So, what is artificial grass infill? It’s that black pellet stuff that ends up all over my kid’s bathroom floor after football practice, right?
Well, yes. That’s one type of artificial turf infill known in the turf industry as crumb rubber, which is made by grinding used tires. Crumb rubber infill is primarily seen installed in athletic turf fields. For residential applications, there is a nearly endless supply of different infill materials for lawns. The most predominantly used option in landscape applications is silica sand.
Ok, so if there are tons of different types of “infill,” what is it and why do you need it?
Artificial Grass Infill by definition is simply any product that is placed between the plastic fibers/blades of artificial grass. Traditional synthetic turf infills in the marketplace are sand, rubber, EDPM, and TPE. But infill materials can range from cork, to coconut, to walnut shells, to ground up tennis shoe soles. No infill option is exactly like the next, and each one has it’s pros and cons depending on the needs of your turf application.
Whatever the needs for your synthetic turf system, it’s important to understand what infill actually does and how important it is when purchasing turf.
For starters, infill helps keep turf fibers upright, giving the turf surface a full and luscious look. Without infill to help the fibers stand up, turf is more prone to blades breaking, fraying, and matting down. A similar example is a shag carpet with the fibers laying down flat. This can cause an unwanted shine across your artificial grass installation. In order to get those fibers to stand up, something needs to be at the base of those carpet pieces to hold up each strand of carpet to make them stand upright.
It also helps protect the backing of the turf, which is what the grass-looking fibers are woven into to keep them together. By having a physical barrier between foot traffic and the backing, the life expectancy of a turf surface can be greatly increased.
When it comes to footing in a turf system, artificial grass infill is a critical component. Think about how flexible a blade of turf is. Now, imagine standing on it. The blade will immediately bend under the weight, but you’re not standing on the hard plastic backing. That’s because you’re standing on the synthetic turf infill! Without artificial turf infill, toes, cleat spikes and paws would be digging into turf backing to gain traction in order to move. Artificial turf infill pound for pound is also the largest component of a turf system, further driving home its importance in your system.
Artificial turf, once installed, has potential to move and shift based on a variety of factors. This can cause it to bulge and wrinkle, which doesn’t look natural and can be a potential tripping hazard. Infill acts as a ballast to help keep the turf weighted into place to avoid wrinkling and lifting.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of artificial grass infill options. And each one has its own unique qualities and characteristics. Take USGreentech’s products for example: Envirofill, with its antimicrobial infused acrylic coating, is great for keeping surfaces clean and helping reduce pet odor. If having an organic product is important to you, Safeshell is an effective natural infill option with evaporative cooling as an added benefit. Evaporative cooling helps keep the surface temperature of the turf lower than the average crumb rubber field. Both of these products are low maintenance, durable and have well vetted thorough testing.
Have more questions about what to look for in an artificial grass infill? We’re here to help!
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