Jai-Tire Inc. has become essentially the sole supplier of crumb rubber to International Surfacing of Colorado for use as artificial turf infill.
The value of the contract and the amounts of crumb rubber involved weren't revealed. However, Synthetic Turf Corp. of America subsidiary International Surfacing said its February contracts for residential and child care/playground turf alone exceeded $170,000.
The companies have cooperated in the artificial turf market for some time, said JaiTire President Corny Snyder-particularly since International Surfacing makes and installs artificial grass, a service JaiTire doesn't perform.
International Surfacing's product, according to its Web site, consists of polyethylene fibers with a urethane-reinforced backing. Most brands of artificial grass have an infill of mixed sand and rubber to soften impact and reduce wear, International Surfacing said, but its infill is 100-percent ground rubber for even greater softness and durability.
``It seems to be a fast-growing business,'' Snyder said of artificial turf. It's popular for athletic surfaces, day-care centers and playgrounds because of its softness and resilience in case of a fall. But in Colorado, she said, artificial turf is becoming popular for residential use because of the state's ongoing drought.
``We're looking at not being able to water our lawns next year,'' she said. ``There are some communities where you're banned from laying sod, or even from planting a single tree, flower or bush.''
Because new housing developments aren't allowed to landscape houses the traditional way, they are turning more and more to artificial turf, Snyder said.
Based in Colorado Springs, International Surfacing recently was acquired by Synthetic Turf.
Besides supplying crumb rubber for artificial turf manufacturers, Denver-based JaiTire makes and markets a wide range of crumb rubber surfacing and landscaping products. These include Crown III top dressing to prevent wear and tear on, among other things, lawns and athletic surfaces; Playflex playground cover; Equiflex horse arena footing; Ecoflex flexible ground surface; and Forever Mulch landscape material.