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There are Many Wide-ranging Uses of Synthetic Turf Worldwide

 

Synthetic turf is a surface manufactured from synthetic materials, which is made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally played on natural grass. However it is now being used for leisure and landscaping applications as well.

Production of synthetic turf

Extruding yarns. The basic material consists of polypropylene or polyethylene granules, which are melted and pressed through a die. Depending on the extrusion method used, this creates long yarns or a film that is cut into individual yarns. There are several different ways of extruding yarns, resulting in different yarn structures.

Tufting and finishing the carpet. The yarns are then tufted into a polypropylene fabric. The technology of tufting domestic carpet is also used for synthetic turf – hundreds of needles are positioned on a beam and each needle pulls a yarn through the fabric and forms a loop as the needle returns. The loop is cut, so that the tufted fibres will stand upright.

The line markings are tufted or glued (during installation) into the turf in a different colour, depending on the usage of the turf. To attach the fibres onto the fabric, a layer of binding agent is applied onto the backing and then hardened, and the synthetic turf is then transported in rolls to the customer.

Installing the pitch. The yarns are then tufted into a polypropylene fabric. The technology of tufting domestic carpet is also used for synthetic turf - hundreds of needles are positioned on a beam and each needle pulls a yarn through the fabric and forms a loop as the needle returns. The loop is cut, so that the tufted fibres will stand upright.

 

History

The first large scale sports synthetic turf pitch was installed in 1965 in the Astrodome, Houston, Texas. In the 1970s, the use of synthetic turf be­came widespread, both outdoor and indoor, in the USA, mainly for baseball and American Football. However the first syn­the­tic turf systems were hard and didn’t have the aes­the­tics of natural grass.

Synthetic turf received a boost in 1976. During the Olympic games of Montréal (Canada), ho­ckey matches were pla­yed on a nylon synthetic turf. Over the past de­cades, new developments in synthetic turf have been introduced for hockey, resulting in va­rious types of water-based, sand-dressed and sand-filled systems. Most hockey competitions are now played on synthetic turf and its introduction has significantly changed the sport of hockey, making the game faster and allowing for the development of new playing techniques.

In the 1980s the industry began designing synthetic turf specifically for football (soccer). The systems were designed with a shorter pile surface and sand infill.

In the 1990s the first synthetic turf systems with sand and rubber infill were introduced. The players’ comfort became more and more important in the design of new turf systems for football.

The latest generation of synthetic turf combines the playing characteristics and look and feel of natural turf, with the advantages of synthetic turf. The use of synthetic turf for football is now supported by UEFA, FIFA and many national federations.

 

Synthetic Turf Uses

There are many wide-ranging uses of synthetic turf worldwide.

The scope of application has broadened greatly over the last few years as a result of the improved technologies used in the production of the yarn and/or filament and also in the construction of the turf for leisure and landscaping applications. Sports is the most obvious and familiar area of application for synthetic turf. Synthetic turf made the breakthrough in a number of ball games, particularly hockey, association football (soccer), American football, rugby and tennis, and also in other sports that are becoming increasingly popular, such as Lacrosse. In golf, the areas surrounding the green, and the greens themselves, can be made of synthetic turf.

Hockey. All professional and semi-professional hockey worldwide is now played on synthetic turf. It is impossible to imagine World Cup or Champions Trophy matches without synthetic turf. Synthetic turf systems have also become well established in amateur hockey. The main advantages, according to the users, are the evenness and speed of the surface, which allows for an extremely dynamic and exciting game. Fully synthetic surfaces and sand-filled or partially-filled synthetic turfs, are mainly used in hockey.

Football. In some countries, synthetic turf pitches have already established a strong position in the market. In other regions synthetic turf is currently experiencing an enormous upturn or is just beginning to establish itself. This is particularly attributable to the fact that the early turf systems (fully synthetic or sand-filled) were no longer suitable for the typical game of football. Synthetic turf made its breakthrough into football a few years ago with the intro­duction of sand/and rubber-filled turf.

For the first time, it was possible to simulate features that were very similar to natural grass and allow players to play a natural game of football. The recognition of synthetic turf by international associations and FIFA since 2005 and the approval to hold Champions League and World Cup (U) matches on synthetic turf systems of the required standard reflect these new positive features.

American Football, Rugby. Synthetic turf has also started to take off as a field surface in these sports. Its high resilience and durability are given as the particular advantages of the synthetic surface.

Tennis. A variety of synthetic turf models have been designed for this type of application. Synthetic turf can thus be used both indoors or outside.

Landscaping. In this area there is virtually unlimited scope for the application of synthetic turf. In public applications, the main advantage is the low maintenance cost. In many cases, synthetic turf is used in areas where the weather conditions would not allow a natural grass lawn. This also applies to the use of synthetic turf in private gardens and parks.

In many way, the turf types and raw materials used in garden design and landscaping differ from the surfaces used on sports fields. For synthetic turf used in landscaping, the main consideration is to have a green area that looks like grass and long-term UV stability.

 

The benefits of Synthetic Turf

The main advantage of synthetic turf is its durability and relatively low maintenance cost compared with a natural grass lawn. This applies to turf used in both the private and public sector and, in particular, to the different types of turf used for playing surfaces in sports.

Durability. Several factors have to be taken into account here. If natural grass cannot grow due to the weather conditions and/or the geographical location, synthetic turf can be an appropriate alternative to produce a grass-like appearance or to enable the surface to be used as a sports field.

As far as the playing surfaces in certain sports are concerned, synthetic turf can be exposed to more heavy-duty use than natural grass. This applies, in particular, to use in the winter and when it is rai­ning. The playing pro­perties and ap­pea­rance of synthetic turf always remain the same, even when used in these wea­ther conditions.

Modern yarns and turfs can be maintai­ned in good condi­tion for up to ten years for playing sports, de­pen­ding on the qua­lity of the turf, level of use, appropriate footwear and proper maintenance.

Maintenance. Although artificial sports surfaces cer­tainly require less investment in time and maintenance costs than a natural grass surface, they need to be properly maintained or some of the playing qualities will be lost in the long term. You can’t just lay it and leave it to its own devices.

That is why it is essential to maintain a surface made of artificial turf. The artificial turf requires regular cleaning and brushing to provide a level playing surface and ensure that the rubber fill does not become compacted, which adversely affects its shock absorption capacity. It may seem ridiculous to have to irrigate synthetic sports fields. After all they don’t grow. Irrigation is beneficial, though: artificial playing surfaces will become heated during periods of warm or hot weather. The surface can become so hot that it can cause the players considerable discomfort. Moreover, the heated surface can result in friction burns. Water will lubricate, cool and stabilize the surface. Production of synthetic turf

Extruding yarns. The basic material consists of polypropylene or polyethylene granules, which are melted and pressed through a die. Depending on the extrusion method used, this creates long yarns or a film that is cut into individual yarns. There are several different ways of extruding yarns, resulting in different yarn structures.

Tufting and finishing the carpet. The yarns are then tufted into a polypropylene fabric. The technology of tufting domestic carpet is also used for synthetic turf – hundreds of needles are positioned on a beam and each needle pulls a yarn through the fabric and forms a loop as the needle returns. The loop is cut, so that the tufted fibres will stand upright.

The line markings are tufted or glued (during installation) into the turf in a different colour, depending on the usage of the turf. To attach the fibres onto the fabric, a layer of binding agent is applied onto the backing and then hardened, and the synthetic turf is then transported in rolls to the customer.

Installing the pitch. The yarns are then tufted into a polypropylene fabric. The technology of tufting domestic carpet is also used for synthetic turf - hundreds of needles are positioned on a beam and each needle pulls a yarn through the fabric and forms a loop as the needle returns. The loop is cut, so that the tufted fibres will stand upright.

 

History

The first large scale sports synthetic turf pitch was installed in 1965 in the Astrodome, Houston, Texas. In the 1970s, the use of synthetic turf be­came widespread, both outdoor and indoor, in the USA, mainly for baseball and American Football. However the first syn­the­tic turf systems were hard and didn’t have the aes­the­tics of natural grass.

Synthetic turf received a boost in 1976. During the Olympic games of Montréal (Canada), ho­ckey matches were pla­yed on a nylon synthetic turf. Over the past de­cades, new developments in synthetic turf have been introduced for hockey, resulting in va­rious types of water-based, sand-dressed and sand-filled systems. Most hockey competitions are now played on synthetic turf and its introduction has significantly changed the sport of hockey, making the game faster and allowing for the development of new playing techniques.

In the 1980s the industry began designing synthetic turf specifically for football (soccer). The systems were designed with a shorter pile surface and sand infill.

In the 1990s the first synthetic turf systems with sand and rubber infill were introduced. The players’ comfort became more and more important in the design of new turf systems for football.

The latest generation of synthetic turf combines the playing characteristics and look and feel of natural turf, with the advantages of synthetic turf. The use of synthetic turf for football is now supported by UEFA, FIFA and many national federations.

 

Synthetic Turf Uses

There are many wide-ranging uses of synthetic turf worldwide.

The scope of application has broadened greatly over the last few years as a result of the improved technologies used in the production of the yarn and/or filament and also in the construction of the turf for leisure and landscaping applications. Sports is the most obvious and familiar area of application for synthetic turf. Synthetic turf made the breakthrough in a number of ball games, particularly hockey, association football (soccer), American football, rugby and tennis, and also in other sports that are becoming increasingly popular, such as Lacrosse. In golf, the areas surrounding the green, and the greens themselves, can be made of synthetic turf.

Hockey. All professional and semi-professional hockey worldwide is now played on synthetic turf. It is impossible to imagine World Cup or Champions Trophy matches without synthetic turf. Synthetic turf systems have also become well established in amateur hockey. The main advantages, according to the users, are the evenness and speed of the surface, which allows for an extremely dynamic and exciting game. Fully synthetic surfaces and sand-filled or partially-filled synthetic turfs, are mainly used in hockey.

Football. In some countries, synthetic turf pitches have already established a strong position in the market. In other regions synthetic turf is currently experiencing an enormous upturn or is just beginning to establish itself. This is particularly attributable to the fact that the early turf systems (fully synthetic or sand-filled) were no longer suitable for the typical game of football. Synthetic turf made its breakthrough into football a few years ago with the intro­duction of sand/and rubber-filled turf.

For the first time, it was possible to simulate features that were very similar to natural grass and allow players to play a natural game of football. The recognition of synthetic turf by international associations and FIFA since 2005 and the approval to hold Champions League and World Cup (U) matches on synthetic turf systems of the required standard reflect these new positive features.

American Football, Rugby. Synthetic turf has also started to take off as a field surface in these sports. Its high resilience and durability are given as the particular advantages of the synthetic surface.

Tennis. A variety of synthetic turf models have been designed for this type of application. Synthetic turf can thus be used both indoors or outside.

Landscaping. In this area there is virtually unlimited scope for the application of synthetic turf. In public applications, the main advantage is the low maintenance cost. In many cases, synthetic turf is used in areas where the weather conditions would not allow a natural grass lawn. This also applies to the use of synthetic turf in private gardens and parks.

In many way, the turf types and raw materials used in garden design and landscaping differ from the surfaces used on sports fields. For synthetic turf used in landscaping, the main consideration is to have a green area that looks like grass and long-term UV stability.

 

The benefits of Synthetic Turf

The main advantage of synthetic turf is its durability and relatively low maintenance cost compared with a natural grass lawn. This applies to turf used in both the private and public sector and, in particular, to the different types of turf used for playing surfaces in sports.

Durability. Several factors have to be taken into account here. If natural grass cannot grow due to the weather conditions and/or the geographical location, synthetic turf can be an appropriate alternative to produce a grass-like appearance or to enable the surface to be used as a sports field.

As far as the playing surfaces in certain sports are concerned, synthetic turf can be exposed to more heavy-duty use than natural grass. This applies, in particular, to use in the winter and when it is rai­ning. The playing pro­perties and ap­pea­rance of synthetic turf always remain the same, even when used in these wea­ther conditions.

Modern yarns and turfs can be maintai­ned in good condi­tion for up to ten years for playing sports, de­pen­ding on the qua­lity of the turf, level of use, appropriate footwear and proper maintenance.

 

Maintenance

Although artificial sports surfaces cer­tainly require less investment in time and maintenance costs than a natural grass surface, they need to be properly maintained or some of the playing qualities will be lost in the long term. You can’t just lay it and leave it to its own devices.

That is why it is essential to maintain a surface made of artificial turf. The artificial turf requires regular cleaning and brushing to provide a level playing surface and ensure that the rubber fill does not become compacted, which adversely affects its shock absorption capacity. It may seem ridiculous to have to irrigate synthetic sports fields. After all they don’t grow. Irrigation is beneficial, though: artificial playing surfaces will become heated during periods of warm or hot weather. The surface can become so hot that it can cause the players considerable discomfort. Moreover, the heated surface can result in friction burns. Water will lubricate, cool and stabilize the surface.

 

The Reasons why Sports Fields built of Artificial Turf need to be Watered

Manufacturers and contractors agree on the fact that irrigation is a big plus for the player’s comfort. However, we will not talk about “Irrigation but rather watering”. Watering a surface made of artificial grass can be considered as a part of the maintenance program. This is beneficial because: it improves the run of the ball, it may reduce unpleasant odors when car tire fill is used, it can prevent the growth of algae and bacteria by irrigating with hydrogen peroxide, it increases surface life, it im­pro­ves the playing surface and it will reduce the surface temperature by 33% during periods of hot weather. The heat load problem could be solved by automated irrigation, and it could be possible to configure an irrigation program that will cool the field with an automatic irrigation system that operates a number of cycles during a day. Irrigating artificial sports surfaces will become more and more common, especially if its use is officially recommended by FIFA.

 

Availability and use

Synthetic turf provides the type of playing surface preferred by sportsmen and women and the sports associations. Synthetic turf also ensures identical and fair competitive conditions worldwide, as far as the surface is concerned. It is impossible nowadays to imagine top-class hockey without synthetic turf. In football, synthetic turf allows for a dynamic and technically sophisticated game to be played. Furthermore, the modern synthetic turf used on playing fields can also ensure that the playing conditions are the same in all weather conditions.