In the 1970s, a process for manufacturing prefabricated thin-walled steel pipes and advancements in playground design was developed by a large steel manufacturer. The thin-walled metal tube design enables manufacturers to create new sizes and dimensions that mimic the appearance, thickness and durable appearance of natural wood structures.
To date, thin-walled steel and aluminum tubes are still used to make some commercial amusement devices, and have powder coating options to reduce corrosion and enhance outdoor durability.
Metal powder coating is a leap forward in the structure of commercial playgrounds. Metal pipes and pillars are treated with several layers of galvanizing and sealant to provide corrosion protection. In this method, a powder coating is applied to the metal using an electrostatic method, and then baked to cure the coating on the metal surface.
The commercial playground structure has powder-coated metal parts almost on one side, which not only enhances the durability of the structure, but also provides a lead-free and non-toxic alternative to traditional paint. This is more beneficial to children's health and a better environment. Through the powder coating process, the worry about the metal surface temperature is alleviated.
Contemporary commercial playground structures have rotationally molded plastic parts. To manufacture plastic parts, the molten plastic mold is inserted into a high-temperature oven and rotated so that the thermoplastic completely fills the mold with a uniform thickness.
The advantages of rotationally molded plastic structures include durability, stress-free weight distribution, seamless structure, UV stability, vandalism and moisture resistance, and other factors that make it a commercial playground equipment. Plastic playground components, such as slides, are now popular alternatives to sheet metal slides in the past because they can stay cool even under long-term direct sunlight.