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Beyond Crumb Rubber: A New Era in Turf Infill

The turf system was truly a revolutionary invention in the 1960s and changed the very nature of outdoor recreation in the United States. It gained popularity quickly, and the benefits were clear for athletic fields: this brave, new system required less time and resources to maintain compared to traditional grass and mimicked a neatly cut and expertly leveled natural field. Since the 1960s, turf systems have been gradually evolving as new technologies, and innovative solutions are released. Prior to the 1980s, turf systems contained no infill to support the turf fibers and athletes interacting on the system. During the 1980s, turf systems started to use a very basic sand infill which later progressed to a rubber sand mix, the most common infill still used today.

As with most innovative ideas, its concept has been improved upon by those who used it frequently. And while the first turf systems were cutting-edge for their time, the systems are still evolving. Industry experts are constantly enhancing turf systems as they learn more about the system’s lifetime performance and incorporate new, innovative products.

One of the areas that has been a fun and exciting area of innovation is the infill. Historically, turf systems are made with “crumb rubber” turf infill, which consists of shredded rubber, most often sourced from used tires. While inexpensive and readily available, it does have some inherent drawbacks including its temperature on hot days, tire smell which can be amplified by the heat, and fine dust as the tire particles break down.

What’s In Your Turf Matters® 

In fact, it matters a lot. Backed by over four decades of experience, we have pioneered crumb rubber alternatives for athletic fields, playgrounds, parks, and backyards. For customers wanting a different experience, we can offer options with built-in antimicrobials, consistent performance, reusability, low dust, and temperature reducing properties.

Why is America thinking beyond crumb rubber for sports and landscape turf systems?

#1 Our infill doesn’t smell!

Both our Envirofill and Safeshell turf infill options are made from safe and natural materials that don’t produce strong smells with rising temperatures. Turf fields made with crumb rubber are known for the pungent tire smell which increases along with the temperature.

#2 Our turf infill is cooler.

Don’t scorch your athletes, kiddos, or your puppy’s paws on a hot crumb rubber surface. With temperatures rising across the country, field owners are searching for ways to combat the heat. Some have gone as far as installing irrigation systems that water plastic grass while others are forced to limit the amount and duration of practices.

We’ve designed a much cooler solution than crumb rubber that absorbs less heat. It’s light color and naturally cooling materials help maintain a comfortable surface temperature, even on the hottest days.

#3 Natural and clean!

Organic and clean infill for your turf system is a game-changer.

A typical football field using crumb rubber turf infill contains an estimated 20,000 ground-up, used car tires from a wide range of domestic and foreign manufacturers, with varying chemistries. We believe the best infills are those that are manufactured specifically to be part of the synthetic turf system. This allows us to control the manufacturing from start to finish.

Our infills are manufactured for safety, cleanliness, and environmental stewardship for low-maintenance, long-lasting, clean turf systems!

Ready to experience the next infill?

A better turf experience is possible. Get in touch with an Infills team member today.

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