Do you know the history of synthetic turf? 5 incredible factors that every installer should know
Today the Synthetic Turf is in the third generation since its beginnings in the 1960s at the Houston Astrodome.
Yes, the artificial turf industry has been around for more than 50 years, but before that, it was mainly used in the sports area.
By third generation, we mean that a new technology is used to replace the old one when synthetic fibers were of one type, and all fibers were tall and thick. Whereas now there is a great variety.
Today we have Thatch, which is the fiber that looks like the fibers have a little burnt tips, and the color left inside the grass is green and brown, which visually makes it look more realistic in a lawn and in landscaping areas.
In addition, this type of grass helps to retain the infill at the base and not blow away when there is a lot of wind. It also retains it when draining, which is a great advantage.
- Artificial turf fibers
Currently a system called "extrusion" is used to make the artificial turf fibers. Basically, the process consists of melting specials plastic balls with which the fibers will be made, and adding that hot liquid is placed in molds with different shapes that later, when cooled in water, define the various models of the fibers. Then these fibers are rolled up, and from there, the synthetic grass is manufactured. Today's synthetic grasses have much thinner fibers.
Over time, different styles and shapes have been created for the fibers with this system called extrusion:
- S- or Z-shape
- wave or w-shaped
This type of fibers is what is called the normal C shaped in size, but there is also a mini C shaped which consists of making the holes through which the melted polyethylene passes much smaller, so that much thinner fibers are formed, almost the thickness of a hair. In such a way that even with the same amount of ounces of polyethylene, the grass looks much denser because of the larger amount of these thin fibers.
However, the grass with such thin fibers is no longer very strong, it only acquires density to the eye. Therefore, it is necessary to consider that you shouldn't decide for the type of grass that is softer, but for the traffic that artificial grass will have on it.
The softer the grass is, the less resistant it will be to impacts, and the useful life time may decrease due to a use that is not reccomended for that type of grass.
For this reason, the client should try to find a middle ground to ensure the enjoyment of the project without diminishing the integrity of the synthetic turf. In Diamond Artificial Grass, we recommend that before making the investment in artificial turf, you should choose the type of grass, the color, the softness. And consider if you need short or long fiber, the use it will be given to it, the amount of money you are willing to invest in the three phases of the installation, that is, before, during and after, for the success of the project.
The artificial grasses that we sell in our Diamond Artificial Grass stores, have the fibers called Tencate, which are considered the best in the world and have the best warranty. For that reason, these are the ones used by the big factories.
It is necessary to know that up to now the artificial turf industry is not regulated. There are no laws of use or approved components, etc. For that reason, there are manufacturers that produce products under their own criteria and of doubtful quality of the materials to lower the costs, and as the client does not know which are the optimal materials, in some cases there have been problems due to the early deterioration of the installations without the client being able to make a legal claim. Therefore, it is important to be honest with the client in order not to damage the companies that do use the right products.
The first thing to know is that artificial grass is made of three parts:
- the fibers
- the primary backing, which is very similar to the fabric used for the weed barrier and is where the fibers are woven.
- the secondary backing, which is a glue that adheres to the fabric to prevent the fibers from coming out and thus protect them at the base, in addition to being the one that will make contact with the ground.
The American standard is to use a polymer made of polyurethane in the secondary backrest. This material is highly resistant to high traffic, water, weathering and extreme temperature changes. In Asia, Europe and South America, latex is often used because it saves costs, but it is less strong and breaks more easily.
It is very difficult to differentiate latex from polyurethane, as both are black. However, polyurethane can look slightly glossy, while latex is matte. Thus, some Asian manufacturers export their latex material to the United States, and customers buy it without knowing that they are buying a product of lower strength. The consequence of this is that in a few months the fibers will begin to weaken with use, then loosen, then fall apart, so you will see gaps or voids without fibers in the installation.
Drainage in the backings
There are some backings that have drainage holes, and others that drain 100% instead of just through the drainage holes, but most of these products actually drain the same and what really makes the difference is how well the contractor prepares them.
For example, if he creates a foundation and an extreme preparation for accelerated drainage, then you can use a 100% drainage grass and you will notice the difference, but the reality is that the client is not going to have that work done because it is extremely expensive and requires a very deep excavation that will also consume a lot of additional material to create that accelerated drainage system. For this reason, most will ask for a normal drainage system. In these cases it does not matter what type of turf is used with the trellis because it will drain the same. For this reason, our synthetic turf have perforations, because that alone will be sufficient for most jobs.
Our suggestion is to do a little research about the products they are offering and not just get carried away by attractive prices in relation to other materials, because they may not be offering good quality ones. So the best thing to do is to look for intermediate prices, observe very well the backing, the fibers, the color, that the softness is average, that the synthetic grass has a guarantee.
Finally, we hope you have learned something you didn't know about artificial turf, and if you are interested in expanding your knowledge even more and become certified as a professional installer, we invite you to sign up at Diamond University. We offer classes in Spanish and English, so you can choose the language of your preference. Check the calendar or, if you prefer, call us by phone or visit us at any of our stores in South Florida.
We are located in:
BROWARD SHOWROOM 6501 Northwest 12th Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309 Suite #1312. Call Us: 844-579-6887.
- MIAMI SHOWROOM Miami International Commerce Center 1839 NW 79 Avenue, Doral, FL 33126. Call Us: 844-579-6887.
- WEST PALM BEACH SHOWROOM 7257 Westport place Suite B2 West Palm Beach, FL 33413. Call Us: 844-579-6887.
- ORLANDO SHOWROOM 51 Maguire Rd. Ocoee, FL 34761. Call Us: 844-579-6887.