How it works: construction and installation
A FieldTurf system
FieldTurf systems have been engineered to be radically different from any other synthetic system available on the market. While synthetic turf systems might look the same, there are stark contrasts between FieldTurf and the rest. There are three main components to a synthetic turf system – fibre, backing, and infill. Here are the basics of a turf system along with how FieldTurf does things differently.
Turf fibres are responsible for comfort and safety of the player, durability, a natural, grass-like look with soft and pleasing grass-like feel and resilience.
The ideal fibres should reduce skin friction, skin abrasion and offer superior durability, high resilience and temperature stability. Today, turf fibres are made from polyethylene and come in either slit-film or monofilament structures. FieldTurf’s in-house fibre extrusion ensures the highest quality fibres using only the latest developments in polymer technology.
The infill system is the single most important aspect of all synthetic turf fields. It is the basis for the safety of the turf system by providing the appropriate cushioning to absorb impact as well as being the foundation to a field’s performance level by offering traction for players to cut, plant and release just like they would on natural grass.
Whereby turf fibres are directly related to the aesthetics of the field, the infill – which is spread between the fibres – delivers what the athlete needs: A safe surface with proper performance attributes. The infill market is becoming more complex with new products being introduced at a rapid rate. With so many choices, it is important to understand the difference between the various systems.
Artificial turf backings are comprised of a primary backing and a secondary backing. Both the primary and secondary backings work together to provide dimensional stability to the entire system.
The primary backing is comprised of woven polypropylene fabrics that allow the artificial turf fibres to be tufted into material in rows and facilitate seaming between artificial turf panels.
The secondary backing is often referred to as the ‘latex coating’ and is applied to the reverse side of the primary backing in order to permanently lock the tufted fibres in place. Turf backings are either precision coated using the ‘Finger Unit’ method for the patented FieldTurf system or they are ‘Solid Coated’ and perforated.
Construction and installation
With over 10,000 fields built around the world, nobody has more experience than FieldTurf.
There are two key parts to converting a natural turf field into a synthetic turf field: building the base and the turf installation. Although the construction timetable for a synthetic turf facility will vary depending on the requirements, conditions of the site, the size of the surface being installed, the resources of the contractor and the weather, there are some project basics for installation.
1- Building the base:
The base not only serves as the platform for the artificial turf, it is also necessary for drainage. FieldTurf offers our clients assistance to evaluate the current field conditions and recommend design details. While every project is customized, here are the 4 key stages to building the perfect base along with the typical timeframes.
- Field Excavation to Subgrade (6 days)
- Install Perimeter Concrete Curb/Nailer (6 days)
- Install Geotextile and field Underdrain system (6 days)
- Install free draining base stone and finish stone (8 days)
Prior to laying the synthetic turf carpet, the base will be inspected for surface regularity.
2- Turf Installation:
- Off-load turf rolls and place them along perimeter (3 days):
- The rolls of synthetic turf will be delivered to the site by means of a container lorry.
- Before installation commences, the synthetic turf will be checked for pile height, colour and stitch ratio.
- Sewing of the turf panels (8 days):
- The rolls of synthetic turf are rolled out across the width of the pitch and are lined up with one roll overlapping the other by approximately 50mm.
- One side of the roll is trimmed with a sharp knife to ensure a straight seam and the other side of the next roll is cut using a steel straightedge allowing a clean joint to be left. The rolls are then folded back and 300mm wide seaming tape is laid.
- Two-part adhesive is mixed using an electric drill and paddle to ensure consistency of the material.
- The adhesive will be applied to the seaming tape with a specialist glue spreading machine set at the desired spread rate to ensure the complete width of the seaming tape is covered and no excess material overspills onto the base.
- This process is continued until the total area is covered and the pitch is all green.
*The description is about glued seam, not sewn. Ask one of our representatives for more details.
- Install field markings and decorative markings (8 days):
- If the field is to contain permanent lines, the respective areas will be sheared and the new coloured turf material will be glued using hot melt.
- The process begins by shearing (similar to shaving) the shape of the marking from the green field. Loose fibres are vacuumed out.
- The adhesive will be applied to the seaming tape with a special glue spreading machine set at the desired spread rate, to ensure the complete width of the tape is covered and no excess material overspills on to the turf.
- The new coloured lines will be carefully unfolded onto the seaming tape and weighted down with a scaffold board until the adhesive has cured.
- Installation of the infill (5 days):
- The sand and rubber infill is placed in layers over the pitch (between the turf fibres) using a mechanically-operated spreader controlling the desired fill rate.
- In between layers the pitch is mechanically brushed and groomed to avoid trapping any fibres.
- The brushing and filling continues until the recommended infill level is achieved.
- On completion of the infill operation the depth of the infill is checked with a depth gauge over a 10m grid of the entire pitch.
- Remove construction entrance/clean up/demobilize/test field (3 days)
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