Are you planning to install a Sports Turf and can’t figure out what infill to use? There are so many options, right?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over everything there is to know about synthetic grass infill and its different types.
Organic Infill vs Rubber Infill For Sports Turf
To assist you in making an informed choice for your sports turf, we have done a comparative analysis of the two best-selling infill varieties in the market: Organic Infill and Rubber Infill.
Starting with Organic Infill, it is safe to say that this is one of the best infill options for sports turf owing to its highly-specialized composition that improves the resilience of your synthetic turf, providing it with the essential nutrients that are required to keep the artificial grass blades standing upright at all times.
When talking specifically about its constituents, most organic infill varieties are made out of a mixture of organic coconut materials and cork – each providing a variety of benefits.
In terms of adding durability and resilience to sports turf, cork plays a major role as it helps in the absorption of energy upon impact and regaining shape and structure upon release of pressure.
On the other hand, rubber infill or crumb rubber is a relatively more experienced competitor in the market. It is made out of scrap car and truck tires that are ground and recycled.
In terms of durability and resilience, crumb rubber is right up there with organic infill as it provides shock absorption, traction, and foot stability.
Rubber infill provides longevity to artificial grass by adding directional stability and structural integrity, both imperative for maintaining the health of your sports turf.
Organic infill provides support to the artificial grass fibers, maintaining their posture.
This adds to the shock-absorbing properties of the turf because the intact fibers act as a sort of cushioning whenever pressure is applied.
To be more precise, cork is the most important in helping artificial grass quickly regain its structural integrity in response to sudden impact.
When analyzing crumb rubber as an infill option, it is quite difficult to separate it from organic infill since both these alternatives are renowned for their shock-absorbing properties.
The fine rubber granules form a very strong meshwork on the turf surface that allows the grass fibers to recover instantly in response to sudden shocks and impact.
This makes rubber infill a great option for use in sports turf where there is an increased load of foot traffic and sudden impacts.
Safety and Injury Prevention
One of the most important considerations to make while choosing artificial grass infill is whether it improves safety and reduces the risk of injuries when the turf is being used as a sports outlet.
Before we compare our two infill options, it is essential to understand what we mean by the safety and injury prevention properties of a sports turf and how infill can add to it. The synthetic surface must be soft and shock-resistant so that injuries from falling can be minimized.
In this regard, organic infill has an edge over crumb rubber since it’s carefully prepared from a mix of organic coconut and cork that allows more infill material to be piled up while occupying less space.
This also stems from the fact that organic infill is much more granular as compared to crumb rubber. Hence, creating a softer surface that can absorb a greater degree of shock.
The athletic grade quality of a turf’s playing surface separates it from other synthetic grass applications. Therefore, it is essential for a sports turf to have intrinsic properties that ensure optimal playing conditions.
In terms of infill options for sports fields, organic infill has an upper hand over crumb rubber. The combination of organic coconut fibers and cork affords players the luxury to trust the turf surface and make use of biomechanics that allow them to stop or change direction without sliding.
In addition, organic infill adds to the natural bounce of the surface, keeping it consistent throughout the area of the turf. Due to its permeable nature, organic infill is more resistant to splashing out onto the surface when a ball or shoe lands on it.
Conversely, traditional crumb rubber infill is more prone to the build-up of static friction that can hamper the flow of a game.
Here are a few most commonly asked questions regarding different infill varieties and their applications.
What is the infill material used in artificial turf fields?
There is a wide variety of infill materials available to be used in artificial turf fields. For the longest of times, crumb rubber has been the go-to infill option used in artificial turf fields.
However, the growing popularity of turf fields for indoor sports has shifted the focus towards the use of infill alternatives that increase surface resilience, have better shock-absorbing properties, improve players’ safety and athletic performance.
One such option is organic infill made out of coconut fibers and cork as it encompasses all the aforementioned properties and features.
Why is crumb rubber used on artificial turf?
Crumb rubber is one of the oldest infill materials used in synthetic grass applications. It is made out of the rubber extracted from scrap truck tires, which is then ground into very fine granules to be spread evenly across the field surface.
This provides cushioning and traction to the artificial grass fibers. The popularity of crumb rubber stems from the fact that it’s less expensive than its counterparts, like organic infill.
Furthermore, the manufacturing process of rubber infill helps to recycle waste tires that would otherwise end up in landfill sites.
Why does artificial grass have rubber pellets?
Rubber pellets are one of the many infill options available in the market. Just like any other infill variety, rubber pellets perform three basic functions:
- They maintain an intact posture of the grass fibers, preventing them from matting down.
- They act as ballast to hold the entire structure together.
- They protect the turf’s backing from harmful UV rays.
Due to its granular composition, rubber pellets also help in shock absorption, making it a desirable choice among turf owners.