Characteristics of synthetic grass
There are several aspects of synthetic grass that should be considered when choosing a new sports field. Our expert team here at GreenFields will be delighted to help you find the best synthetic grass system for you.
Low Impact Surface – In contact sports such as rugby and football, it is imperative for the synthetic grass surface to be soft so as to reduce the likelihood of player injury. Impact injuries are reduced in a synthetic grass system by the application of an e-layer (shock pad under the turf layer), which provides a cushioning effect. Not all synthetic grass systems have an e-layer and there are different types of shock pad available.
Nonabrasive Synthetic Grass – The surface of a 3G synthetic grass sports fields is very soft and unlikely to cause abrasions in non-contact sports. However, skin burns can occur when a player slides on the surface if his/her skin temperature exceeds 44⁰C. It is therefore important to select a long pile synthetic grass for sports such as rugby and football so the effect of friction is reduced and players can enjoy a comfortable surface. In field hockey where a long pile turf is not possible, the surface temperature is reduced by irrigation; water cools the surface to compensate the effects of friction in the event of a player sliding or falling.
3G Pitch – Synthetic grass sports fields have changed dramatically since their inception in 1964. Thanks to modern technology, the surfaces are low impact, more realistic, feel much softer and respond very realistically to interactions with a ball. Any sports field utilising this modern synthetic grass system is known as a 3G (third generation) pitch. The most remarkable aspect of a 3G pitch is that some players have been reported as stating they prefer it to natural turf because it can be maintained at a consistently high quality all year round; it is a playing surface you can rely on.
Infill System – Depending on the usage of your field you may choose a rubber infill, sand infill or non-infill system. Rubber is used in rugby and football to provide a softer surface. Sand infill is used in short pile turf systems such as hockey and tennis to provide a more responsive surface. The infill stabilises the synthetic grass fibres in an upright position. Fibres must be upright in a football field to slow down the speed of the ball and resemble the performance characteristics of a natural turf field. If the fibres are flat, the ball will travel unrealistically fast and it can become difficult for players to control the ball. Without infill the fibres will naturally spring back into an upright position but after many hours of usage the infill helps to ensure they do not become flat. Regular brushing on non-infill systems can help to keep the fibres upright.
In order to achieve the best possible quality, GreenFields have a sports construction project department that can provide you with a turnkey solution from design and construction management through to installation and field testing. Our involvement throughout the construction project ensures the synthetic grass sports system will be completed to the highest standard.
Field Tests – A synthetic grass surface should respond to the ball in a similar way to that of a natural grass field. Tests are performed after a sports field is installed to ensure a level surface in addition to analysing the ball roll and ball rebound measurements. This is especially important for sports at professional level whereby players need the best possible surface to move the ball in a controlled way. Governing organisations of several sports including football, rugby and hockey require field tests to be performed if the field is to be used for high level competitions.
Synthetic Grass Maintenance – After your field has been installed it is essential for the surface to be maintained on a weekly basis. Synthetic grass requires considerably less attention than natural turf but it must not be neglected. GreenFields provide a professional maintenance solution that will keep your synthetic grass system in optimum condition for many years.
GreenFields Synthetic Grass
View our sports turf section for examples of football fields, rugby pitches, tennis courts, hockey fields, baseball fields and cricket pitches installed by GreenFields. Contact GreenFields today to find the best synthetic grass system for you.