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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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Artificial Grass Can Fit All Your Grass Needs Part 2

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Artificial grass is a great alternative to natural grass and a great addition to any home or business.  Artificial turf can be used in many different application.  Here are a few more options to keep in mind when looking for a new surface or ground cover.

 

Artificial Grass for Vehicle Floor Mats

We use cuts of turf in our company vehicles to protect our floor mats from dirt and stains.  When working in the winter, our crew is known to get their boots muddy.  Our vehicles stay cleaner and have less stains when we use turf as a floor mat.  It is a cheap and good looking alternative.  And is a great conversation starter!

 

 

Rooftop Artificial Turf

 

 

Don’t have a yard? Have a rooftop yard! Soft turf to play on, relax on, or just make your roof look better for parties.  These types of installations can sometimes take extra materials to help with drainage and nailing of edges, but we sure love a challenge.  We pride ourselves in doing all the work ourselves.  Our crew has many talents and many years of experience with out of the norm installations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Grass Around a Pool

artificial grass

 

 

 

Do you get dirt in your pool? Artificial turf eliminates dirt in your yard.  No more dirty feet in the pool and the sand infill doesn’t track.  You could even swim in the winter with no worry about getting muddy.  Artificial grass is also soft to walk on, therefore requiring no shoes!  And it looks good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Grass Sports Fields

Synthetic turf

synthetic grass sports field

indoor synthetic grass soccer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cascade Greens has installed multiple indoor and outdoor sports fields of all types.  Artificial grass is a great addition to your home or business, what better way than to make it playable?  We install private residential and commercial sports fields of all types including, but not limited to, indoor/outdoor soccer fields and football fields.

 

 

 New Applications

Cascade Greens is always open to new and different types of applications for our turf.  We are happy to work with our customers to find just what they are looking for to complete their home or project.  Call TODAY for a FREE consultation.

Artificial Grass Can Fit All Your Grass Needs Part 1

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Artificial grass is very versatile and can be applied to many more applications than just your front or back yard.  Cascade Greens has had the pleasure of installing artificial turf in some very interesting locations and we’d like to share those adventures.

 

Playground Artificial Grass

artificial turf

What better surface to have under and around your playground than artificial turf? No mud for the kids to track in, they could play year round.  Artificial grass is safe for kids and dogs alike. It is a great low-maintenance solution to other ground coverings under a playground structure.  Works great for either residential or commercial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Grass Around Llama Barns

artificial turf

Synthetic grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t want muddy paw dirtying up the barn? Artificial turf can help by having a perimeter that allows your animals to “wipe” their feet off before they step into the barn.  We know in the valley we deal with a lot of rain and that’s why Cascade Greens guarantees no pooling water!

 

 

Estate Entry Turn Around Artificial Grass

artificial grass

Mr.H has a beautiful entry way into his many acres of land in Oregon City.  Mr. H has two putting greens and a putt putt course on his property.  What better way to welcome people than installing artificial turf in your entry way?  This ensures an entry that looks manicured year round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duck Blind

Artificial turf is not limited to just home use, it can also be for outdoor sports!  Imagine it’s been raining for a week, but you want to go duck hunting.   Synthetic grass can solve that problem.  No mud while you wait for the perfect shot.  You might even be comfortable.

 

Advertising Center Piece

Cascade Greens has sold very specific shapes and sizes of artificial turf to marketing and sports companies.  Our turf is used for displays under products and as accents to other items.  Artificial turf can be cut to any size and most shapes to fit your needs and space.  We have even punched holes in specific spots on the turf to allow for stands to fit into the grass.

 

 New Applications

Cascade Greens is always open to new and different types of applications for our turf.  We are happy to work with our customers to find just what they are looking for to complete their home or project.  Call TODAY for a FREE consultation.

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.