Synthetic turf for sports
Modern synthetic turf for sports is the result of continuous development of the first synthetic turf systems of the 1970s and 1980s. Today’s users benefit from the latest generation of synthetic turf systems, which offers a diverse range of sophisticated products to satisfy all functional requirements. These products are also virtually indistinguishable from natural turf in their appearance and feel.
Synthetic turf is always used in cases where training and matches are expected to cause such high loads that natural turf would be permanently damaged, or where the maintenance costs for mowing, fertilising and watering would be too high.
Synthetic turf for football, golf, tennis or hockey is made of raw materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene or polyamide, which are tufted into a support fabric. However, with synthetic turf for sports, it is the overall system that counts: when creating a durable synthetic turf system with properties as similar as possible to those of natural turf, the elasticity of the system as a whole is of vital importance. This depends essentially on the type of infill material used and, in particular, on the elastic layer beneath the turf.
Modern elastic layers comprise foam sheets that are prefabricated in the factory and their main purpose is to absorb the applied forces. Elastic layers made of closed-cell polyethylene foam have proven to be highly effective in synthetic turf systems. Since the material has a closed-cell structure, it does not absorb water and is therefore frost-proof. The synthetic turf system retains its elasticity even at low temperatures, which means that play can continue even during winter conditions.
Until recently, the fill material generally comprised a layered system of quartz sand and rubber granulate. For ecological reasons, more recent developments in synthetic turf rely on purely mineral or natural infill materials, in order to avoid emissions of granulate particles into the environment. Some synthetic turf systems are designed in such a way that absolutely no rubber granulate infill is necessary.