Since its introduction in the early 1960s, artificial turf has developed by leaps and bounds, and one of the main breakthroughs that has made synthetic lawns feel more comfortable and imitate grass is the use of infill.
Infill is a hugely important part of artificial turf, as it keeps the blades upright and increases the thickness of the turf, making it more comfortable to step on.
It also weighs the surface down, stopping your turf from being pushed or moved around by the elements, and can also help to keep blades from being pulled out.
Choosing your infill is a huge decision, and there is no single right answer as to which type of infill is right for you. Artificial grass is used for a range of purposes and each infill is geared towards one of these options.
In some cases, one type of infill will be used as a base layer, with a second on top to take advantage of its benefits.
Types of Infill Brands
There are dozens of different infill brands and products on the market, but they can be divided into three main types.
Rubber infill is the most popular and common infill used for artificial turf near Milton Keynes, and its development helped to transform the use of turf in sports.
A rubber infill is essentially small pieces of rubber that fall between the blades and help keep them upright as well as give your turf a springy feel that is closer to natural grass.
There are two main types of rubber infill, with rubber crumb being far cheaper and more popular than EPDM rubber.
Rubber crumb is made from recycled tires, which gives it a black, soil-like appearance, whilst EPDM rubber can be in several colors (but tends to be green to camouflage into your lawn).
Both types are highly popular both as a base and as a top layer because they are durable, long-lasting, and feel more natural underfoot.
Because they are made from rubber they are also the best choice for 3G pitches, because they provide a shock-absorbing layer that protects athletes from injury.
Still used in some second-generation hockey pitches today, sand is widely available, very safe to use, and often stays cooler in direct sunlight compared to rubber crumbs.
Because of this, sand is often used as a base layer, with other layers being used on top of it, typically rubber crumb or zeolite.
Several manufacturers have made specialized infill made from sand. These include DuraFill/EnviroFill which removes some of the sharp edges from sand, chill fill which slows down heat absorption even further, and putting green infill.
Zeolites are a relatively rare infill made from porous rocks, that are primarily used to reduce the smell of pet waste, as well as reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed by your grass surface.
It is generally too light to be used as a base layer, so it is often used with rubber or more often sand infills to take advantage of its unique properties.