Technology

Durability

Durability is critical on a turf field. You’ve got to know that your investment is protected for the long haul.

Ensuring field longevity in the face of the inherent obstacles is paramount. Artificial turf fields sit under the sun, exposed to the elements for years. They get beat up by players and equipment. And often they are subjected to practice in the same spots day after day, year after year.

AstroTurf is devoted to giving our customers the biggest bang for their buck, while preserving the non-abrasive playability that athletes love. We all know that the all-nylon, short pile AstroTurf of yore could last 20 years, but no one wants to fall on it. The trick is to balance durability with comfort!

Walk through the various innovations and services we provide to lengthen the lifecycle of your field.

The Problem:

Infill moves/migrates with play

Infill moves/migrates with play.

Infill is used in third generation turf systems to hold up fibers and reduce impact between the player and the surface. The trouble is that infill moves. It gets kicked out and migrates from the highest used areas to the least used areas of the field. That leaves an uneven playing surface, and the areas that get thin (i.e., the areas that have lost infill) are more susceptible to damage from UV and cleats.

The Goal:

You need a field with infill levels that are as consistent as possible.

Infill migration can prematurely age fields and can lead to early replacement

Infill migration can prematurely age fields and can lead to early replacement.

The Industry’s Solution:

Other turf companies rely exclusively on maintenance to address this issue, if they even acknowledge it.

 

 

AstroTurf’s Solution:

RootZone — an innovation to stabilize the rubber infilled systems.

There’s no doubt that maintenance is crucial to keeping infill levels even. However, using a RootZone helps reduce the amount of maintenance needed and keeps the infill more uniform between groomings. The RootZone’s crimped fibers hold infill in place and support taller pile fibers. When fibers remain upright, the tips of the fibers are exposed to UV light and cleats, thereby subjecting less of the fiber’s surface area to the sun’s harmful rays and wear and tear. The result is a longer-lasting field.

 

The Problem:

Players love polyethylene (PE) fibers. They’re soft to fall and slide on. The only problem is that they are lazy. That is, their chemistry (specifically their Glass Transition Temperature) dictates that their molecules become more fluid at ambient temperatures, so the fibers tend to lay over unless they are propped up by other materials.

The Goal:

We want to keep the fibers upright so that UV exposure and cleat interaction is concentrated on the tips of the fibers, so less surface area is susceptible to damage. The longer the tall pile fibers stand upright, the longer the life of the field.

The Industry’s Solution:

For years, fiber and turf manufacturers have used various shapes to help monofilament fibers stand upright. These have worked to varying degrees of success.

AstroTurf’s Solution:

The High Micron Fiber is our thickest and most durable monofilament to date.

We’ve shifted our focus from shape alone to size and shape. AstroTurf uses a heavy duty, high micron (HM) monofilament in a hemispherical shape. While the hemispherical shape has fewer breaking points, it’s the thickness of the fiber that really makes the difference. It is twice as thick as most fibers on the market, and this thickness helps it resist bending and breaking.

The Problem:

looseinlay

Loose inlay at the seam.

Joints (i.e., seams and inlays) are the weakest points for synthetic turf. When you have to join two pieces of turf together, the bond can break, causing loose seams and field markings. That can not only be unsightly, but can pose tripping hazards as well.

The Goal:

Ten years after installation, we’d like your field to look and perform as much like it did at installation as possible. The happier our customers are, the happier we are and the fewer callbacks we get.

The Industry’s Solution:

Some turf companies sew seams, some glue. Both of these technologies are fine, but they have both have their drawbacks and they been done since the beginning of turf.

AstroTurf’s Solution:

AstroFusion Seaming — no glue needed

Pre-metered adhesive and automated cart help eliminate the variables on site, for long lasting, virtually invisible seams!

Seaming — While AstroTurf sews our entry level turf seams, we have pioneered a revolutionary seaming method for our premium systems. Known as AstroFusion, this seaming method involves a hot-melt adhesive system using spun-bond polyester. The adhesive is contained on a pre-metered roll. By applying heat from a self-propelled cart, the heat transfers evenly into the adhesive and activates it, providing a more consistent, durable seam. The automation and uniformity of the AstroFusion process create seams that are virtually invisible.

PreFabricated Inlaying — AstroTurf is the only company that provides prefabricated inlaying for football lines. With PreFab, we have trained installers inlay your field upside down from the back of the turf (for more precision) using a jig system installed in the floor of our climate-controlled inlaying facility. Your field is delivered with about 90% of the hundreds of required inlays already assembled. This dramatically reduces callbacks, speeds up installation time, and allows our onsite installers to pay even closer attention to the finishing touches. We feel so strongly about PreFab that it is one of the requirements of our 3D Decade systems that come with ten year warranties!

The Problem:

Without question the biggest enemy of artificial turf is ultraviolet light. Without properly protecting the turf, the sun’s rays can beat down on the surface and break down the fibers, leaving you with a pile of unplayable infill.

The Goal:

We’ve got to protect the turf from the sun to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. We fully warranty all of our products against premature UV degradation for a minimum of 8 years, so it’s in our best interest and yours to ensure that our fields stand up against the sun’s rays.

The Industry’s Solution:

Like AstroTurf, the rest of the industry uses UV stabilizers in their fibers. That is a minimum requirement of any turf manufacturer!

AstroTurf’s Solution:

AstroTurf subjects every fiber to months of QUV testing to ensure it is optimally UV-stabilized.

AstroTurf subjects every fiber to months of QUV testing to ensure it is optimally UV-stabilized.

Testing & QC — AstroTurf has one of the world’s pre-eminent sports labs. In addition to extruding some of our own fibers, AstroTurf buys industry-best fibers from outside suppliers. Every fiber used, whether produced internally or bought from our vetted suppliers, is rigorously tested by exposure to high UV levels for months on our QUV machines.

RootZone — Another way that we minimize UV exposure to fibers in the field is through use of our RootZone technology. The crimped layer of fibers holds infill in place and holds taller pile fibers upright. When fibers are held upright, the tips of the fibers (not the sides) are exposed to UV light, thereby subjecting less of the fiber’s surface area to the sun’s harmful rays and lengthening your investment.

The Problem:

Wear and tear is the second biggest threat to your field. The very reason that people go for synthetic turf is to hold more athletic events! While all synthetic turf is more durable than natural grass, it is not invincible. Maintenance is key, as is product selection on the front end.

The Goal:

AstroTurf wants to ensure that your field ages in a consistent, even pattern, as slowly as possible. AstroTurf consultants are trained to guide you through the process of turf product selection, and will help inform you about the technologies and systems available that will help you balance your budget with system longevity.

The Industry’s Solution:

Some manufacturers act like one fiber or one system fits all. It usually happens to be their latest fiber or newest spin.

AstroTurf’s Solution:

Lisport Testing

Every fiber we sell is tested, proven, and trusted.

Overall Manufacturing Philosophy — AstroTurf, over the last 50 years, has seen that the longest-lasting systems are dense systems packed with fiber. It just makes sense – if we provide you twice as much fiber to start with, you’ll be in better shape down the road. (Keep in mind that fields never are replaced because the infill wears out – only because the fiber wears out!) This guides our “more fiber, less fill” approach to manufacturing. We give you more fiber on the front end.

RootZone Technology — Because the RootZone layer of crimped fibers holds the infill in place, wear on the field is more uniform. Plus, you don’t have to do the same level of aggressive maintenance to even up the infill. Those deep tine decompaction processes and heavy brushing can cause undue wear and tear to fibers.

Fiber Selection — Every fiber we sell is tested, proven, and trusted. Our High Micron Monofilament Fiber is a beast– about twice as thick as standard monos and can 150,000 cycles on a Lisport accelerated wear test. Our XP+ 10,000 denier slit film fiber is a heavy duty workhorse – it will easily exceeds 150,000 Lisport cycles. (For reference, the industry standard test is 30,000 Lisport cycles!)

Maintenance — As part of every closeout process, AstroTurf will train you how to maintain your field for optimal performance over time. Best maintenance practices can be found in our Owner’s Manual, and we offer customized, annual maintenance packages to help your field outlast the warranty. We have customer service specialists on call to answer your questions about maintenance.