A traditional knock on artificial turf is: It’s shiny, which makes it looks fake. That was a characteristic of the first generations of synthetic grass (i.e., Astroturf) but needn’t be a reason for rejection today. Contemporary polyethylene synthetic grass minimizes reflection and refraction of light, headlined by yarn engineering … a production in which the star of the show DOESN’T sparkle.
Under a bright sun, it can difficult to totally eliminate twinkling of light on synthetic grass; the effect is similar to a lawn glistening after it’s been watered. One reason reflections are less apparent are the application of newer ultra-violet coatings, applied to artificial turf to prevent fading; the matte finish “oxidizes” after time under the sun without losing effectiveness, even in pet turf installations.
But the design of the artificial turf blades is the most important contributor to the shine factor, and usually determines the realistic appearance of a lawn – one reason why yarn technology is a passion at Synthetic Grass Warehouse.
Basically, wider blades (particularly the old-fashioned slit-film) will shine the most. Though it’s measured in microns, there’s comparatively more continuous surface area to reflect. The thinner the blade, the less surface area there is for light to bounce off.
SGW product lines such as the Sierra Pro, Marquee Pro, Emerald Pro, Emerald Pro Natural feature ultrathin blades. The result: You’ll see virtually no shine, sparkle or twinkle on these artificial turfs, from any angle, even under the most intense desert sun.
An exception to the wider-is-shiner rule is the all-new, exclusive “W” yarn, now available in Diamond Pro Spring turf (and soon to be employed in other SGW synthetic grasses), which boasts uncommonly low levels of reflectivity and defies conventionality. The W has wide, high-micron blades – but it’s extruded in a corrugated design, a series of parallel concaves shaped liked the letter W. Thus, light sees only a collection of tiny surface areas on each blade, and reflections are at a minimum.
The W fiber, developed in conjunction with TenCate and TigerTurf, is a design breakthrough in resilient, natural-looking artificial turf for all applications. It’s a shining example of SGW leading the way in yarn technology … by NOT shining too much.