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Why The Military Is Using Rubber Mulch

Published Mar 11, 2016

Since there are so many discarded tires around to recycle, innovators are always coming up with new ways to use the recycled rubber. You’ve probably seen playgrounds, running tracks, or athletic fields with rubber surfaces. Did you know that recycled rubber has military uses too?

Rubber mulch is inexpensive, reduces waste, and is especially useful for its springiness, durability, and shock absorption. That’s why you’ll find surfaces made from recycled rubber on military training grounds.

Here’s where you’ll find rubber mulch and why:

On Shooting Ranges

Rubber mulch can be made into panels that help keep users safe on the shooting range. And it’s not only military firing ranges that are realizing how useful rubber panels are. Panels of anti-ballistic rubber as backdrops and hanging from the ceiling bolster safety on any range, whether it’s military, commercial, or personal.

How does it improve safety? Because of its shock absorbency, it stops stray bullets better than any other material, making sure they don’t ricochet and cause real harm. Rubber strips wrapped in a Kevlar-like fabric are also used on ranges to stop bullets. After all, when you’re working with guns, safety always has to be top priority.

As a bonus, it doesn’t just stop bullets. It helps absorb sound, too. That means less noise on the shooting range, which is another boost to health and safety. It even reduces lead dust, another safety hazard on shooting ranges.

In Obstacle Courses

Choosing surfaces made of recycled rubber means added safety for training on obstacle courses. All the same properties that make rubber mulch a safe and environmentally friendly choice for playgrounds and athletic fields make it perfect for military courses, too. Using rubber mulch as filler around obstacles means a cushioned landing in case of fall and a much lower chance of injury.

Rope courses, another common sight in military training, also get improved safety from rubber surfaces and rubber mulch that reduce the risk of harm.

Rappel Towers

If there’s any time you need a soft landing, it’s when you’re coming toward the ground from a significant height. You want to land on something that will cushion the blow and absorb shock.

Rappelling is an important skill, but a dangerous one. That’s why it’s important to have maximum safety precautions during training. If there’s rubber at the bottom of the tower, the risk of injury goes down. It’s as simple as that.

Parachute Pits

Speaking of descending from heights, rubber mulch is the perfect choice for parachute pits to help ensure a safe landing—over and over and over again.

And in all these cases, rubber is also ideal for military use because it’s inexpensive and extremely durable. It’s also perfect whether the training facility is indoor or outdoor. It even repels rodents and other pests to keep things perfectly clean, as they should be.

But most importantly, it’s about protection. The fact that it’s made from recycled tires and protecting the environment, too, is just icing on the cake.

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