Artificial turf, synthetic grass, synthetic turf, artificial grass, sport turf field & astro turf are all common names for product(s) that, as of late, have become the latest trend and environmental remedies for water conservation, leaching of fertilizers/poisons, and safer playing surfaces throughout the U.S and abroad.
In the early to mid seventies, astro turf branded products came on the scene with a low-pile nylon product that was very durable, yet extremely abrasive and had little ability to protect athletes from impact.
Astro turf and a few other U.S. based companies began to experiment with different in-fill systems to help protect athletes and improve general footing.
In-fill is commonly referred to as a granular or size sieved product that is sifted or settled into and between the grass like fibers on an artificial grass field.
As technologies progressed and the use of “in-fill” became more progressive in terms of type used and how effective they became, synthetic and artificial fields become…well playable.
Sand was the first infill material but again did little to protect players and only added to the abrasive feeling some early artificial grass systems offered.
Other companies began incorporating rubber granules and sand combinations in various percentages for their perspective synthetic turf system. Depending upon the ratio of rubber to sand mix, a significant decrease in fall protection & player impact was achieved. Soon, sand was eliminated from many artificial turf systems being offered; noting that sand did little than provide ballast and settle to the bottom of the turf blades and eventually compact.
Today there are many versions of synthetic turf and are very similar to each other in terms of construction and playability. Ironically, Europe has been far more successful than the U.S. in terms of using synthetic fields for many generations, while the U.S. has only recently been in high gear at artificial turf installs.
Turf Field has sold the majority of U.S. fields, and many of which using old slit film technology. Field Turf’s success has been hard fought through countless court battles.
Other competitors such as Sprinturf and Sportexe have had some success selling higher concentrated-grass-fiber fields systems using all rubber in-fill as opposed to sand & rubber combinations.
As synthetic turf, synthetic grass, artificial grass, and many of the various names synthetic grass surfaces are being called, it is for certain that artificial surfaces are coming of age in a big way and are heading directly to the everyday residential consumer.
Landscape artificial grass and synthetic turf products are making a huge impact on the home improvement sector. With rising energy costs and severe drought conditions facing many portions of North America, it’s an obvious choice. Even areas prone to high precipitation are seeing major water shortages and are looking for alternatives to water hungry lawns.
Today the average home-owner can enjoy a year-round green lawn that is maintenance free, water free, and extremely environmentally responsible.
Going green has never looked so…perfect.