This University of Tennessee field has the new trademarked Horseshoe Fiber from AstroTurf USA.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ASTROTURF USA.

The integration of synthetic turf systems into the sports field mix at facilities continues at what appears to be an increasing rate. That trend is due, in part, to the recognition of how these fields can benefit the facility’s overall sports program. The ability to make the best match and sustain the advantages of the investment have been, and continue to be, possible because of the advancements made by industry suppliers of the turf systems, infill, maintenance equipment and related products, in conjunction with the cooperation of turf researchers and sports field managers.

Synthetic turf systems

AstroTurf USA (www.astroturfusa.com) introduced the trademarked Horseshoe Fiber, according to Marketing Manager Brittany Jackson. She says, “The Horseshoe geometry – an Omega or ‘C’ shape with a dual-column design – imparts unrivaled mechanical memory to the fiber. The fiber remains upright longer. Unlike other shaped monofilaments on the market, which quickly flatten, split or shred at the spine or etch points, the Horseshoe fiber continues to spring back to its original configurations even after years of heavy foot traffic or exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It’s thicker and stronger, not just at the spine, which increases field durability. Footing is uniform and predictable; cleats penetrate and ‘release’ properly for good biomechanical function; low slide resistance eliminates turf burns; and ball roll performance is similar to natural grass.”

According to Darren Gill, vice president of global marketing for FieldTurf, A Tarkett Sports Company (www.fieldturf.com), Field Turf Revolution, introduced in January of 2011, sets the bar when it comes to safety, durability and reliability. He says, “Its innovative fiber technology features concave ridged fibers that mimic real grass blades to provide a natural feel to any playing surface. With its patented sand and rubber infill mix, FieldTurf fields have proven to last the longest and ultimately provide the best long-term value. Independent wear testing at Penn State University confirms the durability of FieldTurf Revolution. Put through rigorous cycle tests, Revolution fibers withstood any splitting and demonstrated its value as the industry’s premier turf.”

ProGrass Synthetic Turf Systems’ (www.prograssturf.com) ProGrass Blend now offers a combination of new Bonar MN Ultra diamond spined 300-micron monofilament and the Bonar FB Ultra parallel slit film. According to Todd S. DeWolfe, vice president of regional sales, both products have passed the Labosport 50,000 Lisport studded roll test with no signs of splitting, tearing or tuft loss. The monofilament stands erect, and the parallel slit curls and traps the infill, increasing playability and lowering maintenance. It delivers the durability of a parallel slit film product with the look and feel of a monofilament.

Testing

Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research recently announced it is offering a few lucky facilities the opportunity to have a sample of their new synthetic field tested for upright fiber wear resistance. Currently, only monofilament products will be tested. The data will be compiled in an online database accessible by the public. Email fibertesting@psu.edu for more details or go to http://ssrc.psu.edu/fibertest online.


USGreentech’s Envirofill is now teamed with Microban antimicrobial technology.
PHOTO COURTESY OF USGREENTECH.

Alternative infill

An enhanced encapsulation process creates CushionFall Sport (www.cushionfallsport.com), a vibrant green crumb rubber infill that helps maintain the Gmax (shock absorption) properties of the material while reducing the static cling of standard SBR crumb rubber. Aesthetically, the bright green enhances field aesthetics while helping to reflect the sun’s rays, reducing surface temperatures, and extending the useful life of the infill.

In April 2011, USGreentech (www.usgreentech.com) announced that Envirofill, its infill product for synthetic turf fields, has teamed up with Microban International. Retaining its strong, rounded quartz core, Envirofill’s acrylic coating is now infused with Microban antimicrobial technology during the manufacturing process. The Microban disrupts the life cycle of microorganisms that come in contact with it, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration.


Eco TempLine introduced modifications for their Mantis Hydro Extractor that enable it to flush out and extract compacted dirt from synthetic turf baseball fields.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ECO TEMPLINE.

Equipment for synthetic fields

Product Manager Jeff Fisher announces the Eco TempLine (www.eco-templine.com) Mantis Hydro Extractor, originally designed to remove the company’s TempLine turf marking paint, also removes dirt contamination from the turf fibers on synthetic baseball fields. Fisher says, “Used regularly during routine maintenance, the Mantis, as originally equipped, removes both paint and dirt with the ease of a riding mower. For situations where dirt buildup is greater, we’ve introduced modifications that team a more aggressive nozzle (with stronger jets and a narrower jet pattern) with an increased water flow rate. These modifications enable it to flush out compacted dirt, and saturate the field to facilitate dirt and paint extraction, without removing a significant amount of infill rubber. Changing the nozzles and adjusting the water flow rate can be done on the field in 15 minutes or less. This more aggressive setup also can alleviate compaction problems anywhere on a synthetic field.”

Go Groomer Go (www.gogroomergo.com) was designed specifically for synthetic turf fields, according to Michael Lynch. He says, “It’s not overly aggressive on the turf and operates with no oily motors or mechanical parts. Available in multiple widths, each unit has four rows of straight-line brushes that can be used with or without the Spring Tine attachment. There are multiple height settings for both the brushes and the Spring Tines. The Spring Tines can be placed towards the front or rear of the groomer, depending on the type of turf. The multiple brush heights, along with our unique reversible hitch, help to avoid brush memory.”


The new Inline Safety Magnet is shown here attached to the front of the Go Groomer Go.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GO GROOMER GO.

Kromer (www.kromerco.com) company President Ronn Ponath reports additional options for the Kromer Field Commander. Synthetic field grooming tools, including the Agitator/Leveler, Magnetic and Double Brooms, now come in 72, 108 and 144-inch sizes, the larger two with foldable arms. Ponath says, “These tools can be customized from less to more aggressive. Dual-purpose, synthetic/natural turf grooming brushes now are available in a single and double broom setup, in 60, 74 and 99-inch sizes. All of these operate with variable hydraulic down pressure, as well as in a float position, to adapt to varying conditions. No tools are needed to switch attachments with our ‘Quick Change’ system. It can be equipped with a 65 or 104-gallon solution tank. Spray boom options include 43, 63, 103 and 163-inch sizes, with the larger two foldable. New options and accessories can be added at any time.”


This dual-purpose double brush groomer is just one of the multiple new options for the Kromer Field Commander.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KROMER.

Paul Hollis, executive vice president, says Redexim North America (www.redexim.com) has introduced a machine called the Eliminator, which is used to remove and recycle infill materials from worn-out synthetic turf fields. Hollis says, “It can cut the cost of disposal of a worn synthetic turf field, and some of the materials could be sold, recycled or possibly reused to help cut the cost of a new installation. Since the Eliminator separates the infill materials from the turf without damaging it, the machine also can be used in preparation for repair of seams or other problem areas on the field.”


The Eliminator from Redexim North America removes infill materials from synthetic turf fields.
PHOTO COURTESY OF REDEXIM NORTH AMERICA.

The new SISIS Towed Frame was introduced in the U.S. at the end of April 2011 by SISIS/C.S. Trading LLC (www.csturfproducts.com). Fitted with the combination of the SISIS Flexicomb and the SISIS 6-foot-wide straight finishing brush, the unit is recommended for both sand infill and 3G/4G (crumb rubber infill) synthetic fields and natural turf. Co-owner Ian Camp says, “The grounds crew can adjust the Flexicomb to suit the surface by simply turning the screw adjusters. Several other attachments can be fitted to the SISIS Towed Frame, making it a flexible multipurpose unit. The Towed Frame comes standard with a manual lift, but an electric lift is an option.”


The new SISIS Towed Frame is shown equipped with the SISIS Flexicomb and the SISIS 6-foot-wide, straight line finishing brush.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SISIS.

In March 2011, The Toro Company (www.toro.com) introduced the Synthetic Turf Groomer for use on the Sand Pro 3040/5040 to groom and redistribute infill material on synthetic fields. According to Chris Hannan, marketing manager for Toro’s commercial business, the 6-foot working width provides top productivity and maneuverability. Adjustable down pressure from the Sand Pro’s onboard hydraulics helps evenly distribute infill. Additional features include the quick-adjust pitch to change the grooming aggressiveness, and a unique brush design for increased distribution of material.


Toro introduced this Synthetic Turf Groomer for use with its Sand Pro 3040/5040.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TORO COMPANY.

According to General Manager Will Wolverton, Wiedenmann North America, LLC (www.wiedenmannusa.com) offers optional rake fingers located in the front of their Terra Brush groomer because company research has shown that location evenly distributes the crumb rubber of synthetic fields after the loosening process. He says, “This year, Wiedenmann introduced the new, lighter weight Terra Groom. The design combines zigzag brushes with a straight row of brushes in the rear and a straight row of stiffer bristle brushes at the front. Wiedenmann design engineers discovered that using stiffer bristle brushes on the front straight row produces results similar to those of a rake finger attachment, without the additional cost of the rake fingers and without the risk of catching a seam. The resulting distribution and decompaction of the infill is equal to or better than the results created when using rake fingers.”


Wiedenmann’s new, lighter weight Terra Groom features a front straight row of stiffer bristles.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIEDENMANN NORTH AMERICA.

Adhesives

Year-round installation and repair of synthetic turf has created the need for an adhesive that can be used regardless of the outdoor temperature or humidity. “NORDOT Adhesive #34P-4 from Synthetic Surfaces, Inc. (www.nordot.com) can be applied to a dry surface at any outdoor temperature and humidity level in which a turf mechanic can work, even during cold weather, when air temperatures drop down below zero degrees Fahrenheit,” says company President Norris Legue.


GreensGroomer WorldWide introduced the GreenZapr that disinfects synthetic turf surfaces with powerful germicidal UVC lights.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GREENSGROOMER WORLDWIDE.

Disinfection

The GreenZapr, which disinfects synthetic turf surfaces with powerful germicidal UVC lights, is new for 2011 according to Tom Moore, national sales manager for GreensGroomer WorldWide, Inc. (www.greensgroomer.com). Moore says, “Harmful microorganisms, such as MRSA, HIV and influenza, are eradicated through DNA destruction, eliminating the potential for ‘super bugs.’ Reliable onboard power, via generator or optional rechargeable gel cell batteries, provides this efficient, cost-effective and safe sanitation method that kills all microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, algae, fungus and germs, eliminating the need for chemical controls.”

The author is a contributing editor for SportsField Management.