Since its inception in the late 1990s, the main reason for synthetic turf was to make it look like natural grass and provide a cushion that would improve safety and performance for the athletes. With crumb rubber and sand, the turf was more efficient in the creation of more playable surfaces for the athletes. In addition, it was much easier to level when turf was used. However, over the years, there has been a need to improve the synthetic turf due to one major issue, heat. The heat absorption on artificial turf can rise to 170 degrees. The heat absorbed below the turf has no escape, and this is the reason heat reflects back making the fields hot. There have been improvements regarding cooling solutions.
In the sporting field construction industry, the issue of cooling solutions for synthetic turf is what technology is looking to solve today. The main issue is to reduce surface temperature and not affect the performance of the players.
CoolPlay, which is field turf's latest innovation for infill manages to make this work by replacing some of the material that was originally used in the sporting field construction industry. As opposed to the use of crumb rubber or silica sand, these are replaced with exclusive cork material.
It may seem like a minor change; however, this manages to reduce the temperature by 35 degrees. Unless you are an athlete, it 's hard to note this change in temperatures. The new cooler infill is laboratory tested and proven to bring down the temperatures. First tested indoors, the same technology has proven to work in outdoor fields. The underlying factor is to take the type of turf used by top NFL teams and reduce the temperatures without affecting the players' performance.
Exclusive Cork material
There are manufacturers in the sporting field construction who now use cork as the main cushioning material and do away with rubber completely. Therefore, rubber seems to have been the primary material causing the build up in heat. The detriment to using cork material exclusively is the wear and tear duration. Cork is lightweight; as such, it washes away fast. The material needs to be moist all the time keeping the temperature down and needs to be supplemented every time temperatures rise.
However, cork material is clean as well as recyclable; this is a good step in environmental friendliness. Considering the engine use that was required previously in the sporting field construction. There was leveling of the field as well as mowing occasionally. Therefore, the cork synthetic turf is an excellent way of considering environmental sustainability until a better material that does not wear and tear so fast is manufactured.