Frequently asked questions about artificial grass

What does an artificial sports pitch consist of?

An artificial grass pitch is a total system made up of different components.  All these components have a specific function and together create the play characteristics of the artificial turf.  The synthetic grass fibres and the infill (rubber and/or sand) determine what the field looks like. If black rubber is chosen for the infill then the pitch will look different to a field infilled with green rubber material.  What cannot be seen, but which is equally important, is the sub-base of the artificial grass pitch.  This comprises water permeable material that together with a drainage system ensures that no puddles collect on the pitch.  A mixture of lava and/or rubber of approximately 10 cm depth is applied over the foundation. Alternatively an e-layer or elastic layer made from bonded rubber can also be chosen. This ensures the necessary shock absorption and energy rebound.

Why are there different pile heights?

Pile is the term for the upright blades on artificial turf.  These can be cut at different heights (e.g. 40-50-60 mm). As standard, 20 mm of free pile height (the part of the synthetic grass fibre that extends above the infill) is calculated.
The pile height is usually dependent on the sub-base.  If you are building on stone, you will for example need a longer pile.  Each project is evaluated together with a specialist.

What is the difference between artificial turf and natural turf?

The main difference between artificial turf and natural turf is that artificial turf can be used much more intensively.  A natural pitch can be used a maximum of 300, on average 250, hours a year whereas an artificial grass pitch can be played on 7 days a week..
Artificial turf requires less maintenance and the maintenance costs are also lower.  This means the artificial turf is an extremely good investment in the long term. 
Artificial turf saves space. You need fewer fields because you no longer have to take account of recovery time for the grass, or the condition of the pitch as a result of poor weather conditions.
In terms of play, you can rely on artificial turf feeling very similar to natural turf.  The artificial turf is developed in such a way that it replicates very closely the characteristics of a perfect natural turf.

Are temporary artificial turf areas possible?

Yes. It is possible to lay an artificial turf that has specially designed ‘Velcro’ attached. In this way an indoor hall that is used for events, trade shows, etc. can afterwards be transformed into a fully functioning sports area with artificial turf.  Of course such projects are not standard and require professional support.
Then there is also the Desso Mobile Sports system. This is made up of large pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle, comprising a shock absorbent base and artificial grass top. These can be fitted together, after which the field is ready to use. After the event, the Desso Mobile Sports system can be quickly removed and stored, ready for next time.

Is artificial turf expensive?

Artificial turf does indeed require a fair investment but this needs to be viewed in the long term.  The costs per hour of play on artificial turf are considerably lower than for natural grass, as a result of cheaper, less intensive maintenance, the possibility for multifunctional use and the constant availability for play, artificial turf offers a higher ‘return’.  If you add the valuable space you can save to that, then you see that the return on the investment is very high.

How do the artificial turf rolls stay in place? Do they not shift over time?

The infill keeps the rolls in place. Artificial grass rolls are not attached to the sub-base but allowed to “float” across it. As the rolls generally experience a natural process of expanding and contracting according to the weather conditions, if the rolls were fixed then this would cause them to tear and bending of the lines would occur.  Naturally the seams are always glued.

Could moles damage artificial turf?

An artificial turf mat is in principle made in the same way as a carpet.  The synthetic fibres are tufted into a canvas and subsequently reinforced with a layer of latex.  This “backing” is so strong that moles cannot dig through it. In some cases an impermeable root canvas/foil is applied between the base and the artificial turf mats.

Will puddles stay on the artificial turf pitch?

Water permeability is one of the advantages an artificial grass pitch has over a natural grass pitch. First and foremost small holes are stuck in the artificial-grass backing to allow the water to drain through to the subsoil. The subsoil, moreover, consists of highly absorbent materials such as crushed rubble, gravel or a mixture of mineral matter. During heavy downpours the base is able to ‘store’ excess water and allow it to seep through slowly to the in-built draining pipes. All of the above enables the artificial turf to be kept in good working order.

What is the difference between playing sports on artificial turf and natural grass?

The feeling of play is subjectively similar and yet there are measurable elements that make it possible to compare artificial turf and natural grass.  Ball rolling, bouncing, sliding characteristics, heat development, shock absorption and wear and tear are only a few of the characteristics extensively tested. On the basis of that information fibre structures and compositions are revised until the artificial turf is as close as possible to perfect natural grass. 
If you are in any doubt, you can always contact us to visit an artificial turf field and to feel the difference yourself.

Can the colour of the artificial turf rub off onto my clothes?

No. Artificial turf is colour-fast and the colour of the artificial turf will consequently not rub off onto your clothes, ball or other material.

Can Desso GrassMaster also be installed on smaller areas?

No. The computer-controlled machines which inject the artificial turf into the soil are designed to equip a sports fields with synthetic grass fibres as quickly and efficiently as possible.  As a result the machines are too large for use in gardens, drives, etc.

Can artificial turf discolour in the sun? Is it resistant to UV?

Everything in the open air experiences the impact of sunlight, and, more specifically, UV-radiation. For that reason Desso Sports equips its synthetic fibres with the Fibre Protection System (FPS), a technology that protects artificial turf from the fading effect of sunlight.  UV-stabilisers ensure that the negative rays do not permeate into the fibres.

Can a synthetic grass pitch be recycled?

In the past, used artificial-grass pitches would be converted into floor-covering material for riding tracks. But new techniques allow us to recycle an artificial-grass pitch and use it for civil-engineering applications. Thanks to the top quality materials both the synthetic grass fibres and the infill can be recycled perfectly. On condition of the correct treatment, artificial grass pitches can also be recycled as artificial turf.

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