Comparing the performance and value offered by Cork and SBR
I am often asked what the best synthetic turf football system is. Not an easy one to answer, as often this can be an emotional rather than rational answer. For example, feedback from a club who win all their matches on a particular surface will always be positive, whereas, the losing visitors may have a different perspective. We decided to look at the comparative differences in the same turf and pad, but with different types of infill, and try to make some rational conclusions.
Firstly, the turf selected is the CCGrass Pride UP system, which has recently been tested to FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro, on the RevoSport pad, with SBR infill and also with a cork infill. Pride UP is a new product from CCGrass, with a ridged diamond shaped yarn made from advanced C8 polymer. The indentations on the sides, provide channels which retain moisture for longer than other yarns, which helps improve overall sports performance.
The test results are very similar, showing that Pride UP performs almost the same with cork or SBR, with both infills well within the FIFA requirements. SBR is a lower price material, readily available and is the more commonly used performance infill. However, because it is a micro plastic, it has become increasingly necessary to find suitable alternatives. As we can see from the table, cork is definitely viable as a natural solution, although with a significant price increase of £1.5 or € 1,75 per m², this will ultimately add to the cost of your pitch.
The ability of Pride UP fibres to recover to a vertical position after pressure has been applied, by the player’s foot for example, is proven to be better than most other yarns. But when infilled with cork, this has a more positive impact on ball roll than with SBR. This is emphasised even more after simulated wear. In simple terms, this is a real benefit and reason to choose a cork infill.
Whilst test results indicate very close similarities, there are three significant areas where SBR still wins over cork:
- It is readily available in most markets, whereas cork needs to be imported.
- It is easier to infill a pitch with SBR than cork, and less top up is needed, during maintenance.
- It costs less to infill with SBR.
A key part of the Pride UP system is the chosen shock pad. The pad that the system has been tested on is from the RevoSport range of shock pads, from Vita Cellular Foams UK. This pad enhances the sports specific characteristics of the system, with excellent resilience, durability and impact absorption. RevoSport pads are manufactured from production waste PU foam, whilst it is also being fully recyclable at the end of its life.
We asked Jamie Bovill, Business Development Manager, for more information on the RevoSport shock pad,