- What is the difference between woven, tufted and
- How are synthetic surfaces made?
- Is synthetic carpet maintenance free?
- What is the life span of a synthetic
- Can I install a Playrite surface myself, if not
can you recommend an installer?
- What is 3G?
- What is AstroTurf?
- Can you play all sports on all surfaces?
- Which surfaces is best to install for a tennis
court that occasionally floods?
- Does tufted last longer than
1. What is the difference
between woven, tufted and needlepunch surfaces?
There are 3 main types of manufacturing processes for synthetic
grass - woven, needlepunch and tufted with each process offering
its own unique benefits. Each utilises different types of synthetic
yarns varying from fibrillated and monofilament, knit de knit and
staple fibre with polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon textures.
Woven carpets have no infill whereas needlepunch has sand and
tufted can have sand or a combination of sand and rubber.
Playrite are the only UK manufacturer to produce all 3 of these
surfaces. Click for more information on the manufacturing processes.
2. How are synthetic surfaces
Each type of surfaces is manufactured in a different way.
Woven carpet is manufactured in one process, interlacing two sets
of threads namely the warp, at the same time the pile is trapped
between the backing yarns with the weft. The yarn is then cut into
either a U or a J shaped tuft. Woven products give a higher
tuft density than a tufted carpet, though the pile height can only
be manufactured to a maximum of 18mm. Generally a woven carpet is
sand dressed or has no infill at all, and you can use
polypropylene, polyethylene or nylon fibre for this
Needlepunch construction starts with polypropylene staple fibres
being placed into a machine at the exact pile weight requirement.
They are combed into line through a carding machine layering the
fibres in one direction, then into a needling loom which interlocks
the coarser denier fibre creating a flat carpet. This is then
placed on a structure machine which designs the required pile
design and height specification.
Tufted carpets are created by needling the fibre into a pre formed
primary backing cloth creating a loop which is cut into a U shape
by a looper. A secondary backing in the form of latex is then
applied, to increase porosity holes are punched into the carpet. On
longer pile tufted carpets a pre formed fleece backing is used
which increases tuft retention. Tufted carpets offer sand dressed,
sand filled or sand and rubber filled surfaces.
Polypropylene, polyethylene along with nylon can be used and you
can achieve up to 70mm pile height.
3. Is synthetic carpet
Synthetic carpet is not maintenance free, all artificial surfaces
require regular maintenance to ensure longer life expectancy. The
absolute minimum requirements are weekly brushing and sand levels
must be kept to specification at all times. To see the kind of
maintenance regime that Playrite would recommend click here
4. What is the life span of a
With good maintenance you would expect a full size pitch to last
around 10 years and this also applies to tennis courts. Multi
sports areas less than 200m² will experience extensive wear greater
than a full sized pitch and contingencies should be in place to
replace after 7 years.
5. Can I install a Playrite
surface myself, if not can you recommend an
At Playrite we would always recommend that you use a professional
installer. On the Installation and Maintenance
page you can view our installation animations to give an
idea of how our sports pitches, tennis courts and playground safety
surfaces are laid. Depending on your location we would be happy to
recommend an installer who has previous experience working with
Playrite products, either contact us directly
or browse local projects
6. What is 3G?
3G is a long piled tufted carpet that has rubber and sand
infill, predominantly for football although some 40mm carpets pass
the performance standard for hockey. For more information you can
read more about Playrite's 3G surface Conqueror
7. What is
Astroturf is a brand name for a type of artificial grass just
like the name "Hoover". To generalise, Astroturf should be called
artificial grass, 3G or synthetic grass/carpet.
8. Can you play all sports on
This depends on the surface. Some surfaces are specially
designed to suit specific sports where as other products are
created to suit multiple different sports.
When it comes to sports specific surfaces most sports governing
bodies carry their own performance standards which are often
required when facilitating full size pitch installations and
therefore guidelines must be set. Also if the sport's governing
body is providing a high proportion of the funding they will
generally stipulate their performance standards must be
If no sports' governing funding has been provided and the venue
is private, the design consultant can create their own performance
standards based on the client's needs.
Other various standards are the FIFA 1 and 2 Star for football
globally, as an alternative there is IATS standard for soccer which
is an equivalent test to FIFA 1 Star standards.
The International Federation for hockey (FIH) have independent
performance standards, along with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
have their recognised surfaces based on pace of ball speeds for
tennis. These standards are generally approved with independent
in-house laboratory tests and then endorsed by the relevant
governing bodies, who may request on site testing after each
individual completed installation.
9. Which surfaces is best
to install for a tennis court that occasionally
The answer can depend on what kind of flooding the courts
experience, and whether it is high risk or just infrequent
flooding. Court flooding can come from above the surface or below
but in either case I would recommend something like needlepunch
product Matchplay 2 as it is
a scrim reinforced product which acts as a filter to help protect
contamination in the sub-base and top layer.
In terms of installation, we do have recommended contractors
across the UK who are experienced in using Playrite products and
we'd be happy to give you their contact details. Alternatively this
give you an idea of how a normal tennis court installation is
However, if the area is a high flood risk we sometimes recommend
that the artificial courts are fully bonded to the surface, to
reduce the risk of surface movement. Either way, feel free to contact us if you
would like any further information or to arrange a no obligation
10. Does tufted last longer
This is a very good question. When comparing similar low
piled and low sand content surfaces, I would say that due to
needlepunch products having a fully integrated pile and backing I
would expect a needlepunch surface to be more hard wearing than a