Artificial turf grass – How it works.
Artificial turf grass has turned out to be a boon for not only sports fields and playgrounds, but also for residential backyards. The product has certainly proven it worth on the durability front. This can be seen when sports team players, kitted out with stud shoes tear back and forth over its surface without any apparent damage or sign of wear. In back yards, it looks so real and inviting that most are surprised that to find that it is, in fact, artificial turf grass, and not the real thing. Also providing happy landings for children falling off playground equipment, one has to wonder how it’s made.
It turns out that the pioneers and producers of artificial turf grass are carpet manufacturers. This is not surprising when we learn that is nothing more than a very durable, giant size version of tufted carpeting.
The base material of artificial turf grass is plastic pellets that have been colored green, melted down and then extruded to look like strands of grass. It is then put together in the same way as a carpet. The strands are stretched and split, before being looped and tufted into a synthetic backing sheet by a giant sewing machine. The loops are then cut to look like real blades of grass. Glue is then applied to the backing to hold it all together.
Holes are then punched to make the backing water permeable. If the artificial turf grass is to be used for recreational sports, it will be installed onto a rubber mat after which a soft infill material is added to provide a softer feel. If the grass is not to be used for recreational sports, then it can be installed without a rubber mat and in-filled with a coarser material. Either infill material adds weight and helps to spread the blades to give them a natural look and feel.
The biggest problems that have been encountered with artificial turf grass is heat and safety.
The dark green color is hot under the sun, and the plastic retains heat, that makes it an uncomfortable surface on hot summer days. Manufacturers compete to produce a plastic material that emits heat faster.
Synthetic granule fillers are experiencing a lot of attention from safety advocates who have shown that they are toxic to humans and animals. Synthetic granules, which hitch a ride with anyone who touches them, have also proved to be an environmental hazard and pollutant.
Watch this video to see the artificial turf grass manufacturing process in action.
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