Novel Synthetic Turf Infill Materials
Richard E. Harper, Georgia Institute of Technology
This study involved several soft composites that are ubiquitous in modern society with seemingly unrelated functions. Synthetic athletic turfs were originally designed to provide safer, durable outdoor playing fields, while indoor carpeting had a more aesthetic appeal with safety standards aimed more towards flammability.
Furthermore, automotive rubber was designed for long impact duration on the road rather than the field.
Nonetheless, a combination of demand for better performance in synthetic athletic fields and an environmental philosophy of reduce-reuse-recycle did successfully integrate two
products – synthetic turf and automotive rubber – to make a safer, cleaner product that caused a renaissance within sports while reducing the landfill loads.
The goal of this research was to repeat that success of integration by blending synthetic turf with recycled material from carpet waste. A comparison of each product’s history, composition and properties highlighted their unique roles yet helped lead to the study of an improved product.