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There has always been a debate about the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial turf vs Natural Grass. On one hand there are groundsmen who claim that the natural grass is the only solution for the quality of football while there is a huge industry for Artificial Turf, continuously developing new products for football pitches which replicates the properties of natural turf. Lately a new discovery Hybrid Grass, seems to end this debate once and for all.
BEST OF TWO Worlds: hatkosport.com/hybrid-grass also known as HYBRID TURF. Basically Hybridgrass is the combination of Synthetic Grass and Natural Grass or in other words it is Reinforced Natural grass combined with artificial grass fibers. Hybrid Grass is the ideal marriage of Nature and Technology, According to FIFA Hybrid Grass is accepted as 100% Natural and it is categorized as “Reinforced Grass”
The advantages of Hybrid Grass can be listed as;
Benefits For The Players
- Playable 24/7 under almost all conditions. Better playing Characteristics even under wet conditions, less slippery playing surface
- Uniform and level playing surface, even in high wear areas and goal boxes. No Divots, No uneven Surfaces
- Always green surface, even when natural grass has worn out.
- Optimum parameters on player-surface interaction (friction, rotational resistance, underfoot stability, shear strength, drainage properties).
- Reduced Risk of playing surface related injuries.
- Train and play on the same surface. No Need to reserve the main pitch for the matches only. Familiarity with the Main pitch provided by training on the main pitch gives the players advantage over their competitors
Benefits For The Ground-staff
- No more divot to repair! Only minor scars and scratches to the surface that require attention.
- No special maintenance equipment required.
- Easy to manipulate playing surface conditions, tailored to the players and managers requirements.
- Quick recovery of natural grass during the season and during regeneration period.
- A shorter out of season regeneration period.
- Easy to repair damages by simply replacing sections.
Benefits For The Facility Managers
- Increase of playing capacity up to 1000 hours per annum.
- Play and train on the same surface and therefore reduce the need for additional training areas.
- The ‘always green’ surface will guarantee a good visual appearance to the users and spectators.
- HYBRIDGRASS initial installation costs are very competitive compared to similar quality hybrid grass systems.
- HYBRIDGRASS on-going costs for maintenance are in line with those for sand based natural grass surfaces.
- No need to invest in special maintenance equipment.
- The ‘end of life’ cost liability is low when re-using the HYBRID GRASS surface as turf rolls/sods.
- Above all HYBRID GRASS maintenance cost is beneficial as HYBRID GRASS ensures a much higher usage compared to natural grass surfaces and has double the lifespan compared to synthetic grass surfaces.
Before going deeper it is better to talk about the idea behind the Hybrid Grass.
The challange of keeping the grass healthy may be older than Football Turf itself. Many methods and techniques have been developed over the years. There are two approaches to keep the grass green; reinforcing the roots and the rootzone or reinforcing the grass blades.
The idea is to add Fibers mixed with the rootzone (in situ or pre-mixed). This method strengthens the roots and provides an environment for the roots to attach and/or tangle
There are commercial applications which natural turf anchored in an artificial fibers rootzone. These mixing of Fibers in the rootzone claims that the system provides
- Playing Comfort of the Natural Turf
- Resistance to Wrenching
- Optimal Softness
- Unlimited ability to re-load itself
- Thermal Insulation
- All Weather Resistance
- Optimal Energy Restitution
- Strong Permeability
- Perfect Homogeneity
However there are very few successful applications and this application is becoming less popular as the Stabilized Hybrid turf system are providing the same benefits with additional advantages
Artificial turf carpet filled with sand or rootzone mix to the top of the fibre.
CARPET-HYBRID GRASS SYSTEMS
Artificial turf carpet filled with sand or rootzone mix. Upright fibres extend above the growing medium.
STITCHED-HYBRID GRASS SYSTEMS
Artificial turf fibers are injected in the topsoil and form a permanent construction.
HATKO HYBRID TURF
Artificial turf carpet with min. 50% porous backing and 46.000 to 86.000 filaments of HATKO Omega Fibers per square meters, filled with USGA (United States Golf Association) type rootzone mix whereby 15-17mm of the fiber stands proud of the surface.
How does Hybridgrass work?
- The idea of HATKO Hybridgrass is to provide a protected environment for the nodes of the plant and to reinforce the grass roots. The plants' nodes are protected by artificial turf fibers resulting in less damage to the plant and quick regrowth.
- Hybridgrass provides less compaction in the lower rootzone layer due to backing of carpet acting as geotextile
- Root system is anchored in the artificial grass fibers and also anchored to porous backing and lower rootzone and protected by the carpet
- Artificial turf fibers generate micro climate enhancing the grass re-growth
THE ADVANTAGES OF HYBRID TURF SYSTEMS
- Reduces the amount of wear and tear
- Retains the surface levels and uniformity
- Increases the shear strength of the surface
- Increases the amount of playing hours
- It plays like natural grass
As the Artificial Grass protects the Natural Grass, the Natural Grass also protects the Atificial Grass
- Natural grass protects the top of the artificial turf fibers from wear and tear, resulting the lifespan of the carpet to exceed up to 15 years
- Natural grass protects the artificial turf fiber from excessive UV degradation
- Natural grass in combination with rootzone infill protects the surface from extreme surface heating