SYNTHETIC SURFACES INC. COMPANY HISTORY
Norris Legue is the President, Founder and Owner of Synthetic Surfaces Inc. He is a chemist, who in about 1969, developed the first one-part urethane adhesive used to successfully glue down a synthetic turf football field. At that time, the synthetic turf business was new and in its infancy, plus adhesives for installing them in variable weather outdoors was almost non-existent. Most adhesives were used and tested indoors under controlled conditions. Many good indoor adhesive companies did not know that outdoor installations were “a different world”. Important outdoor weather factors regarding installations were not realized, such as: freezing to hot desert temperatures; gusty and/or steady wind; surface heating and cooling from passing clouds; moving shadows; humidity; temperature fluctuations; unexpected tropical storms; rain; etc.
To design adhesives for outdoor installations that can be used in different seasons in variable weather required our presence at numerous installations throughout the country. Bottom line is, we have about a quarter-century head start on other adhesive companies that did research indoors and didn’t visit installations in progress.
We concluded from our many visits and research that, by far, the best adhesives for outdoor installations of artificial turf were one-part, solvent-based, high “green strength” (grab), moisture-cured urethanes. Oppositely, water-based, solvent-free, hot melt, and adhesives that must “hydrolyze” (water activates them) to cure, have severe limitations. Additionally, many buyers continue to purchase these types of adhesives based on irrelevant indoor test results and their lower prices (translation: poorer quality).
The name Synthetic Surfaces Inc. was originally selected for the corporation because at that time they specialized only in adhesives for installing synthetic turf, flooring, sport and other recreational surfaces. However, keep in mind that SSI is a chemical company that manufacturers adhesives, and not the surfaces themselves. Additionally, when its business philosophy plus the demanding adhesive performance and handling requirements necessary for successful outdoor sports surface installations were recognized, it was not surprising that SSI and its NORDOT® Adhesives technology was discovered by the military, automotive, aquatics and other industries where superior “Green Strength” (grab), durability, plus outstanding fresh- and salt-water resistance was necessary. Companies with an adhesive “toothache” that they needed to resolve often contacted us to see if we can help.
While progress has long ago made the original adhesive obsolete, SSI continues to develop new adhesives to meet the changing needs of the synthetic turf, flooring, sport and recreational surface business. NORDOT® is the trade name for these new generations of adhesives.
In addition to management of the company, Norris is still active in new adhesive development and technology. His registered trademark, “The Guru of Glue®”, is known worldwide. As a result of his 50+ years of extensive experience, knowledge, research, and product development, he is often consulted by companies around the world for his thoughts about the accomplishments, problems and future growth of the synthetic turf industry.