PULLING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Did you know that Dunlomat is the only competition matting recommended by TWIF, the indoor tug of war international federation and has been used in numerous national and international championship competitions around the world? The indoor tug of war world championships are being held this month in Northern Ireland and we are proud to be a ‘Diamond Sponsor’ of the event. Tug of war matting is a unique niché market for us. We regularly receive orders from tug of war clubs and associations from around the world including, would you believe, China.
For the uninitiated, a competition mat is 10mm thick, 1000mm wide and 36 meters in length. This is usually delivered in 2 X 18-meter rolls for ease of transportation and handling. The characteristic that most sets Dunlomat apart from all other matting is its unbeatable grip. The ‘Rufftop’ upper surface provides an ultra-strong grip and prevents slippage. As with all of our products, there are cheap imitations but trying to save money can have disastrous consequences as was discovered in a European championship a few years ago. Three of the five mats in use were not Dunlomat. Complaints by the competitors that they were too slippery meant that the event could only continue using the two remaining genuine ‘Made in The Netherlands’ Dunlomat mats. I can confirm that all five competition mats and the two practice mats in use at the world championships are genuine Dunlomat. If you will excuse the pun, the organisers were determined that there would not be any slip-up’s!
Of course, there are a lot more ways to use Dunlomat than tug of war. It is a top class product, as are Dunlosheet and Dunlop Ultima sheeting. Unfortunately, there are more manufacturers and traders of rubber matting and sheeting than ever before on the international market. The vast majority is produced in China. There are two broad categories – one is ‘general purpose’, the other is ‘specialist applications’. More than 95% of matting and sheeting is mass produced general-purpose, low-grade matting. Its weaknesses include not being REACH compliant and not being resistant to ozone & ultra violet. As far as the rubber industry is concerned, from a technical point of view, rubber matting is at the bottom of the pile. In the eyes of most, all that it is required to do is act as a protective barrier so it is widely regarded purely as a commodity, hence the extremely low selling prices. However, the use of Dunlomat as tug of war matting is just one small example of how there is always a place for a premium quality version of any product in every market. It is just a question of keeping your eyes and ears open and asking the question.