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What’s that stuff? Synthetic Grass By: Ajee’ Shorter.

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1 What’s that stuff? Synthetic Grass By: Ajee’ Shorter

2 What’s the chemical make – up of the synthetic grass and the process used to make it? What’s the chemical make – up of the synthetic grass and the process used to make it?  The chemistry for producing synthetic grass is straightforward, like that of its floor-covering cousin. It begins with a polymer—either nylon, polyethylene, or polypropylene—which is melted at a high temperature, mixed with pigments and ultraviolet stabilizers to protect it from the sun's rays, and then extruded into thin ribbons of grass-like dimensions.

3 How do the chemicals come together to make what we see as normal everyday stuff? TTTThe type of polymer used depends on the application as well as cost considerations. Polypropylene is the cheapest option. Nylon offers more strength and resiliency than polyethylene and polypropylene, but it is the most expensive. Nylon also has a higher melting point than polyethylene and polypropylene, which makes the manufacturing process more difficult. AAAAfter the ribbons are formed, they are tufted, like carpet yarns, into a fabric backing, such as a woven polypropylene, and then attached with an adhesive such as polyurethane. During installation, some contractors place foam padding underneath the backing to provide cushioning. = +

4 The history of synthetic grass and what advances have been made over the years to improve what we have today?  History Artificial turf was first developed in the 1960s in North Carolina, at the Research Triangle Park. This research led to the introduction of Astroturf, the brand name for the first widely used type of artificial turf. Astroturf came into greater recognition when it was used as the playing surface in the Houston Astrodome, which was completed in 1965. The success of the Astrodome led to more brands of artificial turf and wider use. The success of artificial turf also led to more indoor stadiums, in which natural grass playing fields was impractical. An improvement in artificial turf came in the late 1990s via Field Turf, which uses a mixture of smooth rounded silica and cryogenically frozen and smashed rubber particles. It's supposedly more like real grass and has more "give," which can reduce injuries. The University of Nebraska was the first Division I-A football team to use it, in 1999. It was introduced in Major League Baseball and the National Football League the following year.   Advances  Although fields constructed with artificial turf are much easier to maintain than natural grass fields, there are other considerations. Fields constructed with artificial turf are more likely to result in injuries for players--especially "turf toe" injuries--because of the harder surface underneath. Field Turf has improved this situation. Also, some sports purists believe that sporting events should be played in the elements, which should have an effect on the playing surface. Many of football's greatest games were played in muddy fields, which would not happen with artificial turf. However, the advantages to the fans of watching events in enclosed stadiums are also strong considerations

5 How does the existence, discovery, or development of synthetic grass affect our lives? How does the existence, discovery, or development of synthetic grass affect our lives?  Cushioning underneath the earliest synthetic grass installations was primarily polyvinyl chloride foam, but it provided little protection for players. The late 1990s saw the development of a crumb rubber infill, sometimes combined with sand. After the fake grass is installed onto a field, infill is mixed into the grass to keep the individual blades from falling over and to give the surface some bounce.  The new cushioning gives rise to a potential problem. The rubber in the infill comes from recycled tires and may leach harmful chemicals into the soil, says Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, a professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "We really do not know much about the health risks," of synthetic grass, he adds.  As for the original 1960s-era Astroturf, Wright says he brought home some of the scraps that didn't get used in the Astrodome and had it installed not on the outside, but on the inside of his home at the time—as wall-to-wall carpet.

6 Resources   health_debate health_debate health_debate

7 The End

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