Synthetic Turf for Landscape Applications

Landscape & Irrigation, May-June 2009 | Go to article overview

Synthetic Turf for Landscape Applications


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The use of synthetic turf is expanding- and not just in sports applications. As materials used to create synthetic turf improve, resulting in a much more realistic product, the use of synthetics in landscape applications continues to grow as well. Especially in regions that are faced with water use restrictions or all-out watering bans, many clients are turning to synthetics as a way of enjoying green turf in their landscape. To examine this evolving trend, Landscape and Irrigation recently spoke with Domenic Carapella, president and founder of Geo Safe Play, a New York-based provider of synthetic turf for sports and landscape applications.

LI: Tell us about your company and the product.

Carapella: In Europe, Limonta Sport [the parent company of Geo Safe Play] mandated its own policies to deal with any problems occurring with synthetic turf--especially with crumb rubber infill. Limonta created InfillPro Geo, an organic and blended infill product made of coconut fiber and cork. It has an extremely high tensile strength, and is UV- and heat-treated to kill any organisms on the material.

The turf itself is a lead-free yarn. Developed by TenCate yarns in Holland. It is primarily designed for sports applications. Our MAX S product is 60mm pile height, which is approximately 2-1/4 inches. For landscape applications, we cut that down to 40mm or approximately 1-3/4 inches in height.

LI: What are the benefits of organic infill?

Carapella: Synthetic tuff, if you just go with the tuff--without infill--is extremely hot. The organic infill reduces the ambient temperature and also prevents water runoff. The permeation rate is 20 inches of water per hour. Heat is drastically reduced, and, because it is organic, at the end of the 8- to 10-year life of the tuff, the organic infill can be recycled. You can dump it into planting beds to create a thermal blanket. Crumb rubber on the other hand would have to be disposed of properly because it is a biohazard.

LI: Are you marketing your synthetic turf directly to landscape contractors? …

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