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Close up of artificial turf used for sports.

Synthetic Turf and the New Level of Performance

Posted 01/10/2018 by Rich Vetterl, Technical Manager, Polymers

While there are benefits to playing sports on real grass, indoor football stadiums throughout the United States today opt for artificial turf as the playing surface of choice for gridiron football matches. It also is growing in popularity at professional outdoor stadiums as venues increasingly understand how the artificial turf benefits far outweigh their real grass counterpart.


Some of the benefits of artificial turf include its durability, the little amount of maintenance that is required, and the fact that it saves on water consumption. There is an obvious drawback, however, which is that artificial turf can become unpleasantly hot during the summer, with heat-absorbing properties that can increase temperatures by as much as 25 degrees Farenheit on an already warm day.


That’s where polymers come into play.


Impacting the Experience


In addition to ensuring the artificial surface is durable for game day wear and tear, polymers are what actually makes the turf able to withstand the harsh conditions presented by Mother Nature.


Having had the opportunity to work alongside Southwest Greens, a subsidiary of Shaw Industries, together we brought synthetic turf to a new level of performance with a patented solution, called HydroChill™ evaporative cooling system. The system utilizes our patented, aqueous, superabsorbent polymer to combat heat on artificial turf by capturing moisture and slowly releasing it as it is heated by the sun, leaving the turf cooler and more comfortable.


Furthermore, products, such as H.B. Fuller’s TEC 149, also are used to adhere the turf seams together. Without the strong bond that this two-part urethane provides, turf seams can become a tripping hazard for players.


Polymers are improving not only the surface, but also the experience.


Super Bowl LII


At H.B. Fuller, we are at our best when we are working with customers to provide breakthrough solutions, and our passion is in partnering with customers to turn bold new ideas into reality. So, the next time you find yourself at a football stadium, indoor or outdoor, ask yourself this one question: real or artificial?


We know we’ll be watching during the upcoming Super Bowl, not only because we take a keen interest in polymers, but also because we have the privilege of being a Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee  sponsor.


To learn more about our innovative polymer solutions, click here. To see how we’re making an impact during Super Bowl LII, click here.


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