Artificial Grass The Lowdown
In this article I shall be explaining the various different types of artificial grass, how they are made and how they are useful. My information has been gathered from a variety of different sources based around the internet.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Artificial Grass
Artificial turf can be a solution when the environment is particularly hostile to natural grass.
Artificial turf can withstand more use than natural grass.
Suitable for roof gardens and swimming pool surrounds (chemicals and high heat wont damage the turf).
Some artificial turf systems allow for the integration of fiber-optic fibres into the turf. This would allow for lighting or advertisements to be directly embedded in a playing surface.
Some artificial turf requires infill such as silicon sand and/or granulated rubber made from
recycled car tires. This material may carry heavy metals which can leach into the water table.
Periodic disinfection is required as pathogens are not broken down by natural processes in the same manner as natural turf. Despite this, recent studies suggest certain microbial life is less active.
Friction between skin and artificial turf causes abrasions and/or burns to a much greater extent than natural grass. This is an issue for some sports. However, with some third-gen grasses, this is almost completely eliminated by the use of polyethylene yarn.
Artificial turf tends to be much hotter than natural grass when exposed to sunlight.
Artificial Grass Uses
Artificial turf was first used in Major League Baseball in the Houston Astrodome in 1966, replacing the grass field used when the stadium opened a year earlier. Since then it has been used is several different venues and is one of the main reasons that research and development went into artificial grass to help improve the grass types available for sports.
The biggest difference in play on artificial turf was that the ball bounced higher than on real grass, and also travelled faster, causing infielders to play farther back than they would normally, so that they would have sufficient time to react. The ball also had a truer bounce than on grass, so that on long throws fielders could deliberately bounce the ball in front of the player they were throwing to, with the certainty that it would travel in a straight line and not be deflected to the right or left. However, the biggest impact on the game of "turf", as it came to be called, was on the bodies of the players.
The artificial surface, which was generally placed over a concrete base, had much less give to it than a traditional dirt and grass field did, which caused more wear-and-tear on knees, ankles, feet and the lower back, possibly even shortening the careers of those players who played a significant portion of their games on artificial surfaces. Players also complained that the turf was much hotter than grass, sometimes causing the metal spikes to burn their feet, or plastic ones to melt. These factors eventually provoked a number of stadiums, such as Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, to switch from artificial turf back to natural grass.
In 1969, Franklin Field, the gridiron stadium of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, switched from grass to artificial turf this was the first American football field to have a artificial grass field.
In 2006, Gillette Stadium, the football stadium of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, switched from grass to FieldTurf due to the conflict of poor weather and hosting many sporting and musical events at the stadium. It is one of 13 National Football League stadiums that have turf instead of grass fields; the Patriots shared stadium actually switched from AstroTurf to natural grass before reverting to a next-generation artificial surface.
Many residential supports of artificial grass have chosen to use it as it is maintenance free, you do not have to water, cut or care for the grass. It is also used near many swimming pools and balconies as the grass isnt affected by chemicals or the lack of water. The newest generation of artificial grass is also extremely hard to notice the differences between traditional grass and artificial, with it only being noticed by touch.