US20130280445A1 - Synthetic turf recycling and reclamation system and method - Google Patents

Synthetic turf recycling and reclamation system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130280445A1
US20130280445A1 US13863277 US201313863277A US2013280445A1 US 20130280445 A1 US20130280445 A1 US 20130280445A1 US 13863277 US13863277 US 13863277 US 201313863277 A US201313863277 A US 201313863277A US 2013280445 A1 US2013280445 A1 US 2013280445A1
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Prior art keywords
rubber
cover
synthetic turf
includes
method
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US13863277
Inventor
Patrick D. McAnany
Edwin L. Huggins
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MDH TURF LLC
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MDH TURF LLC
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C13/00Pavings or foundations specially adapted for playgrounds or sports grounds; Drainage, irrigation or heating of sports grounds
    • E01C13/08Surfaces simulating grass ; Grass-grown sports grounds
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29BPREPARATION OR PRETREATMENT OF THE MATERIAL TO BE SHAPED; MAKING GRANULES OR PREFORMS; RECOVERY OF PLASTICS OR OTHER CONSTITUENTS OF WASTE MATERIAL CONTAINING PLASTICS
    • B29B17/00Recovery of plastics or other constituents of waste material containing plastics
    • B29B17/02Separating plastics from other materials
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02BHYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
    • E02B11/00Drainage of soil, e.g. for agricultural purposes
    • E02B11/005Drainage conduits
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29BPREPARATION OR PRETREATMENT OF THE MATERIAL TO BE SHAPED; MAKING GRANULES OR PREFORMS; RECOVERY OF PLASTICS OR OTHER CONSTITUENTS OF WASTE MATERIAL CONTAINING PLASTICS
    • B29B17/00Recovery of plastics or other constituents of waste material containing plastics
    • B29B17/02Separating plastics from other materials
    • B29B2017/0213Specific separating techniques
    • B29B2017/0217Mechanical separating techniques; devices therefor
    • B29B2017/0231Centrifugating, cyclones
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29LINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASS B29C, RELATING TO PARTICULAR ARTICLES
    • B29L2031/00Other particular articles
    • B29L2031/732Floor coverings
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02WCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO WASTEWATER TREATMENT OR WASTE MANAGEMENT
    • Y02W30/00Technologies for solid waste management
    • Y02W30/50Reuse, recycling or recovery technologies
    • Y02W30/62Plastics recycling
    • Y02W30/622Separating plastics from other materials
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02WCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO WASTEWATER TREATMENT OR WASTE MANAGEMENT
    • Y02W30/00Technologies for solid waste management
    • Y02W30/50Reuse, recycling or recovery technologies
    • Y02W30/68Rubber waste recycling

Abstract

A system and method for recycling and repurposing a synthetic turf field cover including a pre-existing mixture of rubber and sand particles embedded in the turf material. The system utilizes an aspirating machine for removing and separating the existing rubber and sand particles. The removed rubber particles are reused, and can be cleaned and sterilized prior to reinstallation. A method of recycling a synthetic turf field cover includes the steps of removing the existing synthetic turf field cover, aspirating pre-existing rubber and sand particles, sterilizing the rubber particles, reapplying the sterilized, reused rubber particles and applying additional rubber particles and sand to a replaced or reinstalled field turf cover.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is based on and claims priority in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/623,686, filed Apr. 13, 2012, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to a system and method for recycling and reclaiming a field fitted with synthetic turf, and more specifically to a system and method for reclaiming the ground rubber layer typically used in conjunction with a synthetic turf installation, and reusing that rubber during reinstallation of new turf, thereby saving cost and reducing waste.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Artificial or synthetic turf, such as AstroTurf ®, is a surface manufactured from synthetic fibers to look like natural grass. This surface is often used in wide, flat spaces such as sporting arenas, baseball diamonds, or practice fields. Because it does not require the maintenance of natural grass, such as watering and trimming, this surface has also found growing interest in the commercial landscaping market for homes and businesses.
  • Some situations require artificial turf over natural grass. For instance, in sports domes there is often not enough sunlight for natural grass to grow, so artificial turf is used. Artificial turf is also often preferred over ordinary grass in wet locations because it will not turn to mud after a rainfall.
  • Artificial turf is constructed from multiple layers. The bottom-most layer is the natural surface of earth. Drainage improvements may be placed in this soil. A padded layer may be placed atop the earth, followed by a water containment membrane and the artificial turf fibers. The artificial turf fibers are often filled in with a mixture of ground rubber pellets and sand (or sometimes silicon). This mixture increases the realistic feel of the surface when athletes perform on the surface, as well as making the turf more impact-resistant and less likely to cause injuries if a person were to fall.
  • The disadvantage of typical artificial turf is that, during replacement of the turf, the rubber pellets must be discarded along with the sand mixture. The rubber is often of similar consistency to car tires, and this is both wasteful and potentially environmentally hazardous if not disposed of correctly. What is desired is a system or method of reclaiming and reusing the rubber pellets during the reinstallation of a worn-out artificial field or landscaping installation. Heretofore there has not been available a system or method of synthetic turf recycling and reclamation with the advantages and features of the present invention.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a system and method for reclaiming the rubber in-fill typically used in conjunction with artificial turf. The rubber pellets are typically mixed with sand, and therefore must be discarded when the artificial turf is being replaced. An aspect of the present invention uses an aspirator, such as that manufactured by Kice Industries, Inc. of Wichita, Kans., to remove the sand from the rubber pellets. The rubber may also be sterilized during this process to remove pathogens that are not broken down by natural processes. The rubber may then be reused during the reinstallation of the turf.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention illustrating various objects and features thereof.
  • FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a portion of artificial turf, showing the interaction of the various layers.
  • FIG. 2 is flow chart representing the various steps required to practice an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 includes various diagrams embodying an aspirator machine which may be used to practice an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Introduction and Environment
  • As required, detailed aspects of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed aspects are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art how to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
  • Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, up, down, front, back, right and left refer to the invention as orientated in the view being referred to. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the aspect being described and designated parts thereof. Forwardly and rearwardly are generally in reference to the direction of travel, if appropriate. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar meaning.
  • System and Method 2 of Artificial Turf 4 Reclamation and Recycling
  • As shown in more detail in FIG. 1, artificial turf 4 is typically comprised of multiple layers. These layers include the synthetic fibers 6 designed to look and feel like natural grass, the rubber and sand in-fill 8 which is poured in between the fibers 6 to produce a softer, more natural feeling surface, a containment membrane 10 for retaining and/or removing moisture, and a base surface 14 upon which the turf 4 is placed, typically leveled earth. The base surface may include drainage piping 16 for improved water management. A shock-absorbent layer 12 to increase the padding and reduce injuries caused by falls on the turf 4 may also be placed between the membrane 10 and the base surface 14.
  • When replacing the artificial turf 4, the fibers 6 are typically replaced in their entirety. To do this, the sand and rubber mixture 8 is often disposed along with the turf fibers. This mixture typically comprises small rubber pellets blended with standard sand. The rubber is usually in suitable condition for additional use; however the fibers or other components of the turf 4 have worn out. Previously there has been no way to reclaim these rubber pellets.
  • FIG. 2 demonstrates an embodiment of a method 2 for reclaiming the rubber pellets from the sand, and reusing those pellets in a reinstallation of artificial turf on a field or for landscaping. This process saves the consumer money because new rubber does not have to be purchased, and it reduces waste as the rubber does not wind up in a landfill.
  • The process starts 18 by identifying an artificial turf in need of replacement. The first step at 20 requires the extraction of the rubber and sand mixture 8 from the synthetic fibers 6. At 22, an aspirator machine 42, such as that produced by Kice Industries, Inc. of Wichita, Kans., may then be used to separate the rubber from the sand. The sand is removed and set aside.
  • Often the rubber requires disinfecting to remove pathogens that are not removed via natural means, or the rubber requires cleaning for other reasons. At 24, an inquiry is made as to the need to sanitize the rubber pellets. If yes, the rubber is cleaned at 26. Otherwise, the step is skipped and the synthetic turf is removed at 28. The containment membrane 10 is also removed at this step.
  • Next, the base surface 14 is laser graded or otherwise resurfaced at 30. This will re-level the surface and insure optimum placement of the new artificial turf.
  • Once the surface is ready, an inquiry is made as to the suitability of the previous containment membrane 10 at 32. If the membrane is damaged or worn, it can be mended or replaced at 34. If it is still suitable for use, it may be replaced on the base surface 14 and prepped for new artificial fibers 6.
  • At 36, the new artificial turf is applied. This includes laying and adhering the new fibers 6 to the membrane 10. Finally, the ground rubber pellets are reapplied to the artificial turf at 38. If desired, sand can be re-mixed with the rubber pellets prior to the mixture being reapplied. The process then ends at 40, and a new artificial turf is in place of the old turf, and the rubber has been completely reclaimed and recycled.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, an aspirator machine 42 can be used to separate the sand from the rubber. These aspirators have long been used to utilize air in order to classify materials by size and density. By placing the reclaimed sand and rubber mixture into the aspirator 42, the sand is physically blown from the rubber pellets and the two components are stored separately.
  • The aspirator used in the preferred embodiment of the process disclosed herein is ideally portable. As shown in FIG. 3, the aspirator should be mounted on a trailer or other mobile device for use at or near the site of the reinstallation of artificial turf.
  • It is to be understood that the invention can be embodied in various forms, and is not to be limited to the examples discussed above. The range of components and configurations which can be utilized in the practice of the present invention is virtually unlimited.

Claims (16)

  1. 1. A method of recycling and reclaiming a synthetic turf system, which method comprises the steps of:
    providing a field cover comprising a synthetic turf layer; and
    applying to said synthetic turf layer an in-fill layer of rubber and sand particles.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, which includes the additional step of:
    providing said synthetic turf layer with a predetermined percentage of rubber and sand particles.
  3. 3. The method of claim 2, which includes the additional step of:
    extracting an existing rubber and sand particle mixture from an existing synthetic turf field cover.
  4. 4. The method of claim 3, which includes the additional step of:
    aspirating the rubber-sand mixture to remove sand therefrom.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4, which includes the additional step of:
    cleaning the extracted rubber.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5, which includes the additional steps of:
    removing the existing synthetic turf layer; and
    laser-grading a base surface under said synthetic turf layer.
  7. 7. The method of claim 6, which includes the additional step of:
    mending or replacing a containment membrane located between said base surface and said synthetic turf layer; and
    reapplying the containment membrane.
  8. 8. The method of claim 7, which includes the additional step of:
    reapplying the recovered rubber particles.
  9. 9. The method of claim 1, which includes additional steps of:
    providing an aspirator machine including an inlet, a cyclone separator, an outlet and a fan adapted for separating rubber and sand particles in said cyclone separator;
    separating said rubber and sand particles in said cyclone separator; and
    reapplying said separated rubber particles to said synthetic turf cover.
  10. 10. The method of claim 1, which includes additional steps of:
    providing a drainage subsystem comprising multiple drainage pipes located under said grade level; and
    draining water penetrating said synthetic turf cover, said membrane and said grade with said drainage subsystem.
  11. 11. A method of recycling and repurposing a synthetic turf field cover system over a graded surface, which existing cover system includes a synthetic turf cover and a mixture of rubber and sand particles in said cover, which method comprises the steps of:
    removing the existing synthetic turf cover;
    aspirating the existing rubber and sand particles;
    recovering the existing rubber particles;
    cleaning and disinfecting the existing, extracted rubber particles;
    laser-grading the existing surface below said cover system;
    mending or replacing the cover membrane;
    applying a cover membrane over said graded surface;
    adding additional rubber particles to said pre-existing rubber particles; and
    applying said rubber particles to said synthetic turf cover according to a predetermined ratio of rubber-to-sand.
  12. 12. A recycled and repurposed synthetic turf field cover system, which includes:
    a graded base;
    a containment membrane placed over said base;
    a synthetic turf cover placed over said membrane; and
    a mixture of rubber and sand particles placed on said synthetic turf cover.
  13. 13. The cover system of claim 12, which includes:
    pre-existing rubber particles aspirated, cleaned and combined with sand and additional rubber particles, said mixture being adapted for application to said cover.
  14. 14. The cover system of claim 12, which includes:
    a laser-graded base for said synthetic turf cover.
  15. 15. The cover system of claim 12, which includes:
    said additional rubber particles comprising ground, recycled vehicle tires.
  16. 16. The cover system of claim 12, which includes an aspirating machine with a cyclone separator, an inlet, an outlet and a fan providing an airflow through said aspirating machine.
US13863277 2012-04-13 2013-04-15 Synthetic turf recycling and reclamation system and method Abandoned US20130280445A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US201261623686 true 2012-04-13 2012-04-13
US13863277 US20130280445A1 (en) 2012-04-13 2013-04-15 Synthetic turf recycling and reclamation system and method

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

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US13863277 US20130280445A1 (en) 2012-04-13 2013-04-15 Synthetic turf recycling and reclamation system and method
US14980465 US20160186387A1 (en) 2012-04-13 2015-12-28 Synthetic turf athletic field maintenance, recycling, reclamation and restoration method using gnss-based equipment guidance

Related Child Applications (1)

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US14980465 Continuation-In-Part US20160186387A1 (en) 2012-04-13 2015-12-28 Synthetic turf athletic field maintenance, recycling, reclamation and restoration method using gnss-based equipment guidance

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120263891A1 (en) * 2011-04-18 2012-10-18 Tarkett Inc. Repairing synthetic turf field and method for revitalizing the same
US20150108041A1 (en) * 2013-10-21 2015-04-23 Matsep Ltd. Process for separating synthetic turf product
US20150209830A1 (en) * 2014-01-29 2015-07-30 Tarkett Inc. Method and system for processing and recycling infill material of artificial turf

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US9011740B2 (en) * 2008-12-15 2015-04-21 Textile Management Associates, Inc. Method of recycling synthetic turf and infill product
US20150209830A1 (en) * 2014-01-29 2015-07-30 Tarkett Inc. Method and system for processing and recycling infill material of artificial turf

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JPH04120306A (en) * 1990-09-12 1992-04-21 Tetsuya Goto Repairing method for tennis court having sand-filled artificial turf
JPH11229313A (en) * 1998-02-16 1999-08-24 Sumitomo Rubber Ind Ltd Artificial turf
US5958527A (en) * 1998-09-21 1999-09-28 Fieldturf Holdings, Inc. Process of laying synthetic grass
US6767595B2 (en) * 2000-12-21 2004-07-27 Fieldturf Inc. Synthetic grass sport surfaces
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US20120263891A1 (en) * 2011-04-18 2012-10-18 Tarkett Inc. Repairing synthetic turf field and method for revitalizing the same
US20150108041A1 (en) * 2013-10-21 2015-04-23 Matsep Ltd. Process for separating synthetic turf product
US9205460B2 (en) * 2013-10-21 2015-12-08 Re-Match (Uk) Limited Process for separating synthetic turf product
US20160067745A1 (en) * 2013-10-21 2016-03-10 Re-Match (Uk) Limited Process for separating synthetic turf product
US9789516B2 (en) * 2013-10-21 2017-10-17 Re-Match (Uk) Limited Process for separating synthetic turf product
US20150209830A1 (en) * 2014-01-29 2015-07-30 Tarkett Inc. Method and system for processing and recycling infill material of artificial turf
US9505033B2 (en) * 2014-01-29 2016-11-29 Tarkett Inc. Method and system for processing and recycling infill material of artificial turf

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AS Assignment

Owner name: MDH TURF, LLC, KANSAS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MCANANY, PATRICK D.;HUGGINS, EDWIN L.;SIGNING DATES FROM20130412 TO 20130415;REEL/FRAME:030535/0233