What Are Playground Slides Made Of?

Posted by SwingSetMall on 16th Oct 2023

What Are Playground Slides Made Of?

Playground slides have been a cherished staple of childhood fun for generations. While we often associate them with fond memories of carefree play, have you ever wondered what exactly goes into making these quintessential pieces of playground equipment?

So, what are playground slides made of, exactly? In this article, we delve into the world of slides, uncovering the different playground slide materials and engineering behind their construction.

From the slippery surface that sends kids gleefully zooming down to the sturdy framework that supports them, we'll explore the intricate components that come together to create these iconic play structures. We’ll also show you where you can find the perfect slide for your backyard or playground!

The Importance of Quality Playground Slide Materials

Playground slides may appear simple, but their construction involves a careful selection of materials. Here’s why using quality playground slide materials is so important. 

Safety First: The Role of Quality Materials in Preventing Accidents

When it comes to playgrounds, the safety of children is paramount. Quality slide materials play a crucial role in preventing accidents and injuries. The choice of materials for the slide's surface, for instance, can greatly affect how smoothly and safely children descend. 

Longevity: Why Durable Materials Mean a Lasting Investment

Playground equipment represents a significant investment for schools, communities, and parents alike. Choosing playground slides constructed from durable materials can extend the lifespan of the equipment, ensuring that children can enjoy them for years to come. 

The Aesthetic Appeal: How the Right Materials Enhance Visual Experience

Playground slides are not just functional structures; they are also designed to captivate children's imaginations. The choice of materials can greatly impact the visual appeal of a slide, with bright, fun colors most commonly used for playground slide materials. 

What Are Playground Slides Made Of?

So, what are playground slides made of, exactly? Let’s take a look at common playground slide materials and why they’re popular.

The Evolution of Slide Materials

The materials used in playground slide construction have evolved over the years, reflecting advancements in technology and a growing understanding of safety standards. In the early days of playground design, slides were often fashioned from wood or metal.

Although they were sturdy, wooden slides were prone to splintering and required frequent maintenance. Metal slides could become scorching hot in the sun, posing a risk to young riders, and were often uncomfortable to slide down.

LDPE: The Gold Standard

A predominant number of modern playground slides are crafted from plastic. But when you delve into the specifics, what kind of plastic are these playground slides made from? The pinnacle of playground slide materials is the heavy-duty roto-molded plastic, particularly low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

LDPE stands out due to its stellar amalgamation of durability, safety, and a vast range of aesthetic possibilities. It boasts a sleek, low-friction surface, which not only ensures a controlled slide but also reduces the chances of friction burns.

Additionally, LDPE is UV-resistant, meaning it retains its vibrancy and finish even after extended exposure to sunlight, marking it as a prime selection for outdoor play structures.

Alternative Materials in the Market: Stainless Steel, Fiberglass, and More

What are slides made out of if not LDPE? A few alternative materials have carved out their niche in the playground slide market, including stainless steel. This is popular as it’s corrosion-resistant and can have a sleek, contemporary appearance.

Fiberglass slides offer a unique visual appeal, with the ability to incorporate intricate designs, translucent sections, and a smooth glide. However, neither of these materials are as popular as LDPE plastic, for reasons we’ll discuss next.

Comparing and Contrasting the Different Playground Slide Materials

Distinguishing between these varied playground slide materials necessitates the consideration of several aspects. Safety, the foremost priority in any playground, is where LDPE shines as the optimal playground slide material.

Famed for its low friction attributes, LDPE substantially minimizes burn risks and remains pleasantly cool, even under the glaring sun. In contrast, while stainless steel possesses inherent anti-corrosion traits, it's not entirely rust-proof, posing potential long-term safety challenges.

In the realm of durability, both stainless steel and LDPE stand out for their longevity and minimal maintenance demands. On the flip side, fiberglass, over extended periods, can demonstrate signs of wear and may also exhibit increased fragility.

Aesthetically, both LDPE and fiberglass slides often mirror the traditional vivacious hues synonymous with playground apparatus. Stainless steel slides, however, might appear less inviting to kids due to their austere, metallic facade.

How Playground Slides Are Made: From Materials to Play

Now that we’ve discussed what are playground slides made of, let’s take a look at how playground slides are actually made. 

The Design Phase

The journey of creating a playground slide begins with the design phase. Designers and engineers work collaboratively to conceptualize slides that are not only fun but also safe and visually appealing.

This phase involves creating detailed blueprints, specifying dimensions, and carefully considering factors such as the slide's height, pitch, and curvature to ensure that it meets safety standards while providing a fun experience.

Material Selection

Once the design is finalized, the next crucial step is selecting the appropriate materials. As we discussed earlier, plastic is the most common choice.

What kind of plastic are playground slides made of? The gold standard is LDPE, due to its durability, UV resistance, and low-friction properties.

If plastic isn’t used, what are slides made out of? Stainless steel and fiberglass are also considered, each with its unique advantages, such as corrosion resistance or design flexibility.

The choice of material depends on the intended use of the slide, environmental factors, budget constraints, and the desired aesthetic. Material selection is a critical decision, as it directly influences the safety, longevity, and visual appeal of the playground slide.

Manufacturing Process

With both design and materials determined, the next step is the actual manufacturing. For LDPE slides, the process is rooted in roto-molding. This involves heating a mold brimming with LDPE granules and then rotating it. As the granules heat up, they meld together, culminating in a hollow yet robust slide structure.

Stainless steel slides are typically fabricated by cutting, bending, and welding stainless steel sheets into the desired shape, ensuring a robust structure. Fiberglass slides are constructed by layering fiberglass and resin in a mold, achieving the desired shape and strength.

Quality Control and Testing

Before a playground slide makes its way to the hands of eager children, it must undergo stringent quality control and testing procedures. Each component is carefully inspected for defects, ensuring that there are no sharp edges, loose parts, or weak spots.

Slides are subjected to weight and load testing to verify their structural integrity and ability to withstand the demands of active play. Manufacturers are held to strict safety standards to ensure all playground equipment is sturdy and safe. 

Tips to Ensure You’re Buying a High-Quality Slide With Safe, Durable Materials

When it comes to investing in a playground slide for your children or community, safety and durability are paramount. Here’s what to keep in mind to ensure you’re making a fun, safe choice that will keep your little ones playing happily outdoors for years to come. 

Assess the Thickness of the Material

Not only is it important to understand what are playground slides made of, but it’s also critical to assess the thickness of the material itself. Thicker materials, especially in critical areas like the slide's walls and supporting framework, are generally a sign of a more robust and durable structure. 

Slide Safety Features to Look For

Safety should be a top priority when selecting a playground slide. Check for the presence of safety features such as:

  • Handrails for added stability and support when climbing up to the slide
  • Non-slip surfaces or coatings to prevent accidents 
  • Rounded edges and smooth joints between sections reduce the risk of cuts or scrapes
  • Raised barriers at the top to prevent children from accidentally falling off the platform
  • Safety certifications like ASTM approval

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback and reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality and performance of a playground slide. Read reviews from other parents, schools, or communities that have purchased the same slide model.

Pay attention to comments related to durability, safety, ease of assembly, and overall satisfaction. If possible, reach out to others who have purchased the slide to get their firsthand experiences and recommendations.

Finding a Brand You Can Trust

Established and reputable brands in the playground equipment industry often prioritize the use of high-quality materials and rigorous safety testing. Research and identify brands with a track record of delivering safe and durable playground slides.

Look for smaller businesses that offer great customer service, with knowledgeable team members who can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you find the best playground sets for your needs. 

Find the Perfect Playground Slide at Swing Set Mall!

At Swing Set Mall, we have a huge selection of playground equipment and accessories, including many different types of playground slides. From double slides to scoop slides and sectional slides, we have it all! 

What are playground slides made of at Swing Set Mall? Our top-quality playground slides are constructed from LDPE, ensuring you’re adding the safest, strongest, most durable material to your playground. 

Why Shop With Us?

At Swing Set Mall, playground equipment is our life. We specialize in everything you need to create a high-quality playground, including different types of swings and swing set accessories, as well as our spectacular and diverse selection of playground slides.

We understand that choosing playground equipment can be confusing - it’s easy to accidentally select the wrong size, or straps that aren’t compatible with the heavy-duty swing set you’re buying. We look over every single order to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.

Plus, our team is available to answer all your questions and provide advice. Whether you want to know the differences between a metal vs wood swing set, need advice on where to put a swing set in the yard, or looking for tips on how to build a swing set, we’re here to help.

Choosing Among the Different Styles

There’s certainly no shortage of playground slides to choose from at Swing Set Mall! For something that stands out and never loses its fun, a spiral slide is a great choice. A tube slide offers the excitement of an enclosed tunnel, which many kids love.

A standalone freestanding slide is great for public parks, school areas, and daycare facilities. Plus, we have a staggering number of colors to choose from, and many of our slide heights and lengths can be customized, allowing you to create the perfect slide for your needs.

Plus, don’t forget to check out our slide accessories, playground swing sets, backyard swing sets, metal swing sets, and parts and accessories like replacement swing seats

Final Thoughts on Playground Slide Materials

So, what are playground slides made of? While some slides are made of fiberglass and stainless steel, plastic slides made from LDPE plastic are the safest, most durable option.

You can find high-quality LDPE playground slides, as well as the best swing sets, right here at Swing Set Mall. We offer unbeatable customer service, extensive slide customization options, and more slide colors to choose from than you could ever imagine!

Find high-quality durable, safe, fun playground slides from the experts at Swing Set Mall!