What Exactly IS Artificial Grass?
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
We know how fantastic artificial grass is these days, how authentic it looks, how good it feels to walk and play on and how easy it is to install and maintain. But what exactly is it made of and how is it made?
Artificial grass is a system of synthetic fibres made to look like and act like natural grass. All of the different components used to make artificial grass have a specific function and together create the look and feel of artificial turf.
The synthetic materials used to construct artificial lawns are made up primarily out of 3 components: Polyethylene (PE): soft, skin-friendly, and durable. Polypropylene (PP): stiffer, durable. Nylon: harder and extremely durable.
The synthetic grass fibres and the infill (rubber and/or sand) determine what the field looks like. If black rubber is chosen for the infill then the surface will look different to a field infilled with green rubber material. What cannot be seen, but which is equally important, is the sub-base of the artificial grass pitch.
The Sub Base
The sub base of an artificial grass area is of the utmost importance, and while artificial grass can be laid on several different sub bases, the most recommended base is a well compacted unbound aggregate (stone) base, which is screeded level and topped with a heavy duty geotext membrane.
You will often hear the word “pile” used in artificial grass parlance, similar to the pile of a carpet. Pile is the term for the upright blades on artificial turf. These can be cut at different heights (e.g. 40-50-60 mm). As standard, 20 mm of free pile height (the part of the synthetic grass fibre that extends above the infill) is calculated.
The pile height is usually dependent on the sub-base. If you are building on stone, you will for example need a longer pile. As we already know, artificial grass is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass.
However, it is now increasingly being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well. The main reason is maintenance as the artificial turf stands up to heavy use, it looks really good and requires no watering or mowing! We hope that explains a little more about what your artificial lawn actually is, and if you are interested in finding out more about how an artificial lawn could fit into your life, do get in touch with us at Lawrence Lawns and we’ll be happy to advise you.