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Safeshell was installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 in December of 2016. You can read the prequel to this story here. In short, organic infill was originally installed in the winter of 2013. The challenging location of this field, extending over the East River, proved too much for the original organic infill which largely disappeared from the site and had to be completely replenished twice before being replaced. Safeshell was signaled to swoop in and save this field from the elements. Being organic, but not prone to floating or blowing away, coupled with its high durability, made Safeshell the hero Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 needed.
Four years later we decided to check in on our hero at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Samples of Safeshell were extracted from the system and put through a series of tests to see how it was holding up. To gather samples from an already installed field, a handheld vacuum has proven to work best (one of my personal favorites). After extracting your sample don’t forget to backfill with the same ratio of infills.
With a sample in hand we began our tests for durability, sieve size analysis, and micrographic photo review. We began with a sieve analysis which is a test to determine particle size distribution. A sieve analysis uses a tower of sieves (screens) arranged from largest to smallest. After prepping the product sample it is placed into the top of the tower and the tower is shaken to allow the product to pass through various sieves. The amount of product on each sieve is then measured to determine the % of product retained on that particular sieve as compared to the entire sample amount.
The chart below shows a comparison of the Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) sample to a new sample of Safeshell. These results indicate the Brooklyn Bridge Park sample maintains a similar particle size even after years of heavy use in a harsh environment.
Our next test was a Micro-Deval abrasion test which uses steel balls inside a spinning chamber containing water to determine a percentage breakdown of a product sample. Abrasion loss of a sample is calculated by measuring the amount of material passing through a 200 sieve after completion of the test. A new sample of Safeshell tested using the Micro-Deval abrasion test scores a 2.1% meaning a 2.1% breakdown of product. The Brooklyn Bridge Park sample scored a 1.9%. These results which are within two-tenths of a percent also indicate the used sample performs exceptionally well and near identical to a new sample of Safeshell.
|Micro-Deval Abrasion Test Results|
|New Safeshell Sample||Brooklyn Bridge Park Safeshell Sample|
|2.1% Product Breakdown||1.9% Product Breakdown|
Our last test was more of a review than a test. We used micrographic photography to observe the individual particles of Safeshell obtained from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Using a side by side comparison we could compare the surface of both new and used Safeshell. This would help us determine any abnormalities visually that a test may not show us. As seen in the comparison photo below the sample from Brooklyn Bridge Park maintains near identical size and shape as new Safeshell. While there is a slight change in color, that is to be expected and as noted in the above tests this does not indicate a change in product durability.
Often times we don’t know a hero until they have a chance to prove themselves. As Gotham Field would tell you, Safeshell was able to save the day(s) [1,460 of them and counting].