Artificial turf is formed by mixing plastic granules with UV stabilizers and coloring agents. It is mainly used in areas where grass cannot grow or its maintenance is complex. Sports stadiums and arenas use this artificial grass for international or national tournaments. It can also be used in houses and playgrounds to increase aesthetics and decrease maintenance costs.
Artificial turf was initially produced in the late 1960s. They used manufacturing processes similar to that of carpets. Since then, the use of artificial turf is increasing with time. New manufacturing methods, innovative designs, and high-quality raw materials are now used to manufacture artificial turf.
The raw material used in artificial turf determines the quality of that turf. The backing material of the turf is the same as that of the carpet. Plastic or polyester can be used as a backing material. But, high-quality turf has polyester cords as its backing material.
Grass blades are composed of nylon or polyethylene. First of all, nylon is pressed into long sheets. Then, these sheets are cut into short fibers to craft grass blades.
Rubber foams and polyester compounds are used to establish the cushioning system of the turf. Durable threads and strong adhesives are used to ligate all the components together.
The manufacturing process of the turf is quite similar to the formation method of the carpet. The steps involved in the manufacturing of turf are given below:
Mixing of the raw material:
The first step in the formation of artificial grass is the mixing of the following ingredients in the hopper:
- Polyethylene or polypropylene
- Plastic granules
- Chemical dyes
- Coloring dyes
- Number of additives
Coloring dyes are added to give the grass an appealing and refreshing green color. Chemical dyes are also introduced to develop UV-resistant power in artificial grass. All these mixed ingredients are melted under high temperatures to form a liquid. Then, it is subjected to increased pressure in the extruder machine. This process is necessary to make small round or oval synthetic fibers. The head of the extruder determines the shape and size of the fibers. It can be fibrillated or monofilament. In advanced extruder machines, you can manufacture the desired form of filaments.
For the weaving process, long and thin filaments are spun at high speed in the carding machine. Long ropes formed are then heated to prepare them for the tufting machines. In the tufting machine, the weaving process starts. The strings are punched and ligated together with the help of thousands of needles. After this vigorous process of weaving and tufting, the ropes are turned into a carpet.
The coating process is done in the RAM machine and is necessary to increase the cohesiveness of the resulting carpet. Latex and adhesives are used in the coating process to make the turf stronger and more durable.Latex significantly increases the ligation and joining of the ropes.