It has to be one of the most asked questions in the world of synthetic surfaces, alongside “what is Astroturf?” and “will my artificial pitch need maintenance?” A 3G surface, or third generation is a long piled tufted carpet that has rubber and sand infill. Predominately used for football, although some 3G surfaces with a 40mm pile heights are suitable for hockey and multi sport.
These surfaces offer maximum comfort under foot, exceptional ball bounce as well as good ball roll and ball control. They are reliant on regular maintenance and infill levels should be checked weekly. Mainly an outdoor sports surface, 3G products look like grass and offers similar playing characteristics. The rubber infill allows studded boots to be used for extra grip, in addition to providing extra shock absorption. Installed over a shock absorbing underlay can provide extra comfort and increased playing performance, in addition to adding to the longevity of the surface.
All tufted surfaces are manufactured in a similar way, by needling the fibre into a preformed primary backing cloth, creating a loop which is then cut into a U shape. The material is then coated with latex to keep the fibres in place. Made from either polypropylene or polyethylene fibre, a tufted surface can be manufactured with a pile height of up to 70mm.
A tufted surface is durable and hardwearing and a surface installed at a football pitch could be used all day, every day, which is why they are now becoming increasingly popular.
Playrite manufacture a range of 3G surfaces called Conqueror which are available with varying pile heights and accredited to the FIFA 1 Star equivalent IATS standard as well as EN15330 part 1.