What role does infill play in a system?
Infill provides ballast and stability in a turf system, keeping fibers standing tall and creating the support an athlete needs when they run across a field.
How does infill affect performance?
Infill affects ball roll, how fast an athlete can move across a field and how safely they can play on a field. It can have a big impact on performance of a field and in many cases a bigger impact than any other component of the system.
How many kinds of infill are there?
Though we highlight only 5 categories above, the number of infill types exceeds 15+. Most fall within each of the 4 categories and present different benefits and best use cases.
Does the kind of infill you use matter?
Yes! Each infill category has its strengths and weaknesses. Often an infill will work better in one area of the country than another. Weighing the factors unique to your own situation is essential in choosing the right option. USGreentech has 3 of the most innovative, highest performing products that fall within each alternative infill category above.
How much does infill cost?
For a full-size athletic field the cost will vary based on many many factors, described here. Once the field owner commits to putting in a pad, the increase to go to a progressive infill over crumb rubber can be as little as $50,000.
What is Envirofill?
Envirofill is an acrylic-coated round sand infused with Microban® antimicrobial technology for protection against bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains and odors. Envirofill has both sports and landscape applications, used in soccer, football and baseball fields, putting greens, backyards, playgrounds and more. With many benefits such as superior durability, multiple lifecycle uses (reusable) and non-compaction, Envirofill is a safer, more sustainable synthetic turf infill option that boasts maximum playability and performance. It's also an extremely low maintenance product, with no need for irrigation and limited need for top off.
How durable is the coating?
The coating on Envirofill is extremely durable. It was designed to withstand the harshest elements. We are so confident in the coating that we have provided a 16-year warranty on the product’s color and coating – the longest warranty of an artificial turf infill. Envirofill has been in production since 2005 and has proven to have a very stable coating. The simplest test to prove its stability is to place the product in a jar of water and shake it. The water will stay clear. We put Envirofill through a number of accelerated wear tests which expose the product to UV rays through warm, cold, and wet cycles over 3,000 hours. The coating has proven to withstand these extreme temperature changes.
How does an Envirofill field compare to a standard sand/rubber field?
An Envirofill field will be more firm than a sand and rubber field. The shock absorption with an Envirofill field is provided by a shock pad. The shock pad provides a firmness to support athlete’s motion, foot stability, and ball-to-surface interaction. By providing shock attenuation via the shock pad, it will still keep athletes safe during play on the field. Envirofill fields are very consistent over their lives, due to two reasons: The infill is homogenous so there is no mixing over time and Envirofill settles into the turf very quickly at installation so there is no “break-in” period. Sand/rubber fields tend to change in performance over their life – they are typically soft at initial installation and then firm up toward the end of their life. Systems with Envirofill have been shown to have less than 10% change in Gmax scores.
Can Envirofill be reused for the second sports field lifecycle?
Envirofill has been proven to have a long life, with extreme durability against the harsh elements of a sports field. With a 16-year warranty on the coating and color, Envirofill can be reused after the first lifecycle and will continue to perform at an optimum level. A great example of the strength of Envirofill is Tatum High School, in Tatum, Texas. The football field at Tatum was one of the earliest Envirofill fields to be installed in 2005. The owner and the team appreciated the performance level of Envirofill so much, that when the field was up for replacement in 2013, they elected to reclaim the infill and reinstall it into the new surface.
Can Envirofill help cool the surface temperature of a synthetic turf system?
Simply put, yes. In a sports system, Envirofill is typically within ½” – ¾” of the tips of the fibers. In these systems, Envirofill aids in reflecting the sun’s energy. Envirofill ‘12/20 Tan’ has been proven to lower temperatures as much as 37 degrees when compared to a system with the same turf and rubber infill.
How much does Envirofill cost?
Envirofill is currently sold into two markets: landscape and sports. We sell to distributors who resell the 50lb bags into their respective markets. This helps reduce freight costs by shipping full truckloads to key areas of the country where the product is then sold by the pallet and by the bag. Each distributor sets their own pricing. We can put you in touch with the distributor that is closest to you or your project. On the sports side, Envirofill is shipped to the project site in 3,000lb bags known as super sacks. The amount of infill required varies by project. Read our blog on this topic for a bit more detail.
What is Safeshell?
Safeshell is made from a proprietary blend of English and Black walnut shells. Falling into the organic category of infills, it is a 100% natural product, grown in the United States.
What are the benefits?
Safeshell is extremely durable. It experiences minimal degradation over its lifetime. Unique to the infill category, Safeshell does not require irrigation and does not float, meaning migration of the product is very limited. Actually, tests have shown that Safeshell performs the same wet or dry. Safeshell does allow for some evaporative cooling and can reduce surface temperatures by up to 38 degrees when compared to a crumb rubber field.
What about allergies?
Safeshell is an allergen-free product. We teamed up with a leading biotechnology firm to develop a patent-pending process that virtually eliminates residual protein allergens which remain on the shell after processing.* *Safeshell is regularly subjected to third-party analysis by an ISO-certified food testing laboratory to ensure that the product is allergen-free and absent of even the most trace amount (< 2.5 ppm) of walnut protein. A stringent < 2.5 ppm specification provides the basis for allergen-free claims, which is exacting when compared to the more liberal < 20 ppm limit set by the FDA for gluten-free claims."
How does this compare to other organics in terms of player performance?
Because Safeshell is highly durable, low maintenance and performs the same wet or dry, it boasts many advantages over other organic infills in terms of performance. Many organics without very specific management and care can break down and create a less than optimal field, especially with age. Safeshell has been developed to address many of these performance concerns.
What is Powerfill?
Powerfill is a patent-pending, flexible-plastic TPE infill made specifically for synthetic turf. It is created in the U.S. (Mississippi) using 60% bio-based products including oils derived from corn and soy grown in the U.S.
What are the benefits?
Powerfill is made from rapidly renewable products like natural corn and soy oils. It’s free from off-gassing, phthalates, heavy metals and harmful chemicals. Everything that goes into Powerfill is made and sourced in the U.S. Powerfill is thermally stable, meaning that it is a reliable option even on the hottest days. It has an extremely high melting point no clumping up to 200 degrees. The same chemistry that makes this possible also makes it especially durable. Powerfill encapsulates 30% air making it soft, cushioned and non-abrasive.
Can Powerfill be reused?
Powerfill is made from a very durable polymer that is meant to last 75+ years. While Powerfill is warranted for 8 years, we expect that it could be used in more than one turf lifecycle because of it’s highly durable composition.
Can Powerfill be recycled?
Yes. Powerfill can be melted down and used in other PVC products at the end of life.
What about PVC? I've heard to stay away.
The type of PVC used in Powerfill is safe and is thoughtfully different from the type of PVC plastic that has raised concerns. The key difference is the plasticizer selected. The plasticizers are what gives the product its resiliency, otherwise it would be a rigid material. The plasticizer used in Powerfill is made with corn and soy oils which are phthalate free.
How much does it cost?
Like many of our other products, the amount of infill used by project can vary. Read our blog on this topic for a bit more detail.