Artificial football turf has been used in the fields for decades and today it has become a crucial part of the football game. It was the FIFA Association (FA) that acknowledged the potential of artificial football turf and how it can further develop the overall football game.
There are different lab tests and criteria on which FA approves that the artificial football turf is ready for the action. There are many differences that separate the natural grass from artificial football turf. So, if you have decided to put your money in an artificial football turf you need to understand that besides your budget there are many aspects that you must keep in mind before choosing the right artificial football turf.
Keeping that in mind we have brought you this article where we will discuss the artificial football turf and how you can choose the best one for your ground. We will begin by introducing what artificial football turf is, its advantages, types of artificial football turf and finally the aspects for choosing the right type’ for you. So, without further ado, lets us jump right into the article.
What is artificial turf?
It is nothing but a surface that is made of synthetic fibers that looks like natural grass. It is often used in sports arenas but now people have started using these grasses on their residential belongings or commercial applications.
The main reason for using artificial turf is – Maintenance. As artificial turf is made of synthetic fibers that require no irrigation, trimming, mowing, etc. Means – it is very low maintenance.
Artificial football turf is mainly used in domed, partially covered or fully covered stadiums because there are very few chances of growing natural grass in those stadium as for the very clear reason – lack of sunlight.
Artificial football turf can have some downsides too – it may have limited life, requires periodic cleaning and chemicals from infill can be toxic for health.
But, if you keep these downsides aside and understand that every product on the planet has some shortcomings you may definitely like the advantages it serves. Let us see below:
Advantages of Artificial football turf
There are two strict test phases that are conducted to ensure that the artificial football turf is ready for the final installation. Both of these testing phases focus on:
- Seam Strength
- Weather Resistance
- Product Composition
- Interaction – player, and surface
- Interaction – ball and surface
- Service life
Once, both the testing phases are passed, FA awards the installation by the FIFA QUALITY MARK, meaning they are ready to serve the following advantages:
1: No maintenance
This is a cliché statement but it is the key benefit of artificial football turf.
Artificial football turf can be used for all kinds of events without damaging the quality of the surface.
3: It does not require sunlight
This is a perfect choice for stadiums that are covered or have indoor arenas. Artificial football turf does not require sunlight to stay healthy.
Since the artificial football turf can survive without sunlight it is very cost-efficient. This is because the natural grass (which is an alternate option) can unevenly grow on some surfaces due to the poor distribution of sunlight and in this case, people have to use costly methods like infrared lighting to support the surface.
5: Weather Resistance
Training sessions and the league can be played in any weather situation or in regions with a temperature climate, artificial football turf can survive any situation conditions and is a perfect choice for league matches especially at the amateur level.
6: No chance of ruts and spots
The natural grass surface is very sensitive and can develop spots and ruts with high volumes of foot traffic. Sports like football needs artificial football turf because there is constant pressure on the surface. The blades in the artificial football turf remain upright and bounce all the pressure back.
These were the benefits of artificial football turf, now let us look at different types of artificial football turf.
Types of artificial football turf
There are a number of artificial football turf available in the market. You have to choose the most appropriate one which can suit your club. In order to do that you have to understand the composition and variants of artificial football turf.
The 3G or third-generation synthetic football turf system consists of 3 main components.
1: Made of elastic – Compact base layer
2: Artificial grass surface.
3: An infill (quartz sand or plastic granules)
- Very Durable
- Players can play continuously for 8 hours every week.
- Rubber Crumb fill
2. Hybrid Turf
- Combination of artificial and natural fibers
- Hybrid Turf passes the FA’s stringent requirements
- It feels like natural grass.
- Retains the surface uniformity.
3. Field Turf
- Made of polyethylene blades + crushed tires.
- Field Turf imitates natural grass.
- Provide better playability at less cost.
- To make the surface soft and flexible, crushed tires and crumb rubber are used.
4. Green Touch
- Perfect for football turf, but it is also a good choice for roof and lawn.
- Soft like natural grass.
- Green touch comes in unique dense form.
- 32mm pile height.
These were the types of artificial football turf. Now, let us move on to our last and main section where you will learn how to choose the artificial football turf.
Things to know before choosing artificial football turf
As mentioned before, budget is not the only aspect you have to keep in mind before choosing suitable artificial grass for your club but there are few other aspects that are mentioned below which you must consider prior to making a choice.
You need to identify the traffic volume of the ground. If you know that the ground will be engaged throughout the year, you must choose in a high durability turf. Choosing a less durable turf will quickly wear and tear if the traffic volume is high.
The next important thing to keep in mind before choosing a turf is the quality of the grass and the overall components of the artificial turf. It should be soft to touch (polypropylene or polyamide) and well-stitched tufts.
It is very obvious that high-quality turfs will be much expensive than others, but you need to find a manufacturer or seller who can give options to make a comparison and choose the best one accordingly.
The more the density the more will be the aesthetic look of the field. You need to choose turf with high-density but if you cannot afford that you can improve the density with sand infill.
4: Pile Height
It refers to the length of the grass blades. Go with the recommended pile height for football turf which is -55 – 65mm.
Infill helps to keep the surface more elastic and comfortable. Sand and rubber crumb are common infills while Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM is a worthy option.
There you go, everything related to artificial football turf covered in this article. Artificial football turf is a synthetic finish that is used in football fields. There are many benefits of installing artificial turf like low-maintenance, durable than natural grass, etc.
There are numerous turfs available in the market, but to choose the most suitable one you have to keep some things in mind and that is the quality, traffic volume, pile height, density, and infill.
Hope you find the article informative and have learned how you can choose an appropriate artificial football turf.