Why You Should Be Using an Airless Striper
Protect and maintain your synthetic turf investment by using an airless striper
Between securing the funding and successful installation, having a synthetic turf field is no easy feat.
A lot of decision making goes into which turf you’ll choose, who you’ll trust to install it, and which products you’ll use to perfect the field with your team’s branding. Each decision you make should protect your investment, everything from the lines you’ll paint to how you’ll paint them. That’s right, paint application is just as important as the paint you’ll use on the field.
When painting a synthetic turf field, you’ll want to consider each component of the field and how to keep it protected for longevity. After investing in a new field for your facility, it’s tough to dish out more money for the equipment to maintain it, but it is 100% necessary. If you wish to properly maintain and protect your synthetic turf investment, you should be using an airless striper when applying paint and here’s why.
- Infill is the bread and butter of your synthetic field, once damaged or destroyed, your field will lose value and quickly require repair or replacement. By using an airless striper, you’re protecting your turf’s infill. Low pressure striper machines dump paint into the infill, damaging the granules by causing them to bind together. Low pressure stripers release more paint which, when combined with the infill, acts as a glue that clumps the infill together. By dumping paint into the infill, you risk affecting the ball bounce and playability of the field. Additionally, the hardness or GMAX can be impacted, which could become a potential trip hazard for players.
- Painted infill is also the leading cause of ghosting, and no we’re not referencing a millennial relationship tactic but the effect of paint left behind after removal sequences. For facilities that are regularly changing lines or logos, ghosting is your worst enemy. You can think you’ve removed all the paint and then return to your field hours later and still make out the goal line or logo that was previously painted on the turf. By using an airless striper, you dramatically reduce the impact on the turf’s infill.
- Low pressure stripers release more paint but that doesn’t necessarily mean full coverage for the fibers. Low pressure stripers spray like rain, the paint only hitting the exposed surface. The low pressure machine will spray a lot of volume, causing the paint to run down the fiber, pooling into the infill.
- Using less paint, high pressure airless stripers atomize paint, which evenly coats both sides of the turf fiber for a full coverage application. If low pressure sprays like rain, high pressure can be compared to a cloud. Micro-droplets engulf the fiber and stick to the entire fiber surface more evenly and because they have less volume per drop, the paint does not run down to the base or infill. By minimizing the impact on your turf’s infill, you make removable easier on your team.
Synthetic turf fields thrive with less paint and when applied with an airless striper, you’re extending the life of your investment. For best application results, groom the field first to help the turf fibers stand tall. Set your psi between 900-1000 psi. and apply using a .317 or.319 tip.
For more information on how to properly maintain your synthetic field and what products you’ll need for the job visit our Synthetic Turf Resource Center.