22 Oct Artificial Turf & SubAir. The Benefits of Natural Turf.
The relationship between modern technology and eco-friendly options is on the rise. It’s not surprising to see fields of natural turf more often than artificial turf. Moreover, it’s important to understand the differences and benefits of natural turf and artificial turf before beginning installation on a new field or lawn.
The Problem with Artificial Turf
Artificial turf is made from a polyethylene plastic grass on a foundation of rubber, typically post-consumer tires. There can be as many as 10,000 tires under the turf of a single sports field. Unfortunately, all of that black rubber can get very hot. In a study at the University of Missouri, an expert found that on a 98-degree day the surface temperature of the turf reaches as high as 173 degrees. In addition to the surface temperature’s extreme heat, the temperature at about 6 feet above the surface was 138 degrees.
The rubber and plastic materials used to create artificial turf give a good bit more grip than natural grass. This is responsible for “turf burn.” This comes from athletes falling on the traction surface and burning themselves from the friction created. In addition to a higher risk of injury, artificial turf often has high levels of bacterial growth and requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Without regular cleaning, artificial turf injuries are more likely to become infected. In fact, a study done with the St. Louis Rams revealed 8 out of 8 of the infected burn sites from players on the team came from turf burn.
The Benefits of Natural Turf
Natural turf is the most popular type of turfgrass, and for good reason. With proper maintenance, a wide variety of natural turfgrasses are able to survive in both warm and cool climates. Additionally, natural grass is safer for athletes in contact sports since a fall on this kind of turf is less likely to result in turf burn.
Chemical Composition & Maintenance
Natural turfgrass is a living plant and requires careful maintenance. SubAir makes maintenance easy with surface and subsurface aeration and moisture removal systems. Some of our maintenance systems include:
- TurfBreezeTM fans offer temperature and moisture control and help keep grass healthy and vibrant.
- Our Passive Capillary (PC) Drainage system follows the natural contours of the turfgrass and is installed only where drainage problems exist. In addition, PC Drainage also helps to improve overall turf health by providing better drainage in chronically wet areas.