PolySoft is a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of soft-surface systems. The company’s visually appealing products are scientifically tested to withstand the toughest conditions. Interview with Richard Lao, Sales and Marketing Manager at PolySoft. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Richard Lao: Our products are primarily used as surfacing for both wet and dry play areas. Other areas where our products can be used are jogging and cycle tracks, multipurpose and other sports courts. E.E: What’s the news about new products? R.L: We just recently launched our Versatex range of product, which is a “broadcast” system compared to our other pour-in-place solutions. This product, with its low profile, can be used to retrofit older water play areas which are just in concrete without the need for a set down. This is perfect for areas where a tactile finish is required. That being said, PolySoft is a strong believer in research and development; thus, we are constantly developing products to fulfill the ever-growing needs of the market. E.E: What are the ranges of products? R.L: Going through our website, you will quickly notice that we have a wide array of surfacing solutions for different applications, from playgrounds, to splash pads, waterparks and alike, to jogging and cycle paths, pool paints, multipurpose courts, etc. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? R.L: With PolySoft beginnings in the wet paly areas, such as splash pads, waterparks and pool surrounds, it is but expected that this is where we are strongest. Our PolySoft Splash and Aquatrak surfacing solutions have been providing safe and beautiful surfaces all around these types of areas worldwide. A secondary market would naturally be the PolySoft Play, which is our surfacing solution for dry play areas such as playgrounds. It’s main strength in this market aside from its more vibrant colour palette, matched with high UV and chemical resistance, is its being “cooler” underfoot compared to our competitors. With PolySoft being made of polyolefin plastomer particles, it showcases its low heat retention characteristics to the hilt. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? R.L: With the world dealing with the Covid pandemic, one of the realizations is the need for places to “move” around close to home. From parents working from home and children being home-schooled, the need for pent up energies to be used is becoming more necessary to keep the sanity in the home. Thus, the development and/or redevelopment of the community playground. Furthermore, with climate change being a threat to the globe, the importance of sustainability is also highlighted. Moreover, how to deal with the effects of “heat-islands” in urban areas is also always constantly discussed. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? R.L: As mentioned, our products are made of polyolefin plastomer granules, bound together by different types of binders, depending on its application. Using this material is an innovation by itself as it is the only surfacing product using such. However, the material alone brings a lot of advantages, from the mentioned low heat retention rates to its high UV and chemical resistance (e.g., chlorine) and coupled with the use of our 2-part aliphatic binder, a product with a stronger lateral strength compared to other products. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? R.L: More of a hope than an estimation. Depending really on how the world deals with the pandemic, it is seen that more and more play areas for children will be in development. The competition is to come up with bigger, more exciting and more inviting play areas at the same time, not compromising safety. It is here where PolySoft comes in to play as the surfacing is part and parcel of the safety solutions of the play areas.