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Stabilized Engineered Wood Fiber for Accessible Playground Surfaces

Playground surfaces of sand, pea gravel, and engineered wood fiber (EWF) provide some level of impact protection for children. However, because these surfaces are soft and uneven, they can be difficult for those who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers. This study is the third phase of a research and development project in pursuit of a stable, smooth, and impact-attenuating surface based on wood mate-rials to improve wheelchair and walker accessibility for playgrounds. Two EWF stabilizing binders, a non-foaming polyurethane (Vitri-Turf) and an acrylic and polyvinyl ace-tate polymer emulsion (Soil-Sement), were installed on a working playground at Governor Nelson State Park in Wau-nakee , Wisconsin . A soft impact-absorbing playground sur-facing system was created through the use of a bonded top layer and a thick underlying layer of unbonded EWF. Cost estimates and a step-by-step guide are provided for installing SEWF on a playground.

Keywords: wood, fiber, surfacing, impact, accessibility, ADA , composite, polyurethane, playground, durability, installation, cushioning