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Tartan History

Polyurethane athletic surfacing was invented in our laboratories.

Polyurethane itself had been discovered by Otto Bayer and manufactured extensively during World War II by Germany when the Axis powers were denied access to the natural rubber markets of Southeast Asia. After WW II, a technology transfer program took place and polyurethane was used by our parent company for clay pipe as a joint compound because of polyurethane’s outstanding physical properties. Our parent company, MCP Industries, Inc. was incorporated in 1950 and, together with its divisions, subsidiaries, and predecessor‘s in interest, is the largest producer of clay pipe in the United States and a world leader in rubber products. In the late 50’s and early 60’s the 3M company retained our research team to develop polyurethane athletic surfacing, initially for horse tracks and stalls. This product came to be known worldwide as the TARTAN® brand athletic surface.

Today, Athletic Polymer Systems, Inc. (APS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of MCP Industries, Inc. manufacturing and contracting the installation of the TARTAN® athletic surface nationwide. The product, however, has been much improved over the original formula. Under the direction of our president, Dr. Thomas Garrett, our team of Ph.D. chemists has perfected the state of the art polyurethane athletic surface. Dr. Garrett and his staff, in an effort to follow the lead of the EPA, were able to remove all Mercury from the formula and retain the resilience that made TARTAN® famous while at the same time increasing the physical strength of the product. We have the only patented polyurethane athletic surface in use today.
APS brings to your project:
While we may be new to you, we are not new to this industry. From our labs and polyurethane production facility in Pittsburg, Kansas have come some of the most famous names in poured-in-place athletic surfacing which, in addition to our own TARTAN® and APS (Athletic Polymer Systems®), include Proturf, Resinguard, Powerlock, and Versaturf.
In our 40 + year history, we have installed over 25 million pounds of athletic surfacing nationwide. We have constructed some of the most recognized facilities in the United States, including the University of Oregon, Mt. Sac. College, Dartmouth College, North Carolina State University, the University of Virginia, etc. Our installers have built hundreds of projects.
Our installation team is joined by groups of track and field consultants and construction industry professionals to offer an unparalleled service worthy of the TARTAN® name. We are not a “one man show“. Our consultants are real track coaches and athletes. Our project managers have really managed multi-million dollar organizations and projects.
We are not an "I've got polyurethane too" contracting company. We are the originals. We are not generalists. We are polyurethane specialists. It is our passion. From the early planning stages through to completion of the project, APS is the only organization in polyurethane athletic surfacing at this level of research, history and experience.