Manufacturing and processing
a) Input Material
Quite contrary to common belief, not every type of textile fiber has the right components to become TruTex Footing Fibers or a similar product.
TruTex Footing Fibers are made with the following components:
PA (or nylon) = Polyamide
PP (copolymer blend) = Polypropylene
Any change in these components or the blend percentages will decrease the efficiency of the product.
The fibers that are used to make TruTex Footing are the offcut fibers from textile companies in Europe. This implies that the fibers are unused, pre-consumer fibers. TruTex Footing has therefore a very tight control on the quality of the raw material used to make our fibers.
The suppliers of the material are not waste collectors [recyclers or reclamation companies], rather the suppliers are manufacturers of synthetic fiber products (e.g. carpet manufacturers) that themselves have a very strict quality and safety policies.
TruTex Footing is skilled and experienced in making the right blend of the PA and PP fibres, in order to perfect the mechanical properties of our product, elasticity, root-structure, (non-porosity etc.)
TruTex Footing Fibers are not made with PES (polyester) or PET (polyethyleneterephtalate) fibers by choice. PES and PET are not the right plastics for the job. Their molecular structures makes them:
– heat up with friction (horses riding on the fibers)
– create static electricity (especially with metal horse shoes, there have been cases recorded of riders experiencing an electrical shock [static discharge] when riding on PES fiber filled surfaces)
TruTex Footing is never made with post-consumer synthetic textiles, such as post-consumer carpets, because of health and safety issues and traceability concerns.
b) Manufacturing and packaging
TruTex Footing’s Manufacturer has designed all of its equipment. The equipment is maintained and revised in-house. This makes for a unique production process, which creates a product that is the only footing of its kind.
(i) TruTex Footing distances itself from similar products through quality control and compliance with health and environmental regulations.
(ii) The machinery that produces TruTex Footing Fibers is a process line, with five treatment steps. The purpose of the different steps is to separate the plastic fibers from all non-plastics, such as glue or adhesives, latex or wool or cotton, fiberglass, etc.
(iii) The identification of foreign materials** and their separation from the PA and PP fibers is done mechanically, by a series of machines that have been designed for this purpose.
(iv) The cutting of the fibers to the desired length is done with a mechanical grinder, the type which is used mainly in plastics recycling. The grinder has been specially adapted to be able to cut the product’s fibers the right length, that they blend into the sand surface to provide the correct amount of padding/anti-concussive flexibily.
(v) The last component in the processing line is a vertical bale press, especially designed and built for the packaging of TruTex Footing Fibers. This is the only component of the process line for which the constructor of the machine intervenes for revision.
The packaging of the TruTex Fibers is a PP woven tissue, that is UV resistant and impermeable.
c) Traceability procedures
All supply of the raw material for making TruTex Footing Fibers is weighed on a calibrated weight bridge, checked on quality and then accorded a batchnumber.
The batchnumber has a coded key to :
– the material quality (PP, PA)
– the supplier of the material
– the precise time and date for that particular delivery
The batchnumber is completed when the material is processed with the codes for:
– the size of the ‘cut’ of the fibers,
– the time and date of production of the product,
– a unique number for each bale,
The batchnumber is recorded on the loading documents for every supply to our customers.
All supplies of TruTex Footing Fibers are weighed on our own calibrated weight bridge. The loading lists, containing the batchnumbers, are attached as a copy to the invoice that is sent to our customers.
Traceability of the material is the most definite of quality controls, but is also a governmental requirement. Our customers can retrace the material to us, by the batchnumbers. TruTex can retrace the supply of the raw material and the production date. Copied products often don’t comply with the traceability regulations, which means that they are illegally sold.
4. Environmental Regulations
Our manufacturer regularly analyzes performance of its products, so that any change in quality or composition of the material is detected early and be corrected immediately.
Our Manufacturer complies with REACH regulation.
Our manufacturer enjoys frequent inspections of its governmental organizations, which confirm our compliance with the environmental laws.
TruTex Footing may only be proven to be “TruTex” when the supplier can produce the necessary documents to confirm the product. TruTex is a safe product for both horse and rider and the environment in general.
Copied [similar-looking] products should always be tested by a laboratory in order to ensure that there are no traces of toxins (e.g. glue, latex etc.), fuels or petroleum distillates (e.g. from used carpets), foreign materials (e.g. wood, glass, carboard, paper) or any non-plastic, organic textiles (e.g. cotton, jute, wool).
5. Product Specification
Apart from the technical data included in the MSDS (material safety data sheet), we can provide information on the materials behavior when used in a riding surface.
TruTex Footing’s weatherproof polypropylene (PP) is specially designed for outdoor use and capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions. The temperature tolerance for TruTex products is between the continuum of -22°F to 150°F, based on allowance for normal functionality of the surface. It is designed to facilitate effective water drainage [infiltration of precipitation] from the surface. Efficiency in water drainage ensures longer lifespan and prolongs the appealing appearance of your surface [ed. The fibers prevent ‘puddling’ as is commonly found in outdoor sand arenas — due to the sand’s impermeability once it becomes compacted.]
A surface with TruTex Footing Fibers is significantly more cost-effective than copied [non-competitive look-alike] products, because of the almost unlimited life of the track profile and lower maintenance. In use for horse race tracks, TruTex Footing is the surface is proven to avoid cancellations due to weather conditions.
TruTex technology provides greater surface uniformity and the action of the root-structure fibers provides a cushioning effect on impact, lowering the potential for injury. Surfaces with TruTex Footing have been proven to reduce both catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries to horses, and to serve as injury prevention. The material is used in race and training tracks in France, Ireland, the UK, USA, RUSSIA, SOUTH AFRICA, and many others. Today, these tracks have some of the lowest rates of raceday fatalities and injuries of horses in the world.
The compaction resistance provided by the inclusion of TruTex Footing Fibers into your surface will greatly improve the performance of the horse/rider pair.
One should beware of the dangers of using ‘hydrogels’ or other Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP’s). These are made from acrylic acid, which is irritating for eyes and nasal membranes and it will leach into the ground or surface waters, as it has a high water solubility. Degradation is microbial [e.g. biodegradable decomposition] for these superabsorbent polymers.
Examples of the danger of hydrogels, from a published scientific journal :
1. Inhalation exposure of rats to 6000 ppm for 5 hours resulted in nose and eye irritation, respiratory difficulties, and unresponsiveness; death occurred in one animal with lung hemorrhage and degeneration of the liver and kidney tubules Inhalation exposure of rats to 1500 ppm for 6-hours caused nasal discharge, lethargy, weight loss, and congested kidneys (ACGIH 1991; Guest et al. 1982).
2. According to the definition provided in the Federal Register (1992), acrylic acid is a volatile organic compound (VOC) substance. As a VOC, acrylic acid can contribute to the formation of photo-chemical smog in the presence of other VOCs.
3. USA-EPA and OTHER FEDERAL AND OTHER GROUP ACTIVITY. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 list acrylic acid as a hazardous air pollutant. NIOSH and the ACGIH have added a skin notation to their recommended workplace air exposure limits, indicating that workplace dermal exposure should be controlled as well.
TruTex Footing Fibers are a stand-alone product, with a quality guarantee offered by the manufacturer’s label. It is produced under strict circumstances with specific, custom-built and special-purpose machinery in an experienced environment.
TruTex Footing is made with the best quality input raw materials, filaments and fibers made from virgin grade plastics.
The quality control on the input raw material product and on the end-product are done in a controlled frequency and with specialized equipment, such as MFI measuring devices.
TruTex is made with the authorization and approval of the local government. TruTex Footing drastically improves the results of the horse’s performance — while reducing the risk of injury.
Let the Buyer Beware – Caution: Copied [look-alike or similar-apperaing] footing products can be:
– illegal to use according to ‘waste’ regulations,
– either toxic or unhealthy for horse and rider or to both,
– result in a higher risk of injury,
– and may be environmentally unfriendly (ecologically unsound, both soil and groundwater pollution).
Copied products do not wear the TruTex label, or the brand name TruTex Footing.