Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Jan. 22, 2023 — Sweet feet?

Over the last few months, we’ve been seeing stories and press releases leading towards the installation of what was expected to have been the first waterless artificial turf surface for field hockey.

The folks who manufacture Poligras have been making incremental progress using various combinations of fibers, and have seemingly settled on one being called Poligras Paris GT, which was announced last November. It is made out of a polyetheline fiber derived from sugar cane. What this does is make the turf recyclable, and reduces the carbon footprint required to make it.

But there is one thing about Paris GT that is a little disappointing. Here’s a sentence from the Poligras web presence:

Polytan Paris GT zero continues this progress with the introduction of Turf Glide, a new and proprietary technology which reduces the surface friction. With this technology, less water is required to lubricate the turf for fast and fluid play.

Translation: the turf will still require a watering system of some kind. We don’t know whether the folks in FIH are envisioning the same kinds of water cannons that are being used in many places, or whether the turf can be sufficiently watered using a temporary system using something as small as a fire hose.

I think the adoption of this type of artificial turf is going to be an interesting exercise. Because of the organic nature of the polyetheline, will the fibers last as long as those found on current artificial pitches, especially in climates with a lot of sun and heat?

I ask this because of some of the sustainable plastics which have been used in the motor vehicle industry. Some of you may remember that your Founder drove a Volvo for a period of time. In the early 1980s, the wiring harness for the entire electrical system was sheathed with biodegradable plastic. The problem is that, with heating and cooling and temperature changes over the course of a decade or more, the plastic does what it is supposed to do: degrade, leading to electrical problems.

And there’s another interesting thing that could come into play: overwatering. What happens if coaches or teams, used to a certain level of friction on a current competition surface, opt to use the same amount of water on this new pitch? Could the sugar-cane plastic decay if too much water is applied to it, like the roots of a cactus or an orchid?

These are some things to take into account when you’re looking into the future of artificial turf — which has become inexorably linked with the future of field hockey.

1 Comment»

  Jan. 23, 2023 — Candy ft? – NFL wrote @

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