South Carolina Patent of the Month – May 2023

Synthetic turf is typically formed from multiple layers of nonporous materials and infill materials. These designs typically need large drainage holes to ensure rain can flow through. If these become clogged with infill, the synthetic turf might fill with water. Sprinturf, LLC, the first fully integrated polyethylene turf company in North America, has patented their specialized turf design.

Their non-perforated synthetic turf design has a porous backing that features vertical grass blades tufted into a non-perforated, porous, vertically-draining backing. The innovative solution eliminates the need for large drainage holes in the backing that can become clogged over time, reducing the drainage rate of the turf system. 

The key to SPRINTURF’s non-perforated drainage system is a specially formulated air-injected coating material. This high-viscosity compound is applied to the bottom of the backing and the portion of the upstanding pile elements extending through it. When cured, the air bubbles in the coating create small passages that permit free flow drainage. In some cases, the air bubbles converge on the upstanding pile elements, creating passageways concentric with the tufting holes for the pile elements that allow for drainage. 

The use of this innovative air-injected coating material also alters the manufacturing process of the synthetic turf system. Before the coating is applied, it is injected with air, creating the passages in the compound. The coating is then quickly cured so that the passages remain in the coating. 

This synthetic turf system provides exceptional drainage capacity, eliminating the need for perforated holes that can become clogged. The flow of liquids through the turf exceeds 80 inches per hour, ensuring consistent drainage rate throughout the life of the turf system. The artificial turf is also designed with a layer of infill particles resting on the second side between the upstanding synthetic grass blades. 

This new solution eliminates the problem of clogged perforated holes in the backing, ensuring consistent drainage rate throughout the life of the turf system. Founded in the 1990’s and acquired by Integrated Turf Solutions (ITS) in 2010, SPRINTURF is the only company in North America that extrudes 100% of its fibers in-house and in the USA.

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