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NT Shade spotlights the benefits of Softfall Rubber in playground surfacing

NT Shade spotlights the benefits of Softfall Rubber in playground surfacing
July 6, 2023

Darwin-based NT Shade - locally owned and operated by Chris and Michelle Batenburg - design, source and install not only shade cloths but premium surface options to meet an array of facility requirements. 

From rubber soft fall with wet joins ensuring durability and longevity to environmentally friendly artificial turf, soft fall sand and a range of outdoor sports surfaces, NT Shade offer a range of quality surface products.

Among their offerings is softfall rubber which NT Shade note as being mandatory and advise “the Australian Standards for Playground Equipment state that an impact absorbing surface is required under all playground equipment over 60cm high. 

“Softfall in the Northern Territory can be rubber softfall or sand. The thickness of the softfall is determined by several elements, the main one being the ‘Critical Fall Height, CFH.’

At the completion of all Softfall Rubber jobs NT Shade issue clients with a Certificate of Compliance that ensures the rubber surface is compliant with the Australian Standards.

NT Shade notes that softfall rubber “looks great and is easy to maintain”.

NT Shade work with clients to create beautiful, imaginative designs with colours and patterns. They can incorporate logos, icons and custom designed patterns and use a technique that ensures the best longevity of rubber softfall in the NT and allows for easy cleaning and maintenance.

NT Shade highlight the three components of Rubber softfall:

A hard, compacted subbase is required as it is a critical layer for longevity of the rubber.

Shock pads get laid underneath the rubber topcoat. These are critical to the fall height of the equipment. NT Shade uses an A1 Aero Shock Pad system, which is independently factory tested to the current Australian Standard and comes with a Certificate of Compliance.

The rubber top layer is trowelled over the shock pads and comes in a variety of products. In Australia, the two most commonly used types of rubber are a new manufactured rubber (EDPM and TPV) or a recycled one (CSBR).

  • EDPM - stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. There are a number of companies who supply this. The important factors in choosing an EDPM is the quality of the product and knowing where the product was manufactured. NT Shade source their EDPM from APT Asia Pacific. who meet Australian Safety Standards, and provide a high quality, low maintenance, non-toxic EDPM rubber.
  • TPV – stands for Thermoplastic Vulcanised Rubber.  NT Shade source Rosehill TPV from Surface Designs as it is a premium quality, durable, non-allergenic and non-toxic rubber product.
  • CSBR - stands for Coloured Styrene-Butadiene Rubber. NT Shade source their CSBR from A1 Rubber as they provide a high quality product recycled from used Australian Car Tyres.  A1 Rubber are number one In Rubber Upcycling, lessening the impact on the environment, reducing landfill and producing more economically responsible products.

More information on NT Shade at

More information on Surface Designs at

Click here to contact APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory. 

Images. Credit: NT Shade

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Co-founder and Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor and co-founder of Australasian Leisure Management.

Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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