What Are The Different Types of Synthetic Turf For Athletic Fields?
A synthetic turf field is a large investment for any organization, so you want to make sure that you are getting the best products for your field. While a synthetic turf field, in general, presents many benefits for its users, the specific system installed will have different performance characteristics and benefits, so it’s important to pick the right artificial turf system for your field’s needs.
Understanding artificial turf fields can be complicated in the beginning, so let’s take a step back and cover what is in a synthetic turf system. There are four main components, the base, an optional but highly recommended shock pad, the infill, and the turf carpet. In this blog, we will be focusing on the artificial turf carpet and the different types available, but you can learn more about each of the other system components through the links above.
Types of Artificial Turf for Sports Fields
There are multiple types of artificial turf options and the main difference is the fiber type. Artificial turf fiber type refers to the turf blades themselves. There are three main turf fiber options:
- Slit-film: Flat turf blades created by adding slits to a thin sheet of plastic.
- Monofilament fiber: Dimensional turf blades that stand upright.
- Dual Fiber: Slit-film and monofilament turf blades blended together.
The type of turf you pick depends upon many things, but mostly your sport and ideal field performance. The Motz Group has customized proprietary turf systems with all three turf fiber options.
Slit-Film for Multipurpose Synthetic Turf Athletic Fields
Twenty-Four/Seven is ideal for multi-use or all-purpose artificial turf sports fields. It is a slit-film fiber and is crosshatched for infill fly-out reduction. Slit-film is a true workhorse, prepared to sustain significant activity with great durability making it ideal for a multi-purpose field with sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey. The most common application we see use 24/7 are artificial turf football fields. For a field hockey/lacrosse application, a slit film fiber is preferred, assuming that the hockey athletes like a quicker ball speed. As the field gets broken in, slit-film fibers will crosshatch and create a C-cup shape. This condition makes for a quick surface and also has the benefit of encapsulating the infill, which reduces maintenance hours and costs associated with maintenance.
Monofilament Fibers for Synthetic Turf Soccer Fields
SportGrass, known for mimicking the appearance of natural grass, this monofilament fiber system is recommended and preferred for soccer specific synthetic turf fields or lighter-use facilities. A key reason monofilament turf fibers are preferred for soccer fields is the performance of the turf blades. Monofilament fibers tend to stand vertically longer, which in turn, translates to a slower ball roll and more natural ball to surface interaction. SportGrass systems perform similar to how the ball interacts on a natural, high-performance bluegrass or ryegrass field. A potential drawback to not having a cross-hatched fiber like the twenty-four seven option is that you may experience more infill flyout. While Monofilament fibers are preferred for soccer fields, they can also be used in synthetic turf football or lacrosse fields when a natural grass aesthetic is preferred.
Dual-Fiber for Lacrosse, Field Hockey and Multipurpose Athletic Fields
CrossFlex, similar to The Motz Group’s Twenty-Four/Seven Turf, is commonly used in multipurpose athletic fields with sports such as lacrosse, field hockey, football, and soccer. However, CrossFlex is a dual-fiber turf, meaning it is a mix of both slit-film and monofilament to provide a unique fiber blend and performance characteristics of both systems. Dual-fiber turf is built with a strong backing and tight fibers to create the perfect surface with long-lasting durability and optimal performance. So you might be asking yourself, when or why should I choose a CrossFlex field over Twenty-Four Seven? The answer is based on what sport played on your field you are prioritizing, if lacrosse and field hockey are most commonly played, CrossFlex will provide your synthetic turf athletic field the desired performance and aesthetic.
Artificial Turf for Baseball and Softball Fields
TriplePlay is a synthetic turf system designed specifically for artificial turf baseball and softball fields. You may have noticed baseball wasn’t mentioned under the three types of artificial turf fiber types, that’s because with our TriplePlay turf fields, we work with you to customize the field based on your performance needs. Tailored to hit a homerun, TriplePlay provides stability, speed, and exceptional playability built to reduce maintenance and rained-out games.
Synthetic turf fields are fairly customizable as you might have gathered, there is truly no one type of field that fits all sports, so the type of turf, infill, and pad needed for your field will be a combination unique to you. To learn more about what option is best for you, take our quick and free system recommender test that establishes an idea of what the ideal synthetic turf system is for you.