Knowing all the chemicals and materials that went into producing the martial arts mats that you purchase is important. From understanding toxicological information to firefighting preventative measures, only a MSDS sheet, can fully fill you in on the chemical makeup of workout mats.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is an MSDS sheet?
- The importance of MSDS sheets for martial arts mats
- MSDS sheets for different types of mats
What is an MSDS sheet?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a unique document that provides all the information on potential health hazards, adverse effects, and even firefighting information about the products that you purchase. Another added feature of an MSDS sheet is that it explains how to safely work with materials, including tips on personal protective equipment to wear. In addition, MSDS sheets can help provide information on how to safely handle and store materials.
Basically, you can learn the fundamentals about every product you purchased by looking at an MSDS sheet. In 2015, MSDS sheets, also called SDS, became unified, and no matter where you are in the world, they’ll each have the same sections in the same order.
When they were first introduced, MSDS sheets were primarily focused on occupational hygienist and safety professionals. However, the audience has broadened to include employers, employees, supervisors, nurses, doctors, and first responders. As a result, MSDS sheets have become more practical, as they are written to be easier to read and understand.
The importance of MSDS sheets for martial arts mats
At first glance, having an MSDS sheet for the martial arts mats that you purchase doesn’t seem like an important thing. However, martial arts mats are made from materials with unique chemicals in them. You may want to learn a little more about any chemicals that your mats may off gas, the process whereby gases are expelled from the pours of the mat.
Also, if you are cutting the mats and rearranging them into a specific bespoke mat pattern, it may be a good idea to learn a bit more about guidelines for cutting. For example, you may be interested in knowing if you would need a respirator when cutting certain types of foam. You may also want to know about emergency measures if any pieces of the mat are swallowed by small children or pets.
MSDS sheets for different types of mats
A marvel of modern engineering, judo mats are made from high-impact absorption reconstituted polyurethane foam, which is wrapped in a slip resistant vinyl outer coating. This vinyl outer coating is a nonslip surface, which allows martial artists to make lightning quick movements. Reconstituted polyurethane foam is an amalgamation of several different pieces of foam which have been pressed together to make one whole. In addition, these mats are great to use in martial arts, as they provide protection from falls of critical heights over 1.5 m.
Since these mats are made from a combination of different materials, it’s important to know that there are several MSDS sheets for each material. They also come in a couple different sizes:
Polyurethane foams are industrial polymers, and fall outside of the EU MSDS safety requirements. In addition, polyurethane foams are not considered a hazardous product.
Below, you can find an MSDS sheet for the final outer coating, as well as a MSDS sheet for the reconstituted polyurethane foam:
Ethylene vinyl acetate- EVA foam
EVA foam is an extremely versatile and durable substance. It is a closed cell foam, were pockets of gases are trapped within the foam which provides extra cushioning from falls. Highly durable and having a rubberlike flexibility, EVA foam is perfect to use in a martial arts studio because of its firmness and its nonslip surfaces. EVA foam mats are also easy to clean and disinfect, and its also nonporous, so moisture will not get trapped inside of them.
Some EVA mats are made with industrial chemical called formamide, which causes the mats to off gas and unappealing, acrid odour. Studies have been done to determine if formamide is harmful to human health, and the studies have found that at the current levels of exposure it is not harmful.
Available in several different thicknesses, EVA foam mats are when most popular mats available on the market. Below, you can find a few links to a few different EVA foam mats available at Martial Arts Mats Ireland:
- 20MM 1M X 1M RED/BLUE JIGSAW MAT STANDARD GRIP 80KG/CBM DENSITY
- MMA 30MM 1M X 1M GREEN/BLACK JIGSAW MAT 5 LINES GRIP 75KG/CBM DENSITY
- MMA 40MM 1M X 1M GREEN/BLACK JIGSAW MAT 5 LINES GRIP 75KG/CBM DENSITY
Click the link below to find an MSDS sheet for EVA foam:
XPE foam is a cross-linked polyethylene foam which is ideal for martial arts training, as it has a significant life expectancy, is incredibly durable, and can handle falls from critical heights over 1.5 m. The cross-linking process which creates XPE foam is a chemically unique process, whereby polyurethane particles are tied together in a net-like structure. Once fully cured, the walls of this material form an embedded cellular structure.
Check out some of the most popular X PE mats that we have available at Martial Arts Mats Ireland:
- IMPACT TATAMI 20MM 1M X 1M XPE -NO SMELL- GREY/BLUE JIGSAW MAT
- IMPACT TATAMI 30MM 1M X 1M XPE -NO SMELL- GREY/BLUE JIGSAW MAT
- IMPACT TATAMI 40MM 1M X 1M XPE -NO SMELL- GREY/BLUE JIGSAW MAT
Also, click the link below for XPE foam MSDS:
Expanded polyethylene (EPE) mats
Expanded polyethylene mats are made from expanded pellets, which are produced through the use of a blowing agent, which then expands into foam in a mould. EPE foam is a rigid foam which was first produced in the 1970s, and was manufactured to replace polystyrene, as well as some types of polyurethane. It is a semirigid, closed cell foam which is suitable for martial arts. It is also a waterproof type of mat.
Below, you can find a MSDS sheet for EPA foam:
No matter what type of MMA mats that you purchase, having the MSDS sheets is important when you begin installation, in order to know more about the regular maintenance and upkeep of your mats. It’s always good to be aware of the chemical makeup of the mats that you purchase; however, the vast majority of martial arts mats that are available on the market are non-toxic, and safe to use in a training centre. The most common form of martial arts mats you will come across are jigsaw mats, and you can find a wide variety of jigsaw mats on the Martial Arts Mats Ireland website.
rial Data Safety Sheets (MSDS) are normally required for part of your building safety and fire regulations. The majority of our mats are made from EVA Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) but we also supply Expanded Polyethylene (EPE) and Cross Linked Polyethylene (XPE) mats. Click on the links below for MSDS downloads.
XPE is approximately double the price but has the following properties which may be advantageous.
- BPA and Phthalate free
- Latex and Formaldehyde free
- Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
- Noise and shock-absorbing