Synthetic grass, which also goes by some other names including artificial turf, is a material spread across surfaces in imitation of live grass. For the most part, it is used in areas where live grass can’t grow, or where grass maintenance is difficult. Synthetic grass’s main use is in sports stadiums and arenas, but it can also be sometimes found on playgrounds or other open spaces.

    Synthetic grass was originally manufactured by the Chemstrand Company in the early 1960s. It is produced by processes similar to those used to make carpeting. From the 1960s on, the product has been improved through the invention of new designs and the use of improved materials. The newest synthetic grass products, such as the synthetic grass adhesive used to affix it to the designated surface, have all been treated chemically to resist ultraviolet rays, and the materials have become less abrasive, more wear-resistant, and more similar to live grass.

    So, how is synthetic grass made? There are two basic components at play here, the strands of “grass”  themselves and the fabric backing to which the strands are attached by the synthetic grass adhesive. It is overall a fairly simple process, but the trick is in making artificial grass feel and react in the same way as real, live grass!

    Everybody knows exactly how real grass feels, so it’s difficult to fool people into thinking that artificial blades of grass are the real thing on close examination, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to produce artificial grass that will make someone think they are walking on living grass, at least for a minute or two!

    The key to the process is found in the individual strands. White plastic pellets are melted and dyed green. Then, much like the making of spaghetti noodles, the plastic is extruded through holes into long strands of synthetic grass. The strands are then put through a stretching process that also gives them more strength. They are then spooled together to form a kind of industrial-strength yarn.

    A large sheet of highly durable synthetic fabric is laid out and the “fresh” plastic grass yarn is darned into it by a special large-scale sewing machine. When the yarn has been looped through the sheet, another specially designed machine slices off the ends of each loop, a process that releases all of the yarn’s individual strands as it creates a fairly realistic tip for each blade of synthetic grass.

    The next step in the process is to apply an adhesive to the fabric’s back to fix the strands in place, as well as to give the entire sheet added strength. More processing is applied to further increase the sheet’s strength and to make it water permeable so that water doesn’t pool and puddle during rainstorms. Synthetic grass must withstand heavy trampling, as well as the elements, just like the real thing.

    Australia’s State of New South Whales has performed an independent review on the use of artificial grass in public spaces that may be of further interest. While there will always be a need and desire for real, live grass, artificial grass is continuing to grow in popularity, and it is always green on both sides.

    Leave A Reply