how artificial grass is made?
- Aug 16, 2018-
The quality of the raw materials is crucial to the performance of turf systems. Almost anything used as a carpet backing has been used for the backing material, from jute to plastic to polyester. High quality artificial turf uses polyester tire cord for the backing.
The fibers that make up the blades of "grass" are made of nylon or polypropylene and can be manufactured in different ways. The nylon blades can be produced in thin sheets that are cut into strips or extruded through molds to produce fibers with a round or oval cross-section. The extruded product results in blades that feel and act more like biological grass.
Cushioning systems are made from rubber compounds or from polyester foam. Rubber tires are sometimes used in the composition of the rubber base, and some of the materials used in backing can come from plastic or rubber recycling programs. The thread used to sew the pads together and also the top fabric panels has to meet the same criteria of strength, color retention, and durability as the rest of the system. Care and experience must also be applied to the selection of the adhesives used to bond all the components together.
The Manufacturing Process
The "grass" part of a turf system is made with the same tufting techniques used in the manufacture of carpets.
The first step is to blend the proprietary ingredients together in a hopper. Dyes and chemicals are added to give the turf its traditional green color and to protect it from the ultraviolet rays from the sun.
After the batch has been thoroughly blended, it is fed into a large steel mixer. The batch is automatically mixed until it has a thick, taffy-like consistency.
The thickened liquid is then fed into an extruder, and exits in a long, thin strand of material.
The strands are placed on a carding machine and spun into a loose rope. The loose ropes are pulled, straightened, and woven into yarn. The nylon yarn is then wound onto large spools.
The yarn is then heated to set the twisted shaped.
Next, the yarn is taken to a tufting machine. The yarn is put on a bar with skewers (a reel) behind the tufting machine. It is then fed through a tube leading to the tufting needle. The needle pierces the primary backing of the turf and pushes the yarn into the loop. A looper, or flat hook, seizes and release the loop of nylon while the needle pulls back up; the backing is shifted forward and the needle once more pierces the backing further on. This process is carried out by several hundred needles, and several hundred rows of stitches are carried out per minute. The nylon yarn is now a carpet of artificial turf.
The artificial turf carpet is now rolled under a dispenser that spreads a coating of latex onto the underside of the turf. At the same time, a strong secondary backing is also coated with latex. Both of these are then rolled onto a marriage roller, which forms them into a sandwich and seals them together.
The artificial turf is then placed under heat lamps to cure the latex.
The turf is fed through a machine that clips off any tufts that rise above its uniform surface.
Then the turf is rolled into large v/lengths and packaged. The rolls are then shipped to the wholesaler.