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Article on Artificial Turf New Designs for Improved Safety

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This a great article on artificial turf that talks about improved safety and color options when it comes to artificial turf.  Key points to focus on are the availability of specific shades of color and texture that are specific to what type of grass grows in your area as well as padding that is available for safety under playgrounds and sports fields.

It does provide some information on crumb rubber.  We only use crumb rubber on our sports fields, we do not use crumb rubber in our residential installations. Cascade Greens also offers antimicrobial infills for added cleanliness and odor elimination in residential installations.

 

New Artificial Turf Designs Improve Safety

Artificial turf was developed by chemists at Monsanto in the mid-1960s. It was first known as AstroTurf after it was installed as the sports surface at the Houston Astrodome in 1966. Now, 50 years later, more than 11,000 synthetic turf athletic fields are used at schools, colleges, parks, and professional stadiums across the U.S., according to the Synthetic Turf Council.

Synthetic playing fields are often preferred over natural grass because they are easier to maintain, longer-lasting, and can be used in a variety of weather conditions. The padded surface also helps reduce the likelihood of impact injuries. One of the most popular artificial turf fields today is called an “infill” system, where the top layer of artificial fibers overlies a sequence of shock-absorbing pad, leveling layer, drainage layer, and natural compacted subgrade. The fiber layer on top is partially infilled with tiny granules of rubber, sand, or other materials (“crumb”) that settle at the base of the turf fibers. The particles help support the turf pile, keeping the fibers upright. The infill and the underlying shock-absorbing pad also reduce the possibility of injury when players fall.

Improved Fiber Design

Thanks to advances in fiber design, advanced materials, and manufacturing techniques, the newest generation of synthetic blades can be made to match the color, texture, and bounce of the grass that grows naturally in the area.  Not only does the artificial turf look natural, it looks and feels like it was “grown” locally. As a result, “artificial turf is rapidly replacing grass as the surface of choice for many sports facilities due to the many advantages that they bring—both from artificial turfs and hybrid versions, where a hybrid grass pitch features 100 percent natural sport grass reinforced by artificial turf fibers,” writes Randy B. Hecht in a recent blog for Oerlikon, a Swiss-based global technology group.

Better designs enhance grass fibers. Image: Global Syn-Turf

Field safety is also enhanced by better designs of the grass fibers. Different material chemistries and blade shapes can impact temperature, color, bounce, and other performance characteristics. For example, S-shaped blades reflect sunlight evenly, so the turf maintains a uniform color on a sunny day. Temperature of the playing surface is a concern for athletes. In hot weather, artificial turf can reach temperatures as high as 180 degrees F. W-shaped blades diffuse sunlight and heat through the curves of its blades, lowering the overall temperature of the turf up to 15 degrees. Hollow blades can further reduce temperature levels on the field.

“Our [blade] is designed to make turf stand up straighter and taller than other grasses, making it look realistically tall,” states Global Syn-Turf, a major provider of artificial turf, on its website. “As with naturally growing grass, M-shaped blades reflect light at various angles preventing water, or mirror effects, from flat even surfaces.”

Recent concerns have been raised about the health risks of crumb rubber infill, the most common infill material used in artificial turf fields. Some reports indicate the pulverized rubber contains carcinogenic compounds and can be ingested or inhaled into the body. “More healthy” options for crumb rubber include:

  • Particles made from the recycled rubber outsoles of athletic shoes, which purportedly contain fewer hazardous chemicals.
  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) pellets that feel like rubber and can be easily recycled.
  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), a synthetic rubber used in roofing and sealing.
  • Acrylic polymer-coated sand particles.
  • Organic infill composed of coconut fibers, cork, or processed nutshells Softer Landings.

The top priority for artificial surfaces is player safety, especially reducing injuries from falling. Synthetic turf systems have been modified to include higher pile heights and deeper granular infill materials in an effort to create a softer surface. Other factors that can improve softness and field performance include type of plastic, blade design, density, and pattern, design parameters that impact bounce and roll resistance, and shock-layer systems.

Impact protective underlayment system. Image: Viconics

Perhaps the most intriguing development in shock absorption technology for artificial fields is coming from the automotive industry. Viconic Sporting, Dearborn, MI, is experimenting with a material that is used by the automotive industry to reduce the impact of crashes. Viconic’s promising new impact-absorbing layer, which looks like sturdy bubble wrap, is made from resilient thermoplastic urethane material that buckles on impact. However, the energy absorbers (“bubbles”) do not pop upon impact. “Instead, they crush down to about 90 percent of their height, absorbing the energy of the player’s fall, and then recover to their natural shape and are ready for the next impact,” says Joel Cormier, Viconic’s director of development engineering. “A low-level impact on a playing surface will likely not engage the energy absorbers. With a high-energy impact, these structures collapse and buckle in a very efficient manner to absorb the impact energy.”

The shock pad is installed underneath the artificial turf and snaps together for easy assembly. “The goal is to reduce the forces that a player experiences from impact with the playing surface,” says Cormier. “If we can reduce injury in the automotive field, hopefully we can do the same thing for synthetic turf. We see potential for the product to be used everywhere, from youth soccer to the NFL.”

Mark Crawford is an independent writer.

Artificial Turf Installation by Cascade Greens

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Happy Dogs like Synthetic Dog Turf!

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Want to get rid of muddy paw tracks and dirt on your carpet? Our complete Dog System with synthetic dog turf is just what you need.

Components of our Dog System with Synthetic Dog Turf

synthetic turf installation process cutaway

Subgrade: 

3-4″ of gravel is placed over landscape fabric to stop weeds from growing up through the gravel.  The base of gravel gives the best solution for drainage in normal or heavy rain conditions.  Extra grave can be added in low spots to help with added drainage issues.

Synthetic Dog Turf: 

Dream Turf dog turf is made with antimicrobial backing and blades to help deter any microbial growth from your pets waste.  The backing is also a mesh material for added drainage.  This added drainage helps fluids run through the turf quickly so it helps stop odors from arising.

Infill:

Our residential installations use a green silica sand.  We offer an antimicrobial Durafill sand for our dog system, it is a fully encapsulated granule that has no absorbency properties.  This type of infill helps drainage and deters any microbial growth.  It will help keep your pet and your synthetic dog turf clean!

Low-Maintenance:

There are very few things in life that are no maintenance.  With having dogs on turf there are a few maintenance task that need to be done, but are far less than with natural grass.  In the hot dry months we strongly encourage watering the grass on a daily basis if your dog is going potty on the turf.  Think of it as flushing the toilet.  The water will help the urine get rinsed through the infill and get wash away so there is no odor.  Solid waste should be picked up like normal.  If any spots are left they can just be hosed off.  We also offer our maintenance service, or Spruce Up!, whenever needed so it freshens up your yard!

 

Other Synthetic Turf Options

All of our synthetic turf is a great solution to muddy paws.  Whichever type of grass you prefer, we always highly recommend our antimicrobial Durafill sand.  It will help keep your yard clean for your furry friends.

 

Happy Dog!

Here are a few of our happy dogs loving their new turf….

dog turf

Quality Synthetic Turf For a Small Area

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Synthetic turf is a great low-maintenance replacement for any area of ground cover, especially a lawn or putting green.  We have installed synthetic turf in many different applications.  Mrs. D in SE Portland has a very small back patio and wanted the best use out of it for her and her dog.  So, she called Cascade Greens to help her fill what little area she had with our Dream Turf dog turf.

 

synthetic turf small area

Before

Synthetic Turf Small Area Installation Process

dog turf

starting excavation

Every job starts with excavating the existing ground and preparing it for landscape fabric and gravel base.  It is important to excavate deep enough to allow room for 3-4″ of open gravel.  This amount of subgrade allows for excellent drainage in most yards.  Cascade Greens guarantees no pooling water and our crew is capable of adding all types of products for adequate drainage in your area.

synthetic turf small area

laying landscape fabric

subgrade

subgrade

With a level subgrade of open gravel, best for drainage, it is time to lay turf.  Depending on the shape of a yard, there is sometimes a need for a seam where the turf will meet.  Mrs.D was in need of one small seam due to the L shape of her yard area.  This seam allowed us to not waste any turf and keep Mrs.D’s cost down.

synthetic grass

one small seam

After laying turf comes infill.  We use a green sand, no rubber, in our turf as infill for residential applications.  We use a stihl brush to help the sand settle in as it gets spread across the turf..  Having an infill helps keep the blades standing up straight and a soft grass like cushion when you walked on.

Job Well Done!

synthetic lawn

job done

Mrs.D was very happy with the finished lawn. So was her dog!  Now Mrs.D has a year round usable yard with no wet or dirty paws tracking in the house.

Dog Turf and Natural Turf for a West Linn Homeowner

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Turf, dogs, and kids, oh my! A West Linn homeowner had a backyard consisting of dirt, weeds and the occasional patch of natural grass and was in desperate need of a revamp. Maybe you too have a decrepit grass problem caused by poor soil, minimal sun or lack of time, but there is a solution to all of this – it’s called synthetic turf. The consultation with the homeowners consisted of assessing the front and backyard.  One size does not fit all so for this homeowner we actually presented two turf options, Dog Turf and Natural Turf.  Natural Turf, as you will soon read, is not live grass, but a type of artificial turf.  The homeowners went with our suggestions and chose to install Dog Turf with Durafill in the backyard and Natural Turf with sand in the front yard. 

Before and After – Dog Turf with Durafill

Cascade Greens began with a barren landscape, then prepped the area to accommodate 1295 square feet of Dog Turf and finished the job in 5 days. The results were amazing.  The new turf area has lush looking grass that the dogs and homeowners can now enjoy.  No more muddy paws.  Here are a couple photos to give you an idea of the progression in the backyard.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

What is Dog Turf you may ask?

Dog Turf is not just any old synthetic turf. It’s synthetic turf designed just for dogs. It drains faster than other types of turf. It also has antimicrobial additives built into the turf blades and backing. It looks nice, is hygienic, and is soft and comfortable on your dog’s delicate paws.

Natural Turf in the Front Yard

This West Linn client chose natural turf for the front yard. Natural turf is perfect for customers who really want their yard to look like real grass and not too perfect.

What is Natural Turf you may ask?

Natural Turf looks very natural. It is comparable to natural grass you find in the Northwest but won’t need all that fertilizer. Natural Turf is a 5 color thatched turf with a 72 oz. face weight and is 1-7/8” in pile height. Natural Turf is very resistant to traffic, making it a great choice for homes with kids and dogs.

Synthetic Turf Installation Experts in Oregon

Cascade Greens is the premier company supplying and installing synthetic turf products.  We only focus on synthetic turf.  You might notice our address is not in Portland but rest assured we are in Portland every single day doing work. We are here to answer your questions about synthetic turf and are always willing to discuss the best synthetic turf solutions for your lawn needs. Take back the time you spend cutting the grass and enjoy your yard instead.  Give us a ring! 

 

Dogs love artificial turf called Dog Turf

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Sometimes small useless outdoor areas can be transformed into beautiful spaces for your pets, for the best results us a brand of synthetic turf that is known as Dog Turf. Such was the case for Mr. & Mrs. K, one of our recent residential artificial turf projects. With two little dog rascals running around, it was important to give the dogs a nice, soft, clean place to land their paws. Here’s an idea of what we started with.

BEFORE

BEFORE

So, to get this under way, we needed to remove the existing “sod”, not sure you could even call it that. Anywho, we dug it up and used 5 gallon buckets to remove it from the property. After carrying all that out, we then had to use the same 5-gallon buckets to haul in gravel to assist with drainage under the new synthetic grass. In this case, Mr. and Mrs. K chose Dog Turf. Here is the final product in photo form.

AFTER

AFTER

All in all, the project at Mr. and Mrs. K’s house was a doozy, but well worth it to see the pups’ smiling faces. Mr. and Mrs. K made a smart choice by installing synthetic turf in an area of their yard that was often overlooked but in reality a perfect place for synthetic turf.  Not only have the dogs improved their “usable” space but the K’s have also improved the value of their property.

About Dog Turf

Dog Turf is synthetic turf developed just for dogs. It drains faster than other turfs and has antimicrobial additives built into the turf blades and the backing. It looks good, it’s hygienic, and it’s soft and comfortable on delicate paws.

Reasons Smart Pet Owners Choose Our Dog Turf

  • Because our synthetic Dog Turf looks like real grass pets treat it like real grass
  • Older dogs will know what Dog Turf is for as soon as you introduce it. Puppies will quickly learn to use the turf instead of your carpet. They will associate Dog Turf with going outside on real grass.
  • A lot of the synthetic turf out there is just not suitable turf for dogs. Dog Turf is superior because it’s anti-bacterial and non-absorbent, and the unique backing lets liquids escape much faster than hole-punched turf does.
  • It’s a low maintenance yard solution, much easier than mowing the lawn.

Cascade Greens is a Premiere Dog Turf Supplier

Dog Turf is available exclusively from Cascade Greens and selected agents nationwide, making us some of the leading experts in the pet turf industry. Give us a call to discuss your synthetic lawn options today!