The US Department of Agriculture has given Brock USA the green light for exporting its Brockfill, an infill material harvested from Georgia, U.S. local trees. The authorities have confirmed that the heat treatment process and equipment Brock USA has installed are compliant with European regulations.
Brockfill is an organic infill material for use in third-generation synthetic turf fields. According to Brock, it is a highly engineered wood particle specifically designed to improve traction and reduce heat over an artificial turf field.
“The US Department of Agriculture ss confirmed that the heat treatment process and equipment we installed to pass the European regulations for exporting Brockfill from the US to Europe are compliant,” Brock founder and CEO Dan Sawyer told Sportsfields.info.
Like many other products made from wood, Brockfill must comply with international regulations designed to prevent the spread of insects or plant pathogens that could negatively affect forests and ecosystems in Europe.
Brockfill is made explicitly from southern yellow pine. The infill is put through an 11-step conditioning process to achieve the ideal shape, size, and smooth surface to avoid wear on the fibers, minimize skin abrasion, and provide stable footing for athletes. ”Although the recipes do change a bit depending on the turf product selected, we recommend 18mm of Brockfill on top of a sand layer for a 50mm turf system,” Sawyer adds.
According to the company’s website, the temperature over a field with Brockfill is 12 degrees Celsius lower than a field that uses crumb rubber with a cooling agent as an infill.
Additionally, Brock had the infill tested for the possibility of ‘splash’ by Sports Labs. “Once settled into the turf, we have a very low splash. This is important not only for playability but also for infill migration and maintenance. The less splash, the better,” Sawyer notes. He points that, despite being a natural material, the likelihood of Brockfill becoming a host to algae and fungi is negligible. “During the manufacturing process, the material is heated to a high temperature that destroys any potential plant pathogens and reduces the amount of low molecular weight carbohydrates in the wood – the food source for critters. But it’s also in an environment that is not conducive to organic growth – synthetic turf. As long as the material is outside and in the turf, so far, we have not yet seen any microbial growth on the infill. But we do expect that as with other infills, if seeds or other traveling plant material is allowed to take root in the infill, weeds may grow.”
Brock will use its partners to distribute the new infill to the European markets. One that Dan Sawyer is willing to confirm is Technoah from the Netherlands.