A key component in artificial turf – Backings
Backing is one of the key components when producing artificial grass. It is the layer that ensures that the fibres stay where they have been tufted and prevents them from pulling out. The backing also provides the playing surface with extra weight, which adds to the overall stability of the carpet.
There are three different systems to choose from:
Latex is the traditional backing option in Europe, and remains extremely popular today. This is not only due to its lower price compared with PU backing, but also as it is used in conventional indoor carpet backing, which suits most European turf producers. The turf fibres are tufted through a primary backing sheet, such as PP (polypropylene) that provides the structure and initial support for the individual fibre tufts. A secondary backing, latex, is then applied to the back of the carpet, to bind the pile to the backing and give more weight to the overall structure. For porosity, holes are punched through the backing, at regular spacings.
Latex offers a secure backing, provided it is correctly applied. However, it is susceptible to extremely wet conditions, and a reduction in tuft lock may be seen, leading to fibres coming out after a number of years.
PU backings are exceptionally durable, weather resistant and have a greater tear resistance, because the PU coating penetrates the fibres more evenly. The backing component is applied in a similar way to the latex backing, with a primary woven backing, through which the fibres are stitched into, and a secondary PU backing, that holds the tufts in place. Surfaces with PU backings are in general a little lighter and more flexible, which makes them easier to cut, install and transport.
Unlike latex, PU backing is popular in countries such as America, and is not affected by wet conditions. This means that warranties for PU coated backings are usually a little longer than for latex ones.
PRT backing is a unique system from CCGrass and an alternative to traditional latex or PU systems. Using a special 100% thermoplastic, free-draining fabric, applied to the back of the tufted carpet, PRT is a fully recyclable component, and is designed to eliminate end of life disposal issues. The drainage of the PRT backing is five times faster than conventional synthetic grass backings, which helps move rainwater away from the surface top far quicker, thereby reducing the risk of infill floating. More information on this technology can be found here: PRT CCGRASS
PRT backings also offer greater tuft lock than other backing systems, but is a little higher in cost. In addition, different backing techniques are required to lay this much lighter system.
While all three options are suitable for building high class sports pitches, we recommend you talk to a professional to find out what choice is best for your project.