One thing that determines the performance of a turf system is the quality of the raw materials used. Almost anything that has ever been used as carpet backing, and these materials range from jute to plastic to polyester, can be used as the backing material for turf grass. However, you will find that high-quality artificial turfs tend to have polyester tire cord as backing.
Fibers that make up “grass” blades are made from either polypropylene or nylon and are manufactured in many different ways. Nylon blades are often produced in thin sheets cut into strips or are extruded through molds to create fibers with an oval or round cross-section. When made through extrusion, the resulting blades look, feel and act like natural grass.
Cushioning systems, on the other hand, are made from either polyester foam or rubber compounds. In some instances, rubber tires are used in the structure of the rubber base with some of the materials being used in backing coming from rubber or plastic recycling programs. The threads used to sew together the pads, and the top fabric panels have to meet the same standards of color retention, durability, and strength as the rest of the system. Experience and care need to be applied to the selection of adhesives to be used to bond all components together.
The part of a turf system that acts as the “grass” is made using the same tufting techniques employed in the making of carpets.
1. The first thing to be done is the blending of the proprietary ingredients in a hopper. Chemicals and dyes are then added to give the turf a green color and to protect it from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
2. Once the batch has been meticulously blended, it is then fed into a huge steel mixer where it is mixed until it achieves a thick, taffy-like consistency.
3. The resulting viscous liquid is then placed in an extruder, where it is shredded into long, thin strands.
4. The strands are then placed on a carding machine where they are spun into loose ropes. These ropes are then pulled, straightened before being woven into a nylon yarn. This yarn is then rolled into large spools.
5. The resulting yarn is then heated to give it a twisted shape.
6. The yarn is then taken to a tufting machine where it is put on a reel or skewer behind the machine. From there, it is fed through a tube that leads to the tufting needle. This needle pierces the turf’s primary backing and pushes the yarn into a loop.
A flat hook or looper seizes and releases the nylon loop while the needle pulls it back up; the backing is then shifted forward allowing the needle to pierce it one more time. This process is done by several hundred needles that make several hundred rows of stitches per minute. At the end of this process, the nylon yarn is turned into an artificial turf carpet.
7. Once completed, the artificial grass carpet is then rolled under a dispenser that applies a latex coating on its underside. At the same time, an extra, much stronger backing is also coated using the latex. The two are then rolled on to a marriage roller that sandwiches them sealing them together.
8. The turf is then put under heat lamps. This is done to ensure that the latex cures.
9. It is then fed into a machine that clips off all tufts rising above the turf’s uniform surface.
10. The turf is then rolled into large v-lengths and packaged for shipping to merchants and sellers.
The installation and maintenance of an artificial turf is as significant as its construction. When you are installing synthetic grass in Sydney you need to follow a stringent process to ensure the durability and functionality of your turf.
1. The installation’s base, which is either compacted soil or concrete, should, first of all, be leveled using a bulldozer before being flattened using a steam roller. As long as there are any uneven surfaces, there will always be bumps once the turf is applied.
2. In the event the turf is being placed outdoors, it is important that special drainage systems be installed since the surface below the turf will only be able to absorb very little water.
3. Turf systems can either be unfilled or filled. Filled systems are designed in a way that once it is installed, materials like rubber pellets, sand, or crumbled cork, or a mixture of all the above, are spread over the turf before being raked down between the fibers. These materials help support the turf’s blades and creates a surface that has more give, allowing for it to have a more natural feel like that of a natural grass surface. However, filled systems possess some limitations. For instance, a filling material like cork could break down while other filling materials could become contaminated with dirt, making them more compact. Either way, when this happens, the turf blades end up not having the support they need. As such, maintenance may require the removal and replacement of all the filling materials.