A common question is “How durable is Envirofill?” We understand that over the last twenty years some products within the turf industry, whether it be turf, pad or infill, have not held up as advertised by the manufacturer. As a result, consumers are naturally skeptical especially of a claim that an infill is durable enough to last 16 years. That’s two full field life cycles of use and abuse which is exactly what Envirofill is designed to do since 2005.
Acrylic is generally known as a high-grade, clear plastic. Why was acrylic selected as the coating of Envirofill? In short, its extremely durable and resistant to the outdoor environment. Wet, dry, hot or cold… acrylic is very stable and dependable in a wide range of weather and temperature conditions. Its one of the reasons that acrylic sheets (such as Plexiglas®) are used as an alternative to glass. One of the highly recognized applications of acrylic is in commercial aquariums where its lauded for its clear view, high strength and for its ability to not affect the water or the sealife because its an inert material.
In addition to these applications, acrylic can also be found in a wide range of consumer products such as exterior paints, fiber fill for winter jackets, clear boxes, skylights, cell phone glass, roadway markings and submarine windows, showing that it performs well even under a lot of pressure.
There are several tests that can objectively convey the durability of the acrylic coating and Envirofill’s coating passes them all.
- Accelerated UV - this test places the infill into an accelerated weathering machine where it is subjected over thousands of hours to hot/cold and wet/dry cycles. The product is then removed and analyzed to see how it holds up.
- Rainbow Trout - this test places an increasing amount of Envirofill into a 5 liter tank of water with juvenile rainbow trout. The trout are then observed to determine if they are stressed by the leaching of any chemicals from the infill.
- Micro-Deval - in this test, a sieve analysis is conducted before placing Envirofill into a small rock tumbler with ball bearings. The unit is then rotated for 15 minutes, the Envirofill removed, analyzed and compared to original sieve analysis to determine if the product breaks down.
- Water test - a simple test submerges Envirofill in water for varying lengths of time (months and years) to see if the coating remains intact.
Another test of durability of Envirofill’s acrylic coating is analyzing the product after its been in a field, exposed to the elements, for an extended period of time. While labs attempt to simulate wear and UV exposure, studying how it works in the field is perhaps one of the best testament to its durability. One of the first Envirofill installations is at Tatum High School in Tatum, Texas. The school originally installed Envirofill in 2005 and replaced their field in 2013. As part of that replacement, the Envirofill was reclaimed and installed into the new turf. So The original Envirofill is now 5 years into its second turf field and the coating is holding up as good as advertised.
In summary, Envirofill was designed with an acrylic coating for the purpose of being extremely durable in a wide range of weather and sports applications. It has passed all of the durability lab tests and has shown that it performs well in the field in over 150 fields, some as old as 13 years. And while the coating’s warranty states 16 years, we believe Envirofill will perform well beyond that time frame making it the most durable synthetic turf infill available on the market today.