Synthetic grass or artificial turf has become a popular lawn staple. They can be found in schools, playground areas, malls and even homes.
One of the reasons why people like artificial turf is because of maintenance. Since this type of lawn decoration is synthetic, there is no need to cut water or care for it. Just install the grass and you can now enjoy the greenery no matter what the season.
Synthetic grass or artificial turf is made up of different layers of materials. Knowing what artificial turf is made of can help you make an educated decision that can help you transition faster from real grass to an artificial lawn.
Artificial Turf Components and Materials
Artificial turf is basically made up of the grass, thatch and a turf backing. Here are the components of artificial grass.
Just like real glass, artificial turf is also made up of blades of “grass” in order to make it look like the real thing. The first generation synthetic grass were made of polymer, a kind of plastic that was used in making plastic parts for consumer products. Today modern artificial turf grass blades are made of polyethylene which is also plastic but softer, tougher and can hold their coloring longer.
Aside from this, polyethylene is also easier to clean and in some cases, harder to differentiate than live grass.
Nylon is also another modern material that is used to create blades for synthetic grass. Nylon is typically used for “high end” artificial turf. But just like the polyethylene variety, nylon is also tough, durable and doesn’t fade in the sunlight.
Compared to the first material, nylon looks more real than the plastic kind which is why it is more expensive. However, nylon grass blades can be made from recycled materials making it a more earth friendly alternative to polyethylene.
The thatch is what gives artificial grass a cushioning effect. It is the layer just beneath the grass blades which gives it support and also that tactile texture to the turf.
The most common material used for the thatch is polypropylene which in turn is usually made from hard recycled plastic. It can also be made from polyethylene or nylon.
Artificial turf backing is where the blades are attached to the ground layer. The best synthetic turf is made of top notch backing which helps to keep the blades intact.
There are many different kinds of turf backing. The first backing where the blades are looped through is usually K29. Other types include 13 Pic, 15 Pic and D12.
The coating is what locks the blades after they’ve been tufted through is made from polyurethane, latex or hot melt.
US manufacturers usually use polyurethane for the coating while European makers prefer latex.
There are many different things you should consider before buying artificial turf. Aside from the budget, you should also choose synthetic grass with good cushioning. This will help prevent injuries and can create a better playing surface.
For example, artificial turf made with foam or rubber cushioning is softer which can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
These are just the basics of artificial turf, but knowing the different materials can help you make a better decision when the time comes to purchase one for your home or school.