Now more than ever, cost is at the top of mind for everyone when making a large investment. This is especially true in local communities and athletic facilities where all eyes are on you, the decision maker. Every community wants the best for their athletes, but as their budgets shrink with our current economic climate, the best can be hard to find. When building or replacing a synthetic turf athletic field on a budget, performance is typically the first desired field attribute to go. At this point, field owners are usually thinking that a crumb rubber and sand system is their only cost-effective option. Today, we’re going to introduce you to an alternative artificial turf system that will keep your investment low without sacrificing on your desired performance and safety.
Play It Safe with the Market’s Most Value-Driven, Organic Infill System
If you are considering an alternative infill solution for your artificial turf field, and looking to save cost without sacrificing performance, then play it safe with the market's most value-driven, natural infill system. Safeshell Organic Infill over a Schmitz ProPlay - Sport20 Shock Pad allows you to keep your field cool while playing it safe and not breaking the bank. But don’t just take our word for it, let the performance data and case study’s speak for themselves.
Safeshell + ProPlay System Key Components
When we set out to create a value driven artificial turf field system, we kept performance, safety, heat and cost top of mind. That’s why, this system pairs up two products upcycled from waste streams to establish proven and desired performance characteristics while also keeping your maintenance low. The system is comprised of:
Dual Fiber Turf
By using a dual fiber turf carpet, with 2” turf fiber height, you can combine durability, aesthetics and performance.
Safeshell Natural Infill
Infill is the most noticeable component in any synthetic turf system. If you step onto 10 athletic fields with all different components and system makeups, the main difference you will notice is the infill feel underfoot and performance. Infill plays three very key roles in a synthetic turf system.
- Artificial turf infill is the main component of a synthetic turf system. It is the surface component that your athletes will be playing on most, meaning it has the largest impact on the systems performance, cooling capabilities, ball roll, player foot interaction, and lower-leg safety.
- Infill helps protect the backing of the turf system, which if exposed for prolonged periods of time due to infill migration and flyout can affect the integrity and performance of your turf carpet itself.
- Infill keeps the turf blades in the carpet standing up tall, like natural grass blades would. This not only helps to make your turf look more full and lush, but it also protects against blades breaking, fraying or matting down. Upright fibers also contribute to the safety and performance of the athlete and the ball.
The first benefit of artificial turf infill is the key benefit we focused on when building this value driven artificial turf system, and here’s why. Safeshell is a 100% natural artificial turf infill made and sourced from walnut shells grown in the United States. So you can rest assured that your athletes will be playing on an infill layer that is non-toxic and has traceable origins. By infilling a layer of Safeshell performance infill on top of a heavy sand ballast, it improves the field's athletic performance including lower leg safety and foot interaction while increasing the heat reduction benefits of the field by up to 50° degrees Fahrenheit.
Schmitz ProPlay- Sport20 Shock Pad
Shock pads are a critical safety component of a synthetic turf field system. Shock pads help to increase the comfort of an athletic field, extend the life of the field and most importantly, head safety. This is especially important in high contact sports such as football. Installing a Sport20 Shock Pad in this system, optimizes your shock pad budget, without compromising on performance or safety.
Safeshell + ProPlay System Cost Comparison
Safeshell with ProPlay as a total system investment costs 20% less when compared to other alternative infill systems. Keep the bulk density of your selected infill in mind as you are planning your artificial turf field budget. Comparing the price per pound, and the bulk density of the product will give you a better idea of how much infill you will need for your specific system and the infill’s lifetime maintenance cost. Safeshell on average is 3 times heavier than other organic infills on the market. The heavier the infill product, the higher bulk density it will have and therefore, lower maintenance and top off budgets are needed. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of bulk density.
Safeshell’s Proven Field Record
With over 4 years of in situ data, Safeshell stands out as a highly durable and consistent natural infill that is the lowest maintenance organic on the market.
Durable With Low Migration
Safeshell was installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2016 with the goal of extending the life of the current artificial turf field. The original lightweight organic infill had completely migrated from the field and was replenished twice before Safeshell was installed. With over 10,000 users weekly and at least 12 hours of play per day, Brooklyn Bridge Park needed a durable infill replacement that could withstand heavy use and harsh weather elements with the field’s unique location on a pier over the East River. After 4 years, Safeshell samples were extracted from the field and tested by a third party lab showing that there was a less than 1% product breakdown. There has been no additional Safeshell material required for top off by Brooklyn Bridge Park because Safeshell stays in place.
Maintenance and Bulk Density
As The Wheeler School was building their new athletic facility, they knew they needed a state of the art athletic field that could meet their athletes and community's performance and safety needs without the hefty maintenance that sometimes comes with an infill purchase. With a multipurpose field that has multiple ball sports like soccer, lacrosse and field hockey which is very popular in New England, they needed an natural infill proven to provide a consistent and low maintenance playing surface. See what the Director of Operations, Gary Esposito had to say about the field:
“In the first six months, Safeshell has lived up to our expectations as being low-maintenance, durable, and safe. All of the parents’ questions surrounding the topic of Safeshell and allergens were answered thoroughly by USGreentech. No issues have surfaced since the athletes have been playing on the field. The three words we would use to describe our experience with Safeshell in the first six months are: it’s natural, easy and dependable”
Safeshell is a heavy natural infill. It has a high bulk density, and lower maintenance requirements than most organics. It also has a low migration rate, meaning there should be limited top off required for the life of the field.
Keeping It Cool While Playing It Safe
The City of Hallandale Beach, FL, was searching for a natural infill that could cool their new synthetic turf field and withstand daily rain events. After careful consideration, Hallandale Beach chose Safeshell organic infill because it is naturally cooling and does not need water to cool but can provide additional cooling benefits when wet. We tested the temperature of this field on a 95° degree day and found the field to be 40° degrees cooler due to Safeshell’s evaporative cooling abilities. A field with Safeshell infill depending upon the current weather conditions can be up to 50° Degrees cooler, and the average Safeshell field is 30% cooler than the average crumb rubber field.
Organic infill average temperature comparison conducted in a lab by Firefly Sports Testing
Safeshell + ProPlay System Performance and Safety Data
To keep things simple, we compiled data from various tests and systems to showcase how this system performs on key performance and safety metrics. If you need a refresher on the performance test goals, reference this blog before reviewing the results. Download our Safeshell + ProPlay Value Drive Testing Document to see show the system performs on the following test:
- 355A “Flat” GMAX
- Abrasion Index
- Temperature Reduction
- Ball Rebound
- Critical Fall Height
- Energy Restitution
- Force Reduction
- Rotational Resistance
- Vertical Deformation
Reach out to a USGreentech team member today with any questions you may have and we would be happy to talk through them. Looking for more Safeshell technical data or specifications for an upcoming project, register for our free partner portal and download them today.