ForeverLawn announced a new patent pending technology, Playground Grass Ultra with XStatic antistatic technology.

Anti-static technology introduced for synthetic turf

ForeverLawn announced a new patent pending technology, Playground Grass Ultra, with XStatic antistatic technology, is a revolutionary new synthetic turf for playgrounds that reduces static build up on the playground surface, which can be a serious problem for those who rely on electronic devices such as cochlear implants.

While static build up on the playground is nothing more than a nuisance to some, the fact that any child might be affected more seriously led ForeverLawn to research ways to eliminate this problem. “We have always prided ourselves on being the industry leader,” said Brian Karmie, Vice President of ForeverLawn. “When we heard that kids with hearing aids were having to remove their devices to avoid damage from static on the playground, we felt that it was up to us to research the problem and find a solution that would allow these children to both hear and play at the same time.”

The new artificial turf is the latest innovation from ForeverLawn, a company that has led the way in research and development in the synthetic turf industry. Other important product developments from ForeverLawn include the first ASTM F1292-compliant artificial grass surface for playgrounds, an advanced micro-mechanical seaming system for stronger and more dimensionally stable surfaces, and the first playground product with antimicrobial technology built in.

Static build up on the playground can be a problem to hearing-impaired children who rely on cochlear implants to improve their hearing. These implants are costly electronic devices that consist of an external transmitter located behind the ear, and a receiver that is surgically placed under the skin. Static build up may cause a shock that can zap the external transmitter, which can damage the device. This problem has led some parents of hearing-impaired children to make a difficult choice—prevent their child from playing on the playground, or remove the external transmitter and allow the child to play without sound.

Prior to the development of XStatic™, artificial grass playgrounds that were generating static could be treated in one of two ways. A topical spray could be used on the surface, or large amounts of sand could be poured into the grass. Both options add cost to the playground development, and offer different levels of success. The spray may take weeks of spraying to have the desired effect on the static, may not reduce it as much as needed, and will wear off over time. XStatic™ antistatic technology is engineered into the grass itself, will not wear off over time or use, and is effective immediately upon installation of the turf.

The first playground featuring XStatic™ was unveiled in Largo, Fla., on May 10. Largo Central Park features 22,000 square feet of Playground Grass Ultra, and according to Largo Parks and Recreation Director Greg Brown, there has not been evidence of static build up on the grass in spite of efforts to generate it. “We are thrilled with the new playground, and are so happy with the Playground Grass. It’s just so much better than the rubber mulch we had here before. Parents will actually picnic right on the Playground Grass Ultra. The grass looks so nice and the consistency in the surface gives us peace of mind that it will continue to maintain its safety rating day in and day out,” said Brown. “And static is not a problem with this grass.”

The word about XStatic™ has already spread to neighboring St. Petersburg, Fla., which will be testing the new turf in a designated area in the coming weeks. The city had experienced a problem with static build up on the artificial grass surface at one of their parks in 2009 that attracted some media attention, which was eventually solved by pouring four tons of sand over the grass.

“Playground Grass Ultra is the most advanced playground surface available today,” said Playground Grass brand manager Ty Allen. “It offers a brown nylon thatch for incredible realism, the XP blade, which is the most durable synthetic grass blade that exists, antimicrobial protection, and now the antistatic properties. This is a product that architects will spec in their playground projects.”