Smithers Expands Testing for Rubber Infill Material Commonly Used in Artificial Turf Sports Fields

Smithers Expands Testing for Rubber Infill Material Commonly Used in Artificial Turf Sports Fields

Published: 5/22/2018

Smithers' rubber chemistry lab is now fully equipped to conduct testing of rubber turf infill materials to ASTM F3188.

This new service will support clients in measuring the presence of heavy metals in products made by rubber recyclers, infill processors, and artificial turf manufacturers, compared to the maximum allowable limit.

Rubber infill, which consists of recycled rubber granules, provides shock absorption for artificial turf services in a variety of applications, including soccer, football, and other sports fields, putting greens, playgrounds, and landscaping.

“Rubber infill is often made using recycled car and truck tires. With our decades of expertise in tire and rubber testing, Smithers has a deep understanding of how to analyze infill samples,” said Dr. Jim Popio, Vice President, Smithers.

According to ASTM F3188, “This specification covers all extractable hazardous metals (man-made or natural) that are intended for use as infill materials for synthetic turf sports surfaces. It specifies the amount of certain metals that have the potential to be extracted from synthetic turf infill materials if ingested. The time, temperature, and pH of the extraction fluid approximate the conditions the infill material would experience in the stomach during the digestive process. The levels of extractable metals are compared to maximum levels allowed in children’s toys.”

“The use of recycled rubber infill is becoming increasingly common, so it’s more important than ever to invest in this crucial testing,” said Dr. Popio. “Smithers has a trusted reputation in material chemistry, especially rubber chemistry, so our labs are a prime choice for assisting with compliance.”

Smithers’ materials characterization laboratory is equipped with a Microwave Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (MP-AES) that offers sensitivity and range superior to that of traditional AA and approaching ICP-OES.

Learn more about rubber infill testing or ASTM F3188.