SportsTurf

August 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor tsturfonline.com 18 // August 2017 Tips for removing paint from synthetic turf // By MIKE HEBRARD M any spectators still can't tell the differ- ence between inlaid and painted lines and when it comes to the college football bowl sea- son even I have a hard time deciphering between grass and synthetic. The skill and precision of today's grounds manager is amazing with the short turnaround of a fi eld's use. Things to consider when painting removable lines and logos include: how long they need to last; do they have to be removed immediately after the event; and what effect will this have on other sports? Most of the removable lines that I paint are for lacrosse in the spring when football and soc- cer are a low usage sport. Since most of lacrosse is a club sport and not directly associated with the high school, the clubs are required to pay for the painting and removal of their lines. I recom- mend that these lines be painted as if inlaid so that there are several cuts or routed-in markings down the middle of the fi eld with the girl's la- crosse starting at the football goal line and ending with the girl's arc near the 25-yard line. During the course of the summer the lacrosse markings will wear the painted lines down and are slightly notice- able when the fall sports begin. However there are some programs that insist on the markings being removed. Removal begins with applying a chemical remover that will soften the paint on the turf fi bers and then scrubbing the re- mover, which will help break up the painted fi bers. Constant soaking with water over the painted area will loosen paint that will eventu- ally drain through the system. Some mechanical removal machines have a vacuum bar with a chamber that use gravity to separate the liquid and the paint par- ticles from the weight of the sand and rubber that aren't able to be vacuumed into the chamber. According to Jeff Fisher of Pioneer Athletics, "There are mod- ern removable paint systems for synthetic turf; sports fi eld painting has come a long way with the addition of synthetic turf products. The paint systems available today are quite sophisticated and allow you to control a number of factors, including durability, quality of line, level of removability, ease of application and adhere to different substrate types. Synthetic turf paints come in a variety of strengths; some are designed to last up to a week, some a season or a year or more. These paint systems are designed specifi cally for synthetic turf, and even for the specifi c types of plastics that make up the turf, like, for example, polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon. Fisher continues, "These substrates can be very diffi cult to coat evenly and adhere to, so fi nding a paint that will actually last isn't as easy as running to the corner hardware store. Also, some paints that are not designed specifi cally for synthetic turf can stain or bind the fi bers and infi ll, creating a long-term mess on the fi eld. The more interesting and high tech paint systems for synthetic turf are the two-part removable systems." These two-part removable paint systems use specialized resins that can be re-liquefi ed or re-solubilized when a second, non-toxic "remover" component is added. These removable paint systems rely on a chemical reaction to break down the resin so it can be removed, rinsed or extracted, this makes them very gentle to the turf. Syn- thetic turf removable paint systems come in aerosol and bulk, long term and event paint, and formulas for hot and cold climates. These systems combined with modern synthetic turf removal and extraction equipment allow fi eld managers to maximize their fi eld use, while minimizing their time, wear and tear on the turf and unsightly unneeded lines. Other removable paint systems use standard natural grass fi eld paints or house paints that are made with heavy latex resin systems which are not designed to be broken down, or at least not easily. So to remove these, they use light solvent in the "remover" to soften the paint so it could be physically scrubbed off the fi ber. This type of

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