Today’s artificial turfs allow for top-level sports to be played year-round. Whether outdoor or indoors, during snow or rain, artificial turfs can sustain lengthy sports activities without losing their quality or capabilities.
Modern synthetic sports fields have come a long way since the early years. They can mimic the performance and feel of natural grass but without any maintenance needs. To better understand how artificial turfs have evolved over the decades and what their current capabilities are, let’s go over the history of artificial turf and its safety features.
Through the Artificial Turf History Pages
The history of artificial turf begins in 1966 when the newly-built Astrodome in Houston, Texas, first featured AstroTurf, a short-pile synthetic turf. In 1965, the first year after it opened, the Astrodome attempted to use natural grass.
But, as the field conditions quickly proved inadequate halfway through the 1965 baseball season, the grandiose sports stadium urgently required an alternative solution.The stadium owners decided to try the new synthetic grass surface called ChemGrass.
It swiftly proved to be a massive success and was rebranded into AstroTurf to go with the stadium’s name. By the early 1970s, AstroTurf became a widespread solution in indoor sports arenas.
The evolution of AstroTurf
As the years passed, AstroTurf continued to adapt its synthetic surface to the changing trends and demands. The next iteration of artificial turf featured closely packed turf systems with short-pile fibers.
Eventually, the nylon grass fibers were replaced by polypropylene, a cheaper and softer material. However, this design proved to be worse than the initial one. There was an overall increase in severe joint injuries, prompting calls for a new turf design. This resulted in the creation of the second generation of artificial turfs.
These turfs had longer tufts spread wider apart, and sand spread between the synthetic grass fibers. This proved to be a better design but was still worse than natural grass, as the compacted sand infill would cause abrasion injuries.
By the third generation of synthetic turfs, synthetic grass evolved into what we know and recognize today. While today’s artificial turfs significantly differ from those more than half a century ago, every step of the evolution process was vital in its own right.
Still, the engineering and design of these synthetic surfaces are constantly improving. With that in mind, artificial turfs will undoubtedly become even more prevalent in many sports venues in the future.
Key Artificial Turf Safety Features
Artificial sports turfs are known for their excellent safety properties. This is because these turfs are specially designed with the users’ safety in mind, so they meet all of the standards for traction, rotation, and stability, required for top-level sports activities.
Artificial turf systems often come with foam padding underneath the grass blades. This provides an extra layer of protection between the athletes and the concrete slab. Additionally, the rubber granules between the grass blades deliver good surface bounce and make the surface softer.
Artificial turfs can provide a long list of key safety features. The most notable ones include:
- Soft Underfoot — Thanks to the padding and rubber granules, artificial turf is soft and gentle. The technology behind this product has evolved so significantly over the years that high-quality artificial turf feels like natural grass.
- Excellent Surface Fall Protection — Top-quality artificial turf meets all ASTM standards for synthetic turf playing surfaces and materials. In many key aspects of fall protection, it performs significantly better than natural grass.
- Synthetic Grass Surfaces Are Non-Toxic — High-quality artificial turfs are made of safe, recycled, lead-free materials. As there’s no need to fertilize the synthetic grass, there are no herbicides or pesticides in the soil or grass.
- Durable and Consistent — Although this feature applies across the board when talking about artificial turfs, it is especially important in the context of user safety. When playing sports on artificial turfs, excessive activity can quickly create injury-causing imperfections on the grass. This isn’t a possibility with durable and long-lasting artificial turfs.
Take Advantage of the Numerous Benefits of Artificial Turfs
Hopefully, this historical overview of artificial turfs has brought this topic a bit closer to you. Ultimately, artificial turfs have significantly changed over the years. Nowadays, they match the visual appearance of natural grass but offer much greater performance capabilities. Sports fields are always much more versatile and durable when artificial grass is used.
Besides the key safety features we’ve discussed on this page, there are plenty of other artificial turf features that make these systems very advantageous. They are easy to maintain, offer top-quality and consistent performance, and have outstanding durability.
If you want to take advantage of the many benefits artificial turfs can offer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our experienced and skilled contractors will provide you with all necessary information, help you through the design process, and promptly install your new artificial turf.
Call us today at (973) 453-2425 or contact us through our quick online form.