What Is Artificial Grass?
Artificial grass is material that is made of synthetic, man-made fibers that look like real grass. The synthetic grass blades are green and come in different pile heights. It is constructed in the same way that carpet is made; it has a solid backing and then the blades are machine stitched on.
Artificial Turf Background
Artificial turf has been manufactured since the early 1960s, and was originally produced by Chemstrand Company (later renamed Monsanto Textiles Company). It is produced using manufacturing processes similar to those used in the carpet industry.
Since the 1960s, the product has been improved through new designs and better materials. Today’s artificial turf looks and feels a lot more like the real thing and performs better in terms of durability, UV-stability, resilience and resistance to wear and tear among other performance parameters.
Materials Used to Make Artificial Grass
The most important aspect of artificial grass is the quality of the raw materials used, as this is key to the performance of the grass. Technological advancements and superior manufacturing processes have now resulted in the production of artificial grass that is very close to the “real” thing. The grass is highly durable and tolerant to wear and abrasion, they are UV resistant, which protects the color of the grass from fading due to harsh weather conditions and today, artificial grass is longer, lusher and softer.
Artificial grass is mainly manufactured using three materials:
The blades of the artificial grass are made using polyethylene or nylon. Polyethylene is essentially the plastic that is popularly used to make bottles, plastic bags, etc. Polyethylene is usually available in a solid form and is melted and mixed with colors and other chemicals to make it durable, UV resistant, etc. Alternatively, the grass blades are made of thin nylon sheets that are extruded via molds to produce fine fibers with an oval or round cross-section. The extruded nylon blades of the grass are very high-quality blades that look and feel almost like real, natural grass.
Most artificial grass that is being produced today also weaves in a brown thatch that mimics the look of dead grass that you would see on a real grass lawn. With the new technology that is available today, artificial grass has made leaps and bounds on its realistic looking appearance. The thatch layer is usually made of polypropylene and this thatch layer essentially gives added support and cushioning to the artificial lawn.
Turf Backing & Cushioning
The backing and cushioning on artificial grass is made from polyester or recycled rubber and plastic. Most installation companies will recommend having both a primary and secondary backing layer. The blades are securely fitted onto the backing using a tufting machine which sews the layers together. The tuft backing layer helps the grass blades to easily bounce back into their original upright position even after being subjected to some kind of traffic.
What Makes A Good Quality Artificial Grass?
As a consumer, when comparing artificial greenery and grass products there are some key factors that are very important. A good quality product starts with the backing material, you want to choose a product that has polyurethane backing and not a latex. In addition, you want the product to have a UV-resistant protectant coating. This of particular importance because this will protect the artificial grass from the sun and keep it looking green. Products that are not treated with a UV protectant can fade turning the grass blue or white.
Is There a Difference Between Artificial Grass and Synthetic Turf?
There is no difference at all between artificial grass and synthetic turf. The words grass and turf are used interchangeably. Oftentimes, the word “turf” or “astro-turf” is more closely associated with a shorter blade installation commonly used for athletic fields.
How to Pick Artificial Grass
When choosing artificial grass for whatever application you may have in mind, be it residential or commercial, indoor or outdoor, the quality of the turf should ultimately be the number one factor to consider. It goes without saying that the quality of the raw materials used and the process involved in the manufacture greatly influence the quality of the final product.
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