Fiber supported natural grass has synthetic fibers vertical through the grass canopy. These fibers can compose up to 5% of the overall surface. The upright fiber shields against slipping or divoting. High use areas such as lacrosse and soccer goal mouths are able to regenerate following heavy use because the growing point of the plant has been protected. Multiple types of fiber support systems exist.
Grid Type Reinforcement
Turf grids or "fiber sand" are individual, hair like pieces of plastic blended into the soil or sand. The small fibers reinforce the soil and allow the grass roots to grow around and through. The weaving of the roots hold the plants in place to increase overall strength against cleats during use to reduce and/or eliminate divots.
Lightweight Aggregate/ Calcined Clay
Most native and heavy clay soils compact quickly under high use. Adding lightweight aggregate into native or heavy clay soil can provide permanent aeration and drainage within the root zone. The permanent aeration leads to deeper roots and fewer rainouts. Lightweight also absorbs water and nutrients, making them available to the root system as nutrients reduce or the surrounding soil dries out.
Energy Reduction Reinforcement
Energy reduction and shock absorption into a natural grass surface to reduce injury potential is the next frontier for sports fields. Technology in reinforcement products combined with energy reduction and shock absorption are expanding in scale and scope as they provide strength and injury reduction even with increased use.