For synthetic turf systems to function properly, it is important to manufacture them using only high quality raw materials. The backing material of a turf system can be made from a number of existing carpet backings, including jute, polyester or plastic, but polyester tire cord is preferred in the making of high quality backing for the artificial turf.
The ‘blades of grass’ of the artificial lawn grass are composed of fibers which are made of nylon or polypropylene, both of which can be manufactured in a number of ways. Thin sheets of nylon are cut into strips or passed through molds, resulting in fibers which have either an oval or round cross section. The blades that are then made from these fibers behave similar to biological grass.
The cushioning needed for the fake turf is made from rubber compounds or from polyester foam. Some of the materials required to make the cushioning system are derived from plastic or rubber recycling programs; rubber tires are utilized in the making of the rubber backing for example. The thread that connects the cushioning pads and the fabric must be strong and durable and must be able to retain their color for a long period of time. Similar criteria must be applied to the adhesive that binds all the components together to produce a fully functioning, reliable artificial turf system.
Carpet making techniques are applied to the making of the fake grass of an artificial turf system.
- Key components are mixed in a hopper, along with the dyes and chemicals that will make the turf its customary green color. They also safeguard the turf against ultraviolet rays.
- Once the key components are thoroughly mixed, they are put into a steel mixer. Further mixing is done till the components become a viscous liquid, similar in consistency to taffy.
- The viscous liquid is fed through an extruder to produce one long strip.
- A carding machine then turns the strip into loose ropes, which are further processed into nylon yarn by further pulling and straightening the rope. The yarn is then wound into spools.
- The nylon yarn is heated and twisted into the desired shape.
- The yarn is then processed through a tufting machine (tufting is a technique used in textiles in which thread is stitched onto a base). It is stitched through the backing of the artificial turf by several needles working simultaneously. The end product is a carpet of artificial turf.
- Latex is put beneath the carpet of artificial turf by a dispenser, along with another layer of resilient backing. A roller does the job of pushing and sealing the latex and backing into one layer.
- Heat lamps then cure the latex underneath the carpet of the artificial grass.
- The fake turf is then passed through a machine which evens out its surface by cutting out irregular tufts.
- The finished artificial turf is then rolled and packaged, after which it is shipped out to be sold.