We use a lot of fancy jargon in the artificial grass industry, and it can be hard to keep definitions straight. So we thought it would be helpful for any homeowners, contractors, and DIY’ers to have a little dictionary of common artificial grass terms.
Common Artificial Grass Terms
Application – the intended use for an artificial grass project. We usually categorize applications into landscapes, playgrounds, pets, sports, and putting green/fringes.
Artificial Grass Backing – artificial grass backing consists of two components – the primary backing and the secondary backing. When comparing artificial grass backings people often only focus on the secondary back or the “glue” but in fact both components are critical to the life of an artificial grass product.
Critical Fall Height (CFH) – a combination of critical height and fall height. According to ASTM International, critical height is “…the maximum fall height from which a life threatening head injury would not be expected to occur.” Fall height is “…the vertical distance between a designated play surface and the playground surface beneath it.” Basically, it’s a combined measurement of vertical distance and the height from which a fall would not be expected to cause a life threatening head injury.
Decitex – often referred to as DTEX, decitex is a unit of textile measurement. A tex is defined as the mass in grams per 1,000 meters. A decitex is the mass in grams per 10,000 meters. In artificial grass the decitex is used to describe the thickness and width of the individual fiber.
Denier – this is a unit of textile measurement. A denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers and is defined as the mass in grams per 9,000 meters. Denier is a direct yarn numbering system; the higher the denier, the larger or heavier the yarn.
Dimensional stability – this refers to the ability of the finished turf surfaces to retain its original size and shape.
Face weight – Face weight is the number of ounces of fiber per square yard in the face of the turf (not including the backing). The face weight affects performance and durability. Face weight is different from density because it varies with turf height.
Gauge – the distance between stitch rows. The measurements are typically 3/8″, 1/2″, or 5/8″ for landscaping grasses, and are typically tighter for putting greens (3/16″ or 5/32″) and wider for traditional sports grasses (up to 3/4″).
Infill – a material, such as silica sand, used to add weight and ballast to artificial grass while enhancing dimensional stability; ex. HeroFill.
Linear foot – this measurement is used to indicate the length from one point to another ignoring the width of a particular object. As an example 20 linear feet of artificial grass would be a piece of artificial grass that is 20′ long by whatever the width happens to be.
Localized heating – occurs when light from the sun is focused onto a small area. It can melt the blades, the backing material, and leave obvious discoloration.
Pile height – the height of the tall, uncurled fiber.
Primary Backing – this is the fabric that the artificial grass is tufted through – similar to multiple layers of a commercial grade weed barrier. The quality and durability of a primary backing determines the dimensional stability of an artificial grass product. Purchase Green grasses typically have an industry best triple-layer backing (8 oz. per square yard).
Remnant – a remnant is nothing more than a leftover section of grass that has been cut from a full-size roll. Purchase Green sells remnants at steep discounts.
Seaming – this is the process of binding together two pieces of artificial grass. Seaming is typically accomplished using seaming tape and glue. Seams can also be produced using staples or nails as well as by using industrial, double-sided tape.
Secondary Backing – this is the glue that secures or adheres the artificial grass fibers or yarn to the primary backing. The quality and durability of the secondary backing determines the tuft bind of an artificial grass product. Purchase Green grasses use 32 oz. per square yard of latex on our grasses that have a latex backing, and 26 oz. per square yard of polyurethane on our grasses that have a polyurethane backing.
Stitch Rate – the number of stitches in a fixed distance – typically a stitch every 10cm or 3″. As an example, 15 stitches per 10 cm would be quoted as a 15/10 stitch rate.
Sub-base – this is a layer of material, either road base or decomposed granite, that is placed below the artificial grass. In most cases, a 3-inch thick layer is sufficient. The sub-base serves as an anchor on which the grass can be installed. It also helps prevent artificial grass from expansion and contraction, which could otherwise result in buckling.
Thatch – the short, curly fibers found in artificial grass. Thatch fibers are usually brown or green.
Total weight – the sum of the face weight, weight of the primary backing, and the weight of the secondary backing. For all Purchase Green products that have a latex backing the total weight is the face weight + 40 oz. per square yard (8 oz. for the primary backing and 32 oz. for the secondary backing); for all Purchase Green products that have a polyurethane backing the total weight is the face weight + 32 oz. per square yard (6 oz. for the primary backing and 26 oz. for the secondary backing).
Traffic – the amount of foot traffic from people and pets that the artificial grass receives. Low, medium, and high are our units of traffic measurement.
Tufting – tufting is a type of weaving associated with textiles. In artificial grass, tufting refers to the process of weaving the grass fibers through the backing.
Tuft Bind – tuft bind is a measure of the force required to pull a stitch of blades through the backing system.