ARTIFICIAL GRASS INFILL (Sports, Landscape and Pet Applications)
Because Hunny Do is on the Board of Directors to ASGi (Association of Synthetic Grass installers) we will not direct you to which type of infill to use. This website page is designed for informational purposes only.
WHAT IS INFILL?
Infill is a product in which is installed "ON TOP" of your artificial grass or synthetic turf surface. Many folk are assumed the infill is installed below the turf.
All infill serves multiple purposes.
- It replicates the feeling of soil in natural grass when walked on for added realism.
- It provides ballast for the turf system.
- Its density gives the long turf fibers something to lean against, helping to keep the grass blades standing tall.
- Helps hold the turf down from strong winds or theft.
- UV protection from sun to protect manufacturer's warranty.
- Distributes water to weeping holes.
OTHER PURPOSES INCLUDE
- Non-adhering of urine bacteria
- Fall rate - Rate at which a person could fall and not be fatally injured
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INFILL?
There are many types of infill including - silica sand, acrylic coated sand, zeofill, crumb rubber, sand + crumb rubber, and elastomerically coated (rubber coated) sands.
HOW MANY APPLICATIONS IS NEEDED?
One application is needed in most cases. Usually during the artificial grass installation process.
HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH TYPE I NEED FOR MY PROJECT?
Make your decision based on the applications listed below.
Silica Sand – Most Popular infill but causes cancer, birth defects (not for pets)
Silica sand is made of natural silica mined from gravel pits. Silica sand is rounded and very durable which can be used for landscape applications where low to high traffic applications apply. It is also used below rubber for sports field applications. Silica sand can be dusty so you may want to use a dustless type. Silica sand is inexpensive but it will absorb pet odors. Silica sand weights more than the other infill products and can be packages in 100 lbs bags. Always, read the label for any precautions before you install silica sand infill. During installation, dust can be potentially hazardous to your health. Masks are encouraged. Granules of the rounded silica sand migrate towards the base of the turf system, causing the sand to become more compact. The roundness of the silica sand prevents total compaction and allows flow of water to drain. The State of California Proposition 65 Warning against silica sand.
Note: Regular sand is sharp and angular which will shred the turf fibers voiding your turf manufacturer's warranty. After a rain storm, angular sand will compact and prevent your grass from draining. Do not use bulk sand from anywhere. It must be silica sand which is tumbled, dried and bagged.
Acrylic coated sand – Better known as Durafill.
Durafill is a safe kind of artificial grass infill because it's eco-friendly and non-toxic. Other benefits of using Durafill include the prevention of spores and bacteria growth resists animal urine and it doesn't contain any heavy metals or silica dust. Nothing external will be absorbed by Durafill. This infill also reduces the growth of micro-organisms. It's a sealed silicon dioxide and doesn't get extremely hot from the heat in the summer. Durafill is much more expensive than silica sand. You can get Green or Clear coated Durafill.
Note: Even though animal urine will not adhere to Durafill, urine bacterial will adhere to the underlayment (Decomposed Granite or Road Base) and ammonium gasses will rise through the turf causing pet urine odor to be prominent in the summer months.
ZeoFill – Best infill for pet odor control OR Best infill for playgrounds and sports fields due to cooling ability.
ZeoFill is the newest and greatest infill for families with pets, landscape, commercial and sports applications. It is slightly more expensive than silica sand. This is the safest kind of artificial grass infill because it's 100% natural, organic and environmentally safe with no additives. If inhaled or swallowed, it will only detox your body and remove any harmful heavy metals from your body. Zeofill is the only infill which has a negative charge which holds ammonium from becoming a gas, therefore urine bacterial gases will not be able to escape. It will recharge itself with nitrogen from rainwater. ZeoFill will not clog drainage holes in any turf because it is permeable, no matter how much water is applied, water will drain through due to its molecular honeycomb structure. It also holds 55% of its weight for longer periods of time meaning; during hot summer months, water your turf down before use and this infill will cool your turf much longer than other infills.
ZeoFill infill will help control urine odors from artificial grass which has been installed years prior making ZeoFill infill the most popular infill for pet owners.
Note: "Zeolite" is mined from several mines in the USA. ZeoFill is the purest in the world at 97.6% pure and has been approved by all major turf manufacturers in the USA. Other type zeolite products are less pure with potential harmful particles such as lead, chromium, silica, clay or even glass particles which can shred turf fibers. Make sure your artificial grass installer uses ZeoFill infill and not a cheap imitation. If the color of the zeolite is tan, then most likely it is ZeoFill.
Crumb rubber (not for pets) – popular use in sporting applications.
Crumb rubber is commonly used for synthetic turf fields. Provides a softer playing surface, absorbs the impact of falls required by all national leagues. It is produced by grinding scrap tires in which steel and fluff is removed leaving tire rubber with a granular consistency. With the aid of cryogenics, further reduced sizes are achieved leaving the size needed for sports applications.
According to the EPA, crumb rubber infill can be used as ground cover under playground equipment and possesses high impact ability to absorb the energy from falling children and objects. While some chemicals can be released from crumb rubber over time, they are in small concentrations and are reduced by absorption, degradation and dilution resulting in no significant impact on groundwater or surface water according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health.
Note: Surface temperatures on crumb-rubber infilled synthetic turf fields can reach levels of discomfort and may contribute to heat stress. Water can be applied to synthetic turf to reduce the surface temperatures on warm days. Not recommended for pets unless Zeofill is installed underneath the rubber.
Skin cuts and abrasions that may result from contact with athletic fields (natural and synthetic turf) are susceptible to infection. Based on the review of research studies and reports, certain chemicals have been identified in crumb rubber. These include small amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals such as zinc, iron, manganese and lead.
Although the potential for significant exposure to the chemicals in crumb rubber is very low, there are three possible ways for people to have contact with these chemicals on artificial turf fields:
- Accidentally ingesting small amounts of crumb rubber by putting fingers in the mouth or not washing hands before eating after playing on the fields
- Breathing in dust and vapors while playing on the fields. Crumb rubber may become dust as it wears and the rubber may give off some vapors.
- Direct skin contact with the crumb rubber.
What is the recommended amount of any infill on my grass?
Depending on the height and density or turf, you may need as much as 2 pounds of infill per square foot or more. Most residential lawns will need just enough infill installed at a depth just below the thatch fiber. With ZeoFill you only need 1 pound per square foot if its in an area where there are no pets. If you have dogs, you must have the recommended amount or your turf will smell.