Artificial turf – also known as a synthetic lawn – is a type of surface that reproduces the aesthetic appeal and qualities of a natural lawn.
The characteristics of the artificial turf available on the market today are clearly very different from the first types of artificial turf. They differ depending on the intended use and the materials used to make them.
Grass was first created in the 1960s in the USA, when a team of researchers from North Carolina State University produced the first artificial turf for the Astrodome Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Whether decorative or sport-specific, artificial turf offers many different advantages. Naturally, a prerequisite is that it must be of high quality.
But what are the advantages that lead to an increasing number of people and sports facility owners choosing synthetic lawn instead of natural grass?
Long life: this is the great advantage of artificial turf, as its filaments are resistant to wear and tear, bad weather conditions and UV rays.
Economic savings: a direct consequence of its long life. As it is hard-wearing, artificial turf lasts for a long time and does not need to be watered frequently.
Softness: one of the advantages of this turf is undoubtedly its softness. For example, decorative grass is pet friendly and ideal for children to play on without hurting themselves.
Elastic memory: this is the recovery from crushing – turf filaments have an elastic memory that allows them to return to their initial position after being trampled.
Excellent sports performance: athletes benefit from artificial turf on sports fields. It provides perfect support and foot torsion, ideal ball bounce and sliding.
Year-round use: a synthetic lawn can be used all year round, even after heavy rainstorms, since the drainage system below the turf ensures that no puddles form. Moreover, it is not affected by drought during hot summer months.
Adaptability: a synthetic lawn can be laid on basically any surface, in sports fields or private homes.
Continuing the discussion of the pros and cons of artificial turf, let’s now take a look at the disadvantages. Please note, however, that the disadvantages are mostly due to low-quality materials.
Discolouration: artificial turf is designed to be green all year round and resistant to weather conditions. However, when the quality is not excellent, it gradually loses its colour as a result of sunlight.
Inadequate laying: this is usually the cause of all the “cons” of artificial turf, since uneven clods negatively affect aesthetic appeal and performance.
To clean an synthetic lawn, simply remove any dirt that settles on it and brush it. Regularly brushing the synthetic fibres of the lawn with a brush for artificial turf helps to keep the stems straight and clean the synthetic lawn of any leaves and/or other debris. The frequency of brushing will depend on how often the lawn is trampled, the amount of activity and the presence of plants and trees.
For routine maintenance of a sports field, we recommended brushing the playing surface regularly. Routine maintenance must be carried out two or three times a month during periods of intensive use, and once a month during periods of less intensive use. However, it is advisable to carry out maintenance every 30 hours of play.
The position of the brushes should also be checked, since this depends on the type or model of sweeper. Ideally, the brushes should be positioned so that their tips lightly touch the fibres of the lawn. The easiest way to keep artificial turf in the best technical and sports condition is to sweep the field crosswise (or against the grain).
Lastly, depending on the use of the ground, it needs to be levelled.