It would appear at a cursory glance that synthetic grass is a very expensive replacement for natural grass, but the high cost is only up front. When measured over the life of the grass you will find that synthetic grass is actually a cheaper alternative to the real stuff and the savings may not simply be the cost of maintaining the grass.
So, that higher upfront cost of a synthetic grass surface is pretty quickly recouped by the lower maintenance requirements. Time, energy and the possibility of greater usage gives you a surface that will pay for itself over its lifetime.
Synthetic Turf For Soccer
Nowadays, commercial artificial grass is far from an uncommon sight in back gardens and sports pitches the world over. The synthetic material seems to well and truly have gained space over its natural counterpart, with traits such as its durability and ease of maintenance endearing it to the general public.
Time was, however, when the situation was markedly difference. Outside of a sporting context, commercial artificial grass was regarded as tacky and an inferior substitute for the real thing, and even when used to cover playing surfaces for sports it was far from consensual.
In the midst of all the disapproval, however, turf always had a few admirers, and it is them who are largely responsible for its eventual expansion and success. This article harks back to a time before commercial artificial grass existed, to give an overview of its origin, evolution and eventual rise to popularity worldwide.
The origins of commercial artificial grass date back to 1960s America. The material was first researched and devised by a team of scientists from the North Carolina State University College of Textiles, under the supervision of the dean himself, David Chaney. Together, these men came up with a material which looked and felt somewhat similar to grass, but without any of the shortcomings this material possesses; in short, what is nowadays known as turf.
Having created and perfected this material for optimal performance, Chaney and his team began searching for parties potentially interested in a test run. It did not take them long at all to find a considerably prominent ‘guinea-pig’, in the form of baseball team the Houston Astros, based out of the city of the same name in Texas. In 1966, the Astros’ home field, the Astrodome, became the first sports pitch in the world to be covered in commercial artificial grass. It was the beginning of a story which would only go uphill from there.
Once commercial artificial grass had proven its mettle as the playing surface for the Astros, and become known as ‘Astroturf’ as a result, other sports team owners across North American began taking an interest in the material. The late 1960s and early 1970s would see synthetic turf carpets spread across both major and minor league baseball fields, and eventually make their way into American football stadiums as well. Franklin Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Pennsylvania varsity football team, was the first venue to feature commercial artificial grass, but other pitches would soon follow suit, further cementing awareness for the material in public consciousness.
As popular as it was becoming with sports fans, however, commercial artificial grass still had one hurdle left to jump: the residential and landscaping market. Among home-owners, turf continued to be considered a cheap-looking, shoddy material, not at all an alternative to a real grass lawn. This generalised opinion stemmed from the first few artificial turf carpets looking somewhat less than realistic, as well as from the material’s connotation with lower-income homes. As such, commercial artificial grass faced a challenge when trying to prove its worth in the home market.
This challenge would eventually be overcome, but not for another two decades. It was not until the 1990s, more than twenty-five years after it had first been invented, that commercial artificial grass finally gained traction as a valid alternative within the home and garden market. This was largely due to the vastly improved appearance and realism level of modern turf carpets in relation to their predecessors, which helped do away with many of the concerns and prejudices keeping commercial artificial grass from establishing itself a landscaping alternative.
For the following two decades, commercial artificial grass saw its popularity continue to rise, until it could stand side by side with natural grass. Nowadays, many people even consider the material superior to its natural counterpart, at least for certain purposes, and it is expectable that this trend will continue in years to come. It is interesting, however, to think of a time when commercial artificial grass was not as popular as it is today, and to learn exactly how it came to achieve its present standing in society.
The History of Commercial Artificial Grass
Synthetic turf is gaining importance every year. It does not require watering, mowing, fertilizing, and lower labor costs. Artificial grass can withstand any weather conditions. So this will help the players to play throughout the year. If the field has natural grass, the players will not be able to play during rainy season due to muddy patches. Natural grass requires a lot of money and time. It requires lot of maintenance costs. It requires watering, mowing, fertilizers. In some areas there may be water scarcity due to which they can't water their fields. This may create lot of problems to the players. So if synthetic grass is put up in the fields then you will not need any water. Synthetic turf can be used for sport purposes like soccer pitches, golf courses, tennis courts, hockey fields and cricket pitches.
Synthetic turf can be used for indoor soccer turf also. In Synthetic grass team names, logos, and other markings can be embossed very easily without regular repainting. Since artificial turf is very soft it can create less injury when compared to natural grass. The main reason for soccer being played 365 days in a year is due to the way synthetic turf was designed. Mostly the life span for synthetic soccer is 10 years. Since soccer is played throughout the year, its lifespan is reduced to 7 years. Artificial soccer requires very little maintenance. It mainly consists of brushing the surface to loosen the compacted infill, bring the yarns into an upright position and remove dirt such as leaves, clay and small branches off the pitch. This does not require highly skilled work force for maintenance.
Artificial turf made of polyethylene material is used for making soccer pitches because it very soft when compared to other materials such as polypropylene or nylon. Sports organizations can benefit from the installation of synthetic grass. Players will be happy playing on artificial grass instead of uneven lawns. Synthetic turf provides an opportunity for players to display their hockey skills. Synthetic turf offers comfort and limits danger to players. Synthetic turf also benefits cricket pitches. Synthetic grass can benefit both the batsmen and bowler to display their skills. Synthetic grass can be easily installed and maintained. It is user-friendly and the ball bounces in a very good manner. Synthetic grass is UV stabilized. Since synthetic grass is non-slippery players can play properly throughout the year. This type of grass is non toxic and non allergenic.