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A History of Artificial Grass: Humble Beginnings and Stunning Improvements

Manufacturer of artificial grass in Perth reveals how more than 50 years of research and development have improved synthetic grass.

Perth, WA, 25 December 2013 - Although artificial grass has become very popular for both sport and residential applications in the Perth area, many Australians still see synthetic grass as the product it was nearly 50 years ago. Recently on their blog, Green Planet Grass supplied a short history of artificial grass and explained to their Perth area customers the difference between first generation artificial turf and the current third generation products.

In the Beginning: Mixed Reviews

The first generation of artificial turf, called AstroTurf, was created by US agricultural giant Monsanto in the early 1960's for use in what was then a unique entity—an indoor baseball stadium called the Astrodome. Home of the Houston Astros, a Major League Baseball team, the Astrodome was unable to sustain a natural grass playing surface, so an artificial surface was installed for their second season.

On one level, the surface was a smashing success because it solved a lot of problems that artificial grass still solves today. It was always consistent, no matter what the weather or lack thereof, and maintenance was minimal. There was no watering, fertilising or weed-killers needed.

Unfortunately, the first generation of artificial grass was an inferior product in many ways. It had short fibres that didn't resemble real grass and it was installed directly on top of cement with no infill. This created a surface that was true but very hard—both on the surface and beneath.

The net result was too many injuries and bounces that adversely affected the integrity of the game. Eventually, many stadiums that had installed AstroTurf went back to natural grass. For many, this is how their opinions of artificial grass were formed and this is all they remember.

In 2000, a product called FieldTurf would appear as a second generation artificial turf. It had a sand infill and it had fibres that were manufactured to approximate natural grass. It would debut in St Petersburg, Florida at Tropicana Field.

The product was promising enough that FIFA would announce in 2001 that they were launching the FIFA Quality Concept, which would license artificial turf for soccer starting in 2005. FIFA standards allow for two ratings: 1-Star for what they call “community football” and 2-Star for professional football.

The resulting research and development by all of the major manufacturers would result in the third generation of artificial turf. Third generation artificial turf has an infill that is a combination of rubber and sand with fibres that are more like natural grass than their predecessors.

Moving Forward to 2013

Artificial grass now provides an experience that many feel is better than natural grass. Artificial turf is now as soft as natural grass, but without the grass stains or pests that come with natural grass. Justin Everley, Director of Green Planet Grass, has overseen the installation of more than 4,000 artificial lawns, playgrounds and sport pitches in the Perth area.

According to Everley: “There is no comparison between 1960's first generation artificial turf and Green Planet Grass. Not only has the industry itself made major advances, we continually employ customer feedback to help us research and develop our products to solve problems. The result is superior artificial lawns and sport pitches that exceed expectations on every level.”

Green Planet Grass manufactures artificial grass in Australia. Located in Perth, they create synthetic grass solutions for residential, commercial and sport applications. For more information, call (08) 9209 2669 or check out their website: http://www.greenplanetgrassperth.com.au/.