Germany’s ASB Systembau GMBH has developed a new clear flooring using a semi-opaque ceramic finish to produce a floor that “does not reflect too much light to be a distraction but still gives a slight reflection which compares to the effect marble has on the eye.” The flooring is indeed beautiful but what makes it most interesting is the added benefit of being able to embed lighting elements within the floor giving it a “Tron-like” lighting effect.
To build the floor, reinforced glass panels are set on an aluminum substructure with lighting elements laid within the substructure itself. This results in a surface roughly the equivalent of a hardwood basketball court. Burnt in ceramic dots produce the required friction values of traditional sports floors and it even provides the right anti-slip protection that will not hurt when players dive for a ball.
The embedded lighting has the added advantage of flexible lane lines and markings for multipurpose gymnasiums – from badminton to volleyball. The company even envisions new sports which would be playable on a ever-changing dynamic playing surface. It can of course, also project video messages or scoreboards under the floor.
The company explains how the floor in constructed:
The floor is made from tempered security glass and can withstand enormous impact. The panels are made from two specially-treated glass plates held together by a 2mm PVB safety layer. The glass panels can be produced to a size larger than 2×2 meters and make the floor longer lasting than any conventional floor. This is why in 2007 we have been able to install the first open air squash court on a cruise ship, withstanding the impact of sea water and perpetual movement over years.
The surface of the glass undergoes several special treatments to achieve ideal elasticity, friction and reflection of light. After years of extensive testing we have reached a result where the floor does not reflect too much to be a distraction but still gives a slight reflection which compares to the effect marble has on the eye. Also deflection and friction of the floor achieve equal or better results than conventional sport floors. The floor is ISO and EN certified. The same treatment that ensures the dim reflection also causes scratches to remain invisible. The surface can be in almost any colour you like. The color of the floor is determined by special foil coat applied to the bottom of the floor and can be changed even after years.
Below are pictures of the new flooring along with a video demonstrating the flooring’s unique construction methods and properties.