v.s NBR 80kg/cu m), causing golf driving range mats too light and unstable to play on.
The possible solution to this might be have mats fit into a heavy rubber base. Nonetheless, it causes inconvenience to carry and higher cost.
Considering this inconvenience and costly shipping problem, NAGIC even developed an exclusive frame base system to keep your golf driving range mats. For more information, please click here.
3. Thermal Expansion
The shrinkage ratio of NBR foam is only around 1.8%, much lower than all the other foams' (3-5%). And the number should be the lower the better. But why? The reason centers on the big gap between foam and turf's (<0.5%) shrinkage ratios. Under extreme weather or temperature change, this gap causes golf driving range mats curl or hunch up. Because of the property of NBR foam, it mitigates greatly the problem.
Even though cell sizes are quite different, it's still hard to tell the differences. But by holding samples in hand, you can find EVA and EPE mats are much lighter and not ideal for a golf driving range mat. For PVC foams, you may have to deal with the Customs if DOP additive exceeds the limit your government allows, which is a troublesome matter. Moreover, there is thickness limit of PVC foams, normally less than 10mm.
**The picture are golf driving range mats with four different foam pads for your reference.