Glossary –


CWA – American Clean Water Act which requires that water run-off from rain, snow melt and irrigation be managed to reduce toxic substances introduced into the water and insure public safety

Environmental Impact – Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially, resulting from an organization’s activities or products.

Landfill – Waste disposal site for the deposit of waste onto or into land under controlled or regulated conditions. See Watershed Geosynthetics.

Material Recovery – Material processing operations including mechanical recycling, feedstock (chemical) recycling, and organic recycling, but excluding energy recovery.

Post Consumer Recycled Content – A product that contains some percentage of material reclaimed from consumer waste.

Post Industrial Recycled Content – A product that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been reclaimed from a process generating from similar or different types of processes and products. Also called pre-consumer recycle content.

Recycled Content – Percentage by weight of recyclate in a material or product.

Regrind – Recovered plastics material reclaimed by shredding and granulating recovered material.


Base – This is the layer of compacted aggregate below the turf.  For most synthetic turf installations, about three inches is required.  This fills the area back up to where the real turf was removed, and helps shape and smooth the surface for the synthetic turf to lay on.

Brooming/Grooming or Power – Brushing-up the blades of turf or to work infill materials into the surface (brooming in the infill – brooming up the turf fibers). Can be accomplished manually or with a power broom.

Buckling or Wrinkling – A condition of wrinkling, bubbling, or ridging of turf following or during installation. Changes in humidity, temperature or base materials can sometimes affect conditions. Buckling can also be a manufacturing defect such as delamination.

Butt-Seam/Cross Seam – Widely referred to as a head seam.  This seam is set across the width of the materials. Lines of stitches from both pieces are set together to continue the lines of stitches between pieces. The stitch lines are off-set, this seam may show.

Carpet Knife – Utility knife set up to allow for quick blade changes and may have a more comfortable grip and angle to the handle.

Chalk and Chalk Line – Chalk is used either in solid form or in powder form for marking. Powder forms of chalk, in various colors, are added to a chalk line to be used to snap a straight line across a surface.

Chalk Line – A long string line wound around the inside where the powder can coat it, the chalked line is used to mark a straight line.

China Marker or Crayon – A grease pencil that can be used to mark the backing of the synthetic turf materials and fabrics used in construction.

Clay Soils – An earthy soil that retains moisture and when moist can almost be the consistency of putty. When dry, clay soils are notably dusty, hard and unworkable. Devoid of any organic materials, clay soils generally percolate slowly, if at all. When saturated surfaces can rut and compact under heavy weight loads.

Compaction – The act of compressing the surface materials to reduce air content, and increase surface stability.  Compaction should happen at every two-to-four inches of lift and at every change of material used. It is recommended never to attempt to compact six or more inches of lift; you will find that compaction is extremely ineffective and poor results make the area settle in time.  See Proctor Density.

Compaction – The act of compressing the surface materials to reduce air content, and increase surface stability.  Compaction should happen at every two-to-four inches of lift and at every change of material used. It is recommended never to attempt to compact six or more inches of lift; you will find that compaction is extremely ineffective and poor results make the area settle in time.  See Proctor Density.

Crown – The highest elevation of an area used to facilitate excess water run-off. Native soil fields are commonly constructed with a center elevation (crown) up to 18″ inches higher than the sidelines. Sand-based and synthetic areas utilize a very minimal crown and sometimes are completely flat.

Crush Recovery – Crush recovery describes the ability of the synthetic turf surfaces to rebound to an upright position after being walked on or having weight from furniture or other elements on it. To encourage proper recovery, all synthetic turf surfaces made for lawn and landscape will benefit from some amount of infill materials which provide horizontal and vertical stability as well as UV protection for blades and backings.

Crushing – Crushing is irreparable loss of pile height caused by traffic or weight.

Culvert – An enclosed pipe or pipeline used to carry run-off water; generally under roads and buildings.

Dimensional Stability – Refers to the ability of the finished turf surfaces to retain its original size and shape.

Direct or Double Glue Down – The installation method whereby the turf is adhered to the floor using adhesives. A double glue down refers to the installation of a cushion direct to the flooring and the turf to the cushion.

Drainage System – An efficient and effective underground drainage system is an integral component of a synthetic turf system, and is designed to carry away the water that percolates through the turf. The system chosen will depend on the use of the area, climate, amount of rainfall and other factors.

Drop Spreader – A drop spreader is normally used for the application of fertilizers, seeds and other top dressed materials where the calibration of the amount of materials deposited per square foot or acre needs to be measured evenly across the surfaces. Drop spreaders can be designed as walk-behind or tow-behind units and the hoppers can hold from 50 to hundreds of pounds of materials. At the base of the inside of the hopper, a rotating cylinder helps move materials through adjustable openings in the hopper floor, allowing a measured amount of materials to drop out of the bottom of the hopper.

Dry Well – A dry well describes any type of water collector created under ground to catch water and hold it during native soil percolation.

Feathering – The action of feathering is to achieve a smooth transition between different types of materials over the site.

Float – Floating the material creates a smooth surface.

French Drain – A true French drain would only incorporate the use of a swale or culvert and drain rock to provide a channel in which water could shed away from building foundations. Today, most construction techniques that call out a French drain system incorporate the use of three-to-four inch corrugated, flexible pipe, fittings and the construction of a drain channel, with fabric, drain rock, pipe, pipe sock and call it a French drain. Either method has its merits and uses and we encourage you to engineer your site plans to accommodate the worst weather conditions possible in your site’s area.

Glue Down – Installation method for full spread adhesive applications.

Grade – This is the level and slope of the base below the synthetic turf lawn.

Hard Edge – Hard edges are perimeter edges of a synthetic turf installation project that touch elements that will not or cannot move; walkways, driveways, walls, patios, fences, buildings, foundations, etc. Synthetic turf materials must be hand-trimmed to these edges.  Pressure treated wood in the aggregate base below the synthetic turf is used to prevent dogs and pets from pulling up the edges of the turf.

Inline Seam – Seams running the length of the turf (same direction as the lines of stitches). Sometimes called side or length seams.

Irrigation – Sprinklers and irrigation systems are used for cooling and control of static electricity and dust in synthetic turf systems.

Landscape Border – Edge anchoring landscape borders are designed to be installed at the perimeter of the area to attach to the synthetic turf, anchor it, and transition to whatever abuts the area. The anchor may consist of a concrete curb, a treated wood nailer, a composite material. These may vary by design and region, but should always provide a secure anchor. Lines and markings, such as sport specific game lines, logos, and numbers, should be applied to the synthetic turf surface in one of three methods: with colored fiber that is either tufted or knitted into the synthetic turf panels during the manufacturing process, installed as inlays, or with temporary or permanent paint that is approved for use on synthetic turf surfaces. Tufted-in or inlaid lines and markings are a permanent part of the surface. Painted lines and markings installed with either permanent or temporary paint require maintenance.

Lines and Markings – Even permanently painted lines require additional paint on a periodic basis. See materials page.

Miter Joint – Where two pieces of turf are seamed at a 45 degree angle to each other.

Mylar – This is a film used to spread glue on in order to seam pieces of synthetic turf together.

Native Soil –  We refer to the natural conditions of the soils of the installation site. Native soils can be clay, lome, sand, peat, etc. Native soil conditions and, local rainfall, snow and watershed/drainage aspects of the installation must all be weighed against project use goals when engineering a synthetic turf design.

Percolation – The ability of a surface to allow the flow of fluids through it.  Percolation is generally measured in inches-per-hour, ounces per second over the amount of surface area, defined. (ie: engineered to optimize drainage by gravity, 30 inches of water can percolate through synthetic turf surfaces per hour).

Perimeter – The outer edge of the installation site of the synthetic turf area. Each area of synthetic turf has its own perimeter.

Powerbroom or Brush – A tool used during the construction and grooming of synthetic turf installations, a powerbroom or brush was developed for use as concrete and asphalt sweepers and adopted by the synthetic turf industry as a tool to help defibrillate (or bloom) synthetic turf surface materials and help to distribute infill materials across the surfaces. A powerbroom can also be helpful to groom surfaces. See tools page.

Relief Cuts – Cuts made into synthetic turf materials that will help alleviate any excess material in the turf while positioning it and trimming it against hardedges that are curved or odd shaped. Relief cuts can simply be straight cuts from the hard edge outward to the end of turf, they can be shaped in the form of an H or a T to help wrap surface materials around obstacles such as trees can be made into the turf that is located directly on top of a landscape element such as a large rock, to allow the turf materials to be slipped over the obstacle and trimmed off at a later time. Relief cuts can streamline cutting surface materials to fit and in helping to fit materials around obstacles in the landscape.

Rippling – Heat and humidity can cause ripples or waves in some turf.

Roll Crush Marks – Marks that appear widthwise in the turf pile due to wrinkles in the fabrics, created during rolling or due to the flattening of the turf roll during storage.

Root-Zone – Layer of soil in which the roots are found. Also a growing medium.  In synthetic turf, it refers to a thatch layer.

Roto Tiller – This is a machine which churns up the ground and is often used in planting and farming.  This is not to be used for base preparation of synthetic turf.

Seam/Inlay Integrity – The strength, trueness and durability of the area between two edges of synthetic material, which can be hand-sewn or adhered with adhesives. Numbers, logos, and line markings are typically done this way. This is a critical area that needs to be addressed during installation.

Seam – The bonding or fastening of two pieces of synthetic turf.

Selvage – Additional backing materials at the outer edges on the width of the turf materials. Most selvedge is used when seams are sewn and cut off when glued.

Shedding – New turf appears to shed blades after installation. Many of these blades were cut away during normal installation and were hidden during job site cleaning. They work their way to the surfaces during use. Regular blowing and grooming will resolve this problem, quickly.

Shrink – Synthetic turf surface materials, like most woven products can shrink or shift under certain conditions. Where temperature variances can change from extreme cold to exteme heat, synthetic turf surfaces can expand and contract. A minor amount of shrink can occur on surfaces as they age, though, shifting of turf surfaces is more often noticed and can be mis-identified as shrink.

Side Seams – Seams running the length of the turf (same direction as the lines of blade stitches). Sometimes called inline or length seams.

Silt and Silting – The word silt can describe any material small enough to begin to coat a surface in such a way as to choke out light, liquid and air.  Under landscape conditions, silting generally describes the clogging of a surface material that increases puddling, decreasing percolation and may contribute to contamination, weed and moss growth, insects and system failure. Remove all unwanted organic materials and refresh and revitalize your synthetic turf surfaces by exercising and grooming with deep-pile carpet rakes or powerbrushes. This will help to keep fine materials from filling voids in between infill materials and will help to redistribute and even out infill materials on the surface.

Site Work – Earthwork that is necessary before field construction can take place, i.e. the removal of buildings, trees, rocks, soil; installing utilities, improving or installing drainage.

Snags – Snags can occur when an object tangles in turf.  Usually, you can simply cut the snag with sharp scissors.

Sod Cutter – This is a machine which cuts real turf or sod in even depths and widths so it can be removed easily to prepare for the base of the synthetic turf system.

Soft Edges – Any landscape or lawn edge that does not connect or touch upon a hard, unmoving surface material such as a walkway, path, driveway, wall, fence line, or other surfaces such as field rocks.

Soil Profile – A vertical section of soil showing natural or incorporated layers of different colors, textures or materials.

Sprinkler Plug – This is the fitting that screws into, not on, your sprinkler head and serves the same purpose which is water conservation and to prepare for the synthetic turf lawn base.

Sprouting – Sprouting occurs when higher turf fibers appear on turf surfaces.  Simply trim the sprouts with sharp scissors.

Square Foot – The total square foot measure of an area is determined by measuring the length and depth of the area and muliplying the two factors together; the result is the total square feet (SF) of an area. An area of 10 feet wide by 120 feet long is 1200 square feet of total area.

Square Yard – The total square yardage of an area is determined by measuring the length and width of an area; mulitplying the factors together and dividing by nine. An area of 10 feet wide by 120 feet long results in a total area of 1200 SF; divided by nine and the area covers 133.33 square yards (SY).

Stability –  The makeup of the sub-base and infill components. A project’s sub-base and base construction should maximize horizontal stability to carry weight load. Synthetic turf’ primary and secondary backing materials provide the turf system’s surface materials to provide additional horizontal stability and the two, engineered together provide the required stability needed to suit the project objectives; To achieve vertical stability, synthetic turf systems are assisted by the use of infill materials to help stand blades upright and provide resiliency and cushion underfoot.

Sub-base – Materials that lie under the surfaces of imported job materials. Native soils, concrete, asphalt and other surfaces can all be referred to as the “sub-base”; subterranean base or foundation.

Subgrade – The soil base upon which an area is constructed.

Swale – A swale is typically used as an open channel to direct water run-off from rain and watershed.

Tamp and Tamper – A tamper is a hand tool used to compact small areas of soil or base materials.

Topdress – A process utilized on synthetic turf in which an infill material is used for final finish.

Trim and Trim Elements – Trim is the material or method used to edge the synthetic turf project where trim elements are the actual materials selected for the edging treatment.

Trowel – This is a flat and sharp edged tool used to ensure that the borders or perimeter of your synthetic turf base is consistent and level.  Also used to spread turf adhesive.

Underground drainage – System installed beneath a natural or synthetic turf system to permit the uniform and speedy exit of moisture from the surface. It may consist of natural materials, (sand/soil), and/or engineered products (pipes, drainage mats or synthetic stone substitutes).

Underlay – Materials installed directly under the turf; generally thick pads for additional cushion, fall zone safety or other enhancement.

Underlay – Materials installed directly under the turf; generally thick pads for additional cushion, fall zone safety or other enhancement.

Vibrating Plate Compactor – This is the machine used to compact the rock base below the synthetic turf.  A 95% compaction rate of aggregate is desirable.

Waste – The amount of surface materials remaining after the completion of the installation. Waste materials are generally recycled or reused where possible; however, a certain amount of waste is to be expected.


Anti-Microbial – Chemicals added to reduce the growth of microbes. Additives address specific challenges such as bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew.

Cleaning –  The process of removing soil and contaminants from turf. Matting is bent over and entangled turf fibers caused by traffic or dirt. Matting can be minimalized by grooming the turf with either power brushes or manually raking it back to height.

Matting – Matting is bent over and entangled turf fibers caused by traffic or dirt.  Matting can be minimalized by grooming the turf with either power brushes or manually raking it back to height .

Pile Crush – Loss of pile thickness by compression (matting) and blending of tufts caused by high traffic or heavy weight. Grooming turf surfaces will often lift the pile back to original height. All turf will crush in traffic areas to some degree during its life expectancy.

Pile Fiber Loss – The reduction of the diameter, denier, total fiber and/or density of the synthetic turf fibers due to abrasive actions, such as excessive traffic, improper grooming or other action that may affect the fibers over a period of time.

Pile Reversal/Shading – Pile reversal or shading is a characteristic of synthetic turf. Bends in the turf fiber create an impression of light and dark areas.  Regular grooming and proper infill can minimize shading.

Seam Repair – Rejoining two pieces of turf.

Soiling – Soiling occurs when contaminants build up on turf fibers.  Soiling may be caused by lack of proper site planning and drainage.  Regular grooming, blowing and cleaning will minimize this problem.


Accessibility – This is a cloth that keeps weeds from growing up through the synthetic turf.  It usually comes in four-foot-wide sections and goes on top of the rock base and under the synthetic turf.

Acrylic – A quick drying thermoplastic used for coatings and adhesives.

Appearance Retention – Appearance retention, or the ability to remain visually attractive during its expected life, is directly affected by such factors as turf construction, performance of pile yarns, and the appropriateness of the turf selected for the end-use, and the proper installation and grooming of infill.

Astroturf – This is a brand name of only one synthetic turf manufacturer.  This term seems to be used interchangeably for all brands of synthetic turf.

Average Pile Yarn Weight – Mass per unit area of the pile yarn including buried portions of the pile yarn, In the US – this is usually expressed as ounces per square yard.

Backings – The materials that make up the underside of finished turf. The primary backing anchors the pile yarns, while the secondary backing provides extra dimensional stability and locks in the stitches. The adhesive backing refers to the urethane, latex, or hot-melt coating.

Classic Bac – A secondary woven polypropylene backing applied to the primary backing to increase tuft bind.

Combination Yarn/Fibers – A term that refers to yarns or fibers that are combined; one combined yarn is composed of two or more yarn fibers having the same or different fiber types or colors.

Continuous Filament – A single, continuous, strand of synthetic fiber extruded in yarn form.

Cross Section – The shape or profile of an individual filament or fiber when cut at right angles to fiber  axis. Monofilament fibers may take may shapes and thicknesses.  Slit tape fibers always have a rectangular cross section.

Cut and Loop Pile – A finished turf surface in which the face is composed of a combination of cut ends of pile yarns and loops of other fibers.

Cut Pile – A finished turf surface in which the face is composed of cut ends of pile yarn.

Denier – A unit of linear density that expresses the weight/unit length of a synthetic fiber.The weight in grams of 9000 meters of yarn.  Denier is a direct yarn numbering system; the higher the DENIER, the LARGER or HEAVIER the yarn.  Fibers used for lawn and landscape turf styles are available from 4000 to 11,000 denier while putting green fibers are available in 5400 – 7600 denier.

Extrusion – Melting the mixture of selected polymers, pigments, process stabilizers and additives used in making yarn fibers.

Fabric – Materials used under and through-out the construction of a synthetic turf project. Woven and non-woven, commercial grade materials provide additional horizontal and vertical stability to every install. See underlayment fabric.

Face Weight – A unit of measure (ounces/square yard) used to quantify the amount of yarn that is used to make turf. Face Weight is usually used to measure of the amount of ‘lawn blades / thatch’ that is in your turf. Also commonly referred to as yarn weight and/or pile weight.

Fiber Thickness – Fiber thickness is the length of the shortest of the three dimensions of a fiber.  The durability of a turf fiber is related to thickness of the cross section of the fiber.

Fiber Width – The width of the fiber is the second longest of the three dimensions of a fiber.  The fiber width affects the coverage provided by the fiber.  For most slit tape fibers, the thickness is held constant and denier is increased by increasing the fiber width.

Fiber – Typically, the fiber used in synthetic turf is textured and/or non-textured polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon, or other suitable performing hybrid or copolymer in tape form or mono-filament. Minimum fiber sizes are 50 microns for polypropylene or polyester, 100 microns for tape form (slit film) polyethylene, and 140-300 form mono-filament polyethylene (shape dependent). Fibers should be compliant with ASTM guideline for total lead content.

Fibrillated Tape – A type of yarn styling that produces tapes from an extruded sheet. The tapes are fibrillated lengthwise to produce a fibrilation pattern. The tape is twisted to  prepare it for tufting. These fibrillated tape fibers will split during the infilling steps, causing the turf surfaces to “bloom” or de-fibrillate, creating a natural looking surface.

Fire Retardant – Additive to enhance the fire retardancy of the synthetic turf fibers; generally, most fiber materials will not combust, however they will melt at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees (F). Each synthetic turf material will be different and if needed for purposes of liability or accountability, manufactures are required to have this information on file – ask for the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) for your product.

First Generation – A tightly curled, nylon fiber, woven or knitted into a pile fabric. The first installations were engineered to be glued down with a pad on concrete and asphalt. The First Generation of turf was inspired by the Ford Foundation’s request to improve inner city play areas.

Gauge – The distance between two needle points expressed in fractions of an inch in US. Turf is stitched into the backing at pre-set widths between stitch rows—this is the gauge of the stitches. Generally, turf is manufactured at one of the following gauge: 1/4,5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″ to 3/4″ stitch gauge.

Geo-textile – Manufactured woven and non-woven materials made into a variety of constructions and used in civil engineering and construction applications.

Knit de Knit (KdK) – Knit de knit is a treatment that is applied to straight turf fibers after their intitial creation. The yarn is knitted into socks; heat set, unravelled and wound onto bobbins. This process gives the finished yarn a curly appearance and helps to relieve the effect of pile direciton in the turf surfaces; making the surface non-directional. Many nylon, non-fill putting green and newer lawn turf products use KdK yarn.

Knitted – Knitted turf is formed by interlacing yarn in a series of connected loops – generally synthetic turf is tufted, not knitted.

Latex – Latex is a natural product used as a secondary backing material to lock stitches in place and provide additional dimensional stability.

Luster – The brightness, sheen or shine of fibers and yarns. Synthetic fibers are produced in bright or dull version.  Luster can be controlled with additives or process conditions.

Monofilament – Yarn fiber made in one single strand. Yarn is extruded out of a shower head- type extruder versus a film tape for slit-film yarn fibers.

Needle Punched – Needle punched non-woven is stitched into backing material.

Nylon – A polyamide fiber exhibiting excellent strength, flexibility, toughness, elasticity, and abrasion resistance.  Nylon is known to have greater moisture regain than polypropylene and polyethylene fibers.

Pad (Shock Pad) – Attenuation pads offer an added level of protection and consistent playability to the playing surface and are designed to contribute to a safe g-max level throughout a synthetic turf field’s life. Roll out or panel systems are relatively economical and offer ease of installation. Pads can be permeable or impermeable. Some can replace all or portions of the stone base and provide both shock attenuation and drainage, while others are used in combination with a traditional stone and drainage base. Pads can be placed directly over asphalt or cement stabilized surfaces. Provided care is taken in the turf install/removal process, some last more than one turf life cycle. Some pads are made from recycled materials, while others are made from virgin materials and may be recyclable.

Perforations – For synthetic turf systems designed to be permeable to water, a system with a fully coated secondary backing will typically have holes punched into the backing at regular intervals to provide adequate vertical drainage throughout the system.

Pigment – Highly colored, insoluble, powdered substance used to impart color to other materials. White pigments, e.g., titanium dioxide, are dispersed in fiber-forming polymers to produce delustered (semi-dull and dull) fibers.

Pile Density – Amount of pile in a given area of turf which reflects the closeness of the pile yarns – regardless of the yarn’s denier (individual blade size), texture (individual yarn shape).

Pile Height – The height of pile measured from the surface of the back to the top of the pile, not including the thickness of the back.

Pile Weight – The weight in ounces of the fiber in a square yard of turf.

Pile – The visible surface of turf, consisting of yarn tufts. Sometimes called the face or nap.

Ply – A single component in applied yarn. The number of “plies” tells how many single ends have been ply-twisted together to form a plied yarn (i.e.: 6 or 8 ply yarn).

Polyester – A fiber-forming, thermoplastic synthetic polymer. Nearly all polyester turf fiber is staple, and the yarns are spun yarns. Polyester for turf is made from terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol and is known chemically as polyethylene terephthalate.

Polyethylene – These fibers have a low specific gravity, extremely low moisture regain, the same tensile strength wet and dry, and are resistant to attack by mildew and insects.  Known as the softer, less abrasive fibers.

Polymers – Polymers are large chemical molecules from which synthetic fibers, synthetic infill and backing systems are made. Polymers are complex, chain-like macromolecules which are made by uniting simpler molecules called monomers. Synthetic polymers used for synthetic turf fiber include Type 6 nylon (polyamides), polyethylene and polypropylene.

Polymid (PA) – Nylon is the most well-known polymid used in manufacturing turf fibers today.

Polyolefin – Any long chain, synthetic polymer composed of at least 85 percent by weight of ethylene, propylene or other olefin units. Polypropylene and polyethylene are used in turf as both backing and pile fiber. See Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP).

Polypropylene (PP) – Polypropylene  fiber are used in turf primary backing and as face pile fibers.  Polypropylene fibers that are polyolefins that require solution dyeing (pigmented) and UV stabilization.

Polyurethane – Material used as a secondary backing on the back side of synthetic turf materials. Applied as a viscous coating that cures into a continuous coating. the polyurethane coating helps lock in the fiber stitches and increase the horizontal stability of the synthetic turf materials. The secondary backing process is one of the last in the line of steps to producing finished synthetic turf goods.

Primary Backing – A component of tufted turf consisting of woven and/or nonwoven fabric into which pile yarn tufts are inserted by the tufting needles. It is the carrier fabric for the pile yarn. Most primary backing is either woven or nonwoven polypropylene.

Resilience – The capability of the turf to bounce back to its original appearance after being used. How well a turf can handle high traffic or compressive force is determined by several factors; resilience of fibers and yarn materials, denier (dtex) and infill system of the turf system.

Second Generation Turf – Polypropylene yarns were introduced along with a new “shag turf” like metaphor in the early 1990s. The new yarns were less abrasive than the first generation turf products.
The secondary backing materials are applied through a coating process.

Secondary Backing – A tufted fabric typically receives a suitable coating of polyurethane, latex, hot melt, or other coatings or fabrics in various weight and thickness configurations, depending on individual system design. The secondary backing provides an additional level of tuft bind and structural integrity to the synthetic turf. Backing material laminated to underside of turf for additional dimensional stability and body. Usually latex foam, jute, polypropylene, vinyl, urethane, or E.V.A.

Slit Film (See fibrillated tape) – Slit Film See fibrillated tape.

Stitch Count – The number of stitches in a predetermined length along the tufting row.

Stitch Length – Total length of yarn from which a tuft is made. It is numerically equal to twice the pile height plus the associated back stitch behind the primary backing.

Stitch – One tuft along a tufting row in tufted fabrics.

Style – A set of specifications that describes a component of or finished construction of turf materials. Style specifications are designated for yarns, backings and finished tufted materials

Synthetic Fiber – Produced by man-made means, not available in nature in the same form.

Synthetic turf – Textile product designed to simulate the appearance and playability of natural turf utilizing a synthetic fiber turf blade constructed into fabric form.

Texture Retention – Texture retention or turf memory is the ability of tufts to retain their shape under traffic. Caring for turf will help texture retention.

Texture – The visual and tactile (touch) characteristics of the turf’s pile. Texture includes luster, yarn twist, pile “hand”, and pile effects such as cut, cut-uncut, high-low loop, and level loop.

Texturing Yarn – The process of imparting crimp to continuous filament yarns. Textured yarns have increased cover and resiliency.

Thatch – Part of a two yarn turf fiber system that has one yarn shorter than the other to resemble a thatch layer in natural turf.  The thatch yarn is usually a texturized yarn that shrinks down below the higher straight yarn as it recovers the texture after tufting.

Third Generation Turf – A turf system with a taller pile height allowing resilient infill material to be added between the tufts.  Third generation products perform more like natural turf and have a more natural appearance.  The presence of resilient infill reduced the need for a shock pad which was required for first and second generation turf.

Tuft Bind (Tuft Lock) – The force (usually measured in pounds) required to pull a tuft from the turf backing. Also known as tuft lock.

Tufted – Term used to describe the process of manufacturing turf by the insertion of tufts of yarn through a backing fabric, creating a pile surface of cut and/or loop ends.

Turf – There are many varieties of synthetic turf on the market today. Synthetic turf lawn or turf products are manufactured using a wide variety of materials.  Polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon are some of the yarn fibers used to create the real turf looking part of the synthetic turf product.  Synthetic turf yarn or fibers can be stitched or ‘tufted’ into many different types of backing.

Twist – Twist is the winding of the yarn around itself.  More twist improves turf performance (especially in cut pile).

Urethane Backing – This is the most common synthetic turf backing.  It looks like black plastic with holes drilled in it (perforated) for drainage.  This is a crosslinked petroleum based product that creates problems for recycling turf fabric.

Urethane Cushion – Foam backing created during chemical/mechanical reaction.  Standard thickness is 3mm, 5mm, 8mm.

Warranty – See product warranty page.

Woven – Interlacing strands of fiber into a yarn forms woven turf.

Yarn Recovery – This means the standing back up of the synthetic turf lawn fibers after they are stepped on, or crushed down somehow.  Infill helps in the recovery of the fibers.

Yarn – A continuous strand of fibers used in tufting, weaving and bonding to form turf and other fabrics.


Abrasion Resistant – A measure of the fibers ability to withstand wear. Abrasion testing is performed mechanically by a tetrapod tester. Actual on-the-floor testing may also be conducted under regulated traffic conditions. Testing onsite at the installation is possible and acredited certification is required of testing facilities.  ASTM F1015 is the test method that covers the measurement of the relative abrasiveness of synthetic turf playing surfaces. This test method is applicable to both laboratory and field measurement.

ASTM – The American Society for Testing and Materials. An international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

Compaction Level – This is the percentage of how hard the rock base is below the synthetic turf. See proctor density.

Degradation – The loss of desirable physical properties of a material as a result of some process or physical/chemical phenomenon
(e.g. UV degradation).

Delamination – Separation of the secondary backing or attached cushion from the primary backing of the turf.

Durability – Durability is the ability to resist degradation over time under a set of conditions.

Fading – Loss of color. Caused by sunlight; atmospheric gases, including ozone, nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide; cleaning and bleaching chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite and other household and industrial products; chlorine chemicals for swimming pools; and other factors.

Fall Zone Safe – Fall zone safe installations meet standards defined by ASTM guidelines that provide a minimum of 6 foot fall zone safe surfaces below and around any playground equipment installed above the synthetic turfs.  Professionally installed only. The ASTM F1294 standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the impact attenuation of playground surfacing materials installed within the use zone of playground equipment.

Fiber Abrasion – The damage caused by aggressive grooming equipment, heavy traffic with inappropriate footwear, unauthorized vehicle traffic or infill materials that degrade or wear the yarn fiber surfaces.

FIFA – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is the international governing body of football (soccer). FIFA dictates performance characteristics required for FIFA recommended soccer fields.

Flammability – 
The propensity of material to burn. See pill test.
The maximum of the deceleration curve when a specified missile impacts the synthetic turf surface. This value is commonly related to the potential for head injuries for a person falling on the surface. The ASTM F1936 specification establishes an in situ test method and maximum impact attenuation value for all types of turf playing systems and for a number of sport-specific field layouts. It also includes a protocol for determining test point locations on fields that are lined for multiple sports.

G-max – 
The g-max guideline in the STC’s Guidelines for Synthetic Turf Performance is “below 165” for the life of the synthetic turf field. ASTM 355 is the test method measures the impact attenuation of playing surface systems and materials, specifically the peak impact acceleration (“impact shock”) produced under prescribed impact conditions.

Heat Index (HI) – The temperature the body feels when heat and humidity are combined. The wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index is the most widely used and accepted index for the assessment of heat stress in industry.  It has been published as British Standard BS EN 27243. Wet Bulb test is commonly used to determine heat index by many athletic coaches.

Hygrometer – A device used to measure the moisture content.  Can be used in to measure moisture content in concrete.

Impact Testing – See Gmax.

Lisport Test – A test used in the turf field industry to simulate wear in turf systems.  EN 15306 describes a method for conditioning synthetic turf and needle-punch surfaces by simulating interaction between a sports shoe and sports surface, to allow changes in appearance and to allow sports functional characteristics to be measured.

Permeability – The rate at which water flows through a system.  EN 12616 utilizes three test methods for the determination of water infiltration rate.  Method A is suitable for synthetic, textile, synthetic turf and bound mineral sports surfaces, Method B is suitable for natural turf and Method C is suitable for unbound mineral sports surfaces.  Clay soils will be the least permeable and lome, sandy soils will typically be the most permiable (porous) of surfaces.

Pill Test – A basic flammability test for turf to determine its ease of ignition by a small incendiary source, e.g., methenamine timed burning tablet.  This is the accepted industry standard for synthetic turf flammability. ASTM D2859 is the fire-test-response standard and describes a test method for the determination of the flammability of finished textile floor covering materials when exposed to an ignition source under controlled laboratory conditions.

Player-Surface Interaction – Player-surface interaction describes the performance characteristics of the field that relate to footing, shock absorbency, surface abrasion, and surface stability.  These characteristics are determined through testing for vertical deformation, force reduction, traction, slip resistance, energy restitution, abrasiveness, among others. Proper shoe selection is a critical component to the way a player interacts with the playing surface.  Test methods perfomed by accredited testing bodies.

Porous – Porous describes that ability of a surface to allow liquid to flow through it. How porous a surface area is depends upon many factors and can be determined by percolation test.
The Proctor Density is a measurement used to define the amount of compaction achieved with surface materials used under roads, railways and other surface areas that carry any weight load or require a measurement of compaction to determine stability. Good compaction of sub-base and base materials results in minimizing of its settlement on application of load, increases its density thus increasing its shear strength.

Proctor Density – The higher the Proctor Density test results the lower the area’s permeability leading to a fall in its water absorption and reduction in its swelling or shrinkage. Most synthetic turf installations are compacted to a 95% Proctor Density to allow for percolation and yet provide a stable surface.

SDS – Safety Data Sheet or SDS is created by the manufacturer of a product to provide the details needing to be disclosed regarding the components and ingredients of products manufactured or imported into America. Your manufacturer or representative should have a copy of the SDS on all products included in your project plan. For commercial projects, keeping SDS on file for each component is critical as many solutions providers may use contact glues and adhesives that require special handling, disposal or fire control or safety issues.

Sieve Analysis – The measurement of the particle size range of granulated materials such as crumb rubber and silica sand.  ASTM F1632 test method covers the determination of particle size distribution of putting green and other sand-based rootzone mixes. Particles larger than 0.05 mm (retained on a No. 270 sieve) are determined by sieving.  The ASTM D5644 test methods describes the procedures for determining average particle size distribution of recycled vulcanizate particulate.   Smaller numbers actually represent larger grain sizes (or mesh), larger numbers describe smaller and finer grains of material. To separate materials, a screening process is used to separate out various size grains to standardize on packaging for use.

Skin Abrasion – Cuts and burns to the skin caused by sliding contact with the turf.

Static Electricity – AATCC 134 is the common test method for measuring static electrical on many flooring surfaces.  Cold and low humidity often create isolated motionless charges of electricity. This test method assesses the static-generating propensity of carpets developed when a person walks across them. This method uses controlled laboratory simulation of conditions that may be encountered in use. The simulation is focused on the use of those conditions, which are known from experience to be strong contributors to excessive accumulation of static charges.  To assist in lowering static charges on any synthetic turf surface, condition the synthetic turf surfaces with a 5 to 10% solution of fabric softener and water, sprayed generously across the surfaces. We recommend unscented liquid. Leave the materials on overnight and then rinse. You may need to repeat the application in a few weeks.

Stimp Rating – The distance traveled by a golf ball during a Stimpmeter test.  The Stimpmeter is a device used to measure the speed of a golf course putting green by applying a known force to a golf ball and measuring the distance traveled in feet.  The recommended ratings as defined by the United States Golf Association (USGA) can have speeds ranging from slow (less than 6.5 ft), medium (6.5-7.5 ft), to fast (8.5 ft or greater).

Stitch Density – Number of tufts both across (needles per inch or gauge for tufted turf) and lengthwise (stitches per inch) of the turf. SPI x Gauge = Stitch Density.  The ASTM D5793 test method describes the measurement of the number of binding sites per unit length or width of machine-made, woven, knitted, and tufted pile yarn floor covering both before and after adhesive backing application.

Tensile Strength – The force required to elongate the material to a break point. ASTM 2256 test method covers the determination of tensile properties of monofilament, multifilament, and spun yarns, either single, plied, or cabled with the exception of yarns that stretch more than 5.0 % when tension is increased from 0.05 to 1.0 cN/tex [0.5 to 1.0 gf/tex].

Torsional Strength – The force required to elongate the material to a break point.

Ultra Violet (UV) Resistance – The ability of the material to resist degradation by UV light.  ISO 4892-3:2013 specifies methods for exposing specimens to fluorescent UV radiation, heat and water in apparatus designed to simulate the weathering effects that occur when materials are exposed in actual end-use environments to global solar radiation, or to solar radiation through window glass.  The most particular concern is the loss of useful tensile properties in the turf yarns to the point that the turf is deemed unsightly.

Weatherometer – A laboratory device for determining the effects of light on the properties of turf, yarns, fibers, and fabrics.  It uses a standard light source to simulate damaged caused by sunlight. Generally used for measuring loss of color and tensile strength.