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Base materials

Imported job materials that will be used to construct the foundation over the existing sub-grade (native soils or other surfaces) or sub-base. Base materials may be comprised of, but not limited to the use of, crushed, clean gravel, mine rock and fines, compactable aggregates and road base. Either bound or unbound, placed on the sub-grade/sub-base to influence the engineering and playing characteristics of the whole construction. Provides the camber for the pitch and therefore the surface drainage characteristics.

Bill of Quantities

Is a construction industry tendering document which should detail the terms and conditions of the construction or repair contract and itemises all work to enable a contractor to price the work for which they are bidding.


The brushing-up of the blades of grass and the working in of infill materials into the surface using a broom.


Another word for slope or gradient. Designed into the field to encourage horizontal drainage.

Carpet (artificial grass)

Manufactured from polymer yarn, TigerTurf UK artificial grass carpets are tufted. With tufted carpets the pile is formed by looping yarn through a backing material and cutting it to the required length. The underside of the backing material is coated with latex, which helps hold the tufts in place and provides structural stability to the carpet. Holes are pierced through the backing to assist with drainage. Carpets can vary in terms of the type of yarn used and density (stitch rate). Most carpets use a single form of yarn while some might use a mixture. The yarn is generally made from either polyethylene (PE), which is soft and less abrasive, or from polypropylene (PP), which is stronger and is often used for low impact sports such as tennis. Generally the denser the carpet, the more durable the product.

Certified pitch/field

An on-site built pitch/field which has been tested by an accredited laboratory and verified as meeting the sport’s defined requirements and licensing agreement conditions.


The act of compressing the surface materials to reduce air content, decrease percolation and increase density and hence surface stability. Also refers to the common observation on carpets over time where maintenance/rejuvenation of the infill is not carried out effectively – making the surface hard and unforgiving.

Conditioning surfaces

The removal of any static electricity charge that remains in the artificial grass. This can be improved with the application of fabric conditioner mixed with water in the ratio 1:100 which is then sprayed onto the carpet.


of the playing surface occurs from mud and other materials brought from outside the playing area, reducing performance and lifespan of a product.  If the synthetic surface is not fenced there will be a higher potential for contamination from players and other park users walking across the surface (mainly from debris in shoe soles). This will necessitate a high level of maintenance and cleaning to prevent the formation within the surface and the establishment of algae and moss.

Cut to fill

The act of cutting material from the high side of a slope and placing it in compacted layers at the low side to create a level platform.

Degrade, Degradation

Loss of physical property or performance. The ‘weakening out’ or weakening of a system or substance, i.e. ‘The effectiveness of UV protection, the strength of fibres, backing and the porosity of a surface might degrade during the life of the turf.’


Separation of the secondary backing from the primary backing of the artificial turf.

Disposal of carpet/pad

If it cannot be re-used (eg. for training venues, nursery schools, playgrounds), it would need to be disposed of in a landfill site.

Drainage falls

Where a specific slope is designed into a sports surface so surface water will drain away from the playing area.

Spoon drains

Surface drains (generally around or at the end of the sports surface) designed to collect water and direct that water to collection points.

Dressed (hybrid) pitches

Pitches using a carpet of woven, tufted or knitted synthetic yarn partly supported or stabilised by the addition of filling material (eg. sand and/or rubber granules – generally filled to around 60% of the pile height and therefore sometimes referred to as a sand-dressed pitch). Usually 16-20mm pile, crimped down to a playing height of 12-13mm. Generally used in relation to hockey surface systems.


The capacity of the synthetic gras system to resist degradation by factors such as abrasion, indentation, fatigue, UV, chemicals, fire, staining, delamination and so forth. Durability can vary, depending on the quality of materials used, construction methods, the intensity of use of the pitch, effective maintenance, etc.

E Layer

Meaning varies internationally but generally refers to an engineered base that has a mixture of resilient particles and granular material that forms a more deformable resilient structural platform for artificial grass surfaces.


Also known as the pile of the turf. It describes the total visible surface of the finished turf materials.

Face weight

Refers to the total weight of the yarn within the product. (and not to the backing/latex).

Fibre size/shape

The cross-sectional area and shape yarn vary considerably from product-to-product. The unit of measurement for the weight of the fibre is dtex (1 dtex = gram weight per 1 metre of yarn, using a 10,000 metre average). The shape of the fibres can vary from fibrillated flat ribbon yarns to highly-varied shapes of monofilament yarns. The quantity of yarn used to form the pile will have a significant effect on the cost, performance and durability of the carpet. This is measured as face weight. It will also have a significant impact on the stability of the infill medium in a carpet, and the ‘crushability’ (or fibre resilience) of new ‘shaped’ fibres.

Fibre width

The width of the fibre is measured across its face and can affect the colour, shine, pile recovery and durability of the fibres under extreme conditions; especially field applications.

Fibrillated pile/yarn

Yarn ribbon which is cut from a sheet and is then split or slotted to a variable pattern before twisting into a yarn strand. Designed to influence performance. Looks like a honeycomb when held open.


A single, continuous strand of yarn.

Filled pitches

Pitches using a carpet of woven, tufted or knitted synthetic yarn fully supported or stabilised by the addition of filling material (eg. sand and/or rubber granules). Generally loose laid, not stuck to the layers below (except at the seams).


Very small particles of matter (sand, soil, etc). Not used where porosity is important (may clog vertical drainage).

First Generation Turf

Developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s: Low-profile carpets (8-12mm), high-density fibres.


Comprises of the layers beneath the shock pad and carpet – the asphalt, base, sub-base and sub-grade.

Geotechnical report

A report on the ground conditions prepared by an appropriately qualified geotechnical engineer.  This will ideally report such factors that could affect the construction of a pitch, such as subgrade state, drainage capacity, compaction, moisture levels, and the potential for the ground to swell or shrink as moisture levels change.


Material used to support, separate, filter. Used to strengthen compacted ground, provide a filter barrier around drains, etc.


The infill is generally silica sand, rubber crumb, or a combination of both. Its function is to provide stabalisiation, help with pile recovery and contribute to the sports performance attributes of the surface (ball rebound, shock absorption and vertical deformation).


The installation of a complete synthetic grass system, including the construction of a fully-designed base/drainage system, will take about 16 weeks (two to four weeks for earthworks, six to eight weeks for base works, two weeks for a shock pad and two to three weeks for the carpet and infill). Fencing and floodlight installation can overlap with these phases.


The application of water to an artificial grass carpet is sometimes done for hockey (to aid ball traction and player sliding).

Hold points

Key stages of a project at which point works should cease, allowing inspection/sign-off of the stage of work just undertaken.

Knit-de-Knit (KDK)

After initial production, the yarn is then knitted into and heat-set. This process gives the finished yarn a texturised appearance. The purpose of Knit-de-Knit yarn is to reduce the impact of fibre direction in the grass surface. 


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

Licensing agreement

The formal agreement entered into by an artificial grass manufacturer and a sport’s governing body concerning the conditions under which approval of artificial grass products for that sport specifically may be granted.

Lifecycle costs

The lifecycle cost of a surface consists of three different costs:


The typical period of time that the item lasts before requiring replacement.

Long-pile pitches

Third surfaces exceeding 35mm pile height.

Monofilament yarn

Individual fibres of yarn which are cut from a sheet and twisted or wrapped together to form a yarn strand.


Acronym for ‘Multi Use Games Areas’. Excellent, versatile surfaces to suit several sports.

Needlepunched Carpet

Carpet where the fibre in the pile forms both the pile structure and the majority of the backing cloth. The fibres are needled into a flat primary cloth, then secondary needled to pull through/angle the fibre to a felt-like structure of the desired quality/configuration of pile.


Perforations define the holes drilled or heat punched into the backing of some synthetic turf materials. The perforations provide a passage for drainage through the impermeable carpet backing into the structure beneath.


The ability of a material to allow water to pass through. Determined by percolation (infiltration) tests.


The full depth of tufts or loops of yarn which form the carpet.

Pile length

The length of the extended tufts measured from the primary backing top surface to their tips. Pile tuft should be gently extended but not stretched during this measurement.

Crush recovery (also called ‘Fibre Resilience’)

Pile recovery describes the ability of the synthetic grass fibres to rebound back upright after being walked on, or after having dead weight from furniture (such as moveable goal posts) or other elements. To encourage good recovery, all synthetic grass surfaces made for lawn and landscaping will benefit from some amount of infill materials that provide dimensional stability for blades and backing.

Playing characteristics

The ball/surface and player/surface interaction of a surface system.


Polyethylene or polythene or polymethylene is the most widely used plastic, with an annual production of approximately 80 million metric tons. Its primary use is in packaging (notably the plastic shopping bag).


In synthetics, the basic chemical unit from which fibres are made.  It is made of large complex molecules (polymer chains) formed by uniting simple molecules (monomers).


Synthetic, thermoplastic polymer used for moulded items, sheets, films and fibres. The polymer is made by stereo specific polymerization of propylene. Most polypropylene turf fibres are solution dyed and sometimes contain ultraviolet stabilisers for outdoor use. The turf fibre is available as both bulked continuous filament yarns and staple for spun yarn production.   Slit-film polypropylene is used on woven turf backing.

Porous/ Porosity

Porosity is a measure of void space in a material. Note: Not to be confused with permeability which is a measure of the ability of the material (such as rocks) to transmit fluid.

Powerbroom or brush

A tool used during the construction and grooming of synthetic grass installations. A powerbroom or brush was developed for use with concrete and asphalt sweepers and adopted by the synthetic turf industry as a tool to help defi brillate (or brush) synthetic grass surfaces and help to distribute infi ll materials across the surfaces.

Primary backing

The material into, or onto, which the yarn is attached to form the carpet.

Reactive soil (also called ‘high plasticity’)

The property of soil that causes it to swell when moisture content increases and shrinks when moisture content reduces. The resulting ground movement may cause damage to a poorly designed surface.

Crumb rubber

Granules of new or recycled rubber materials used for infill or for top dressing on synthetic grass materials. Granules are specified as either new or recycled rubber, and are sized by the smallest and largest average radius of the granules contained in the packaging. Size of granules used will depend upon the application, the typical range is 0.5 – 2.5mm.

Seams/ seaming

The line formed where two pieces of turf are joined. The action of setting the turf and seaming using one or more methods; adhesives, sewing or tacks.

Second Generation Turf

Introduced in the 1980s. Sparser density of fibres, medium pile height (10-35mm), sand-filled.

Secondary backing

The material used to coat the back of the carpet after the yarn has been attached to the primary backing. TigerTurf UK use latex but PU can also be used.


New turf appears to shed some fibres after installation. Many of these blades are cut away during normal installation and hidden during job site cleaning. They work their way to the surface during use. Regular blowing and grooming will resolve this problem.

Shock pad

If required, a shock-absorbing layer is placed over the base, directly under the carpet. It is used to provide a degree of comfort to players underfoot, but also to reduce peak forces for head impacts, and to create defined playing characteristics for specific sports. The two main installation methods of shock pads are:

A shock pad will signifi cantly increase the cost of installing a synthetic surface but may last for several surface replacements (two to three surfaces – 20 years).

Shrink (See also ‘dimensional stability’)

Synthetic grass surface materials, can shrink or shift under certain conditions. Where temperature variances can change from extreme cold to extreme heat, synthetic grass surfaces can expand and contract. A minor amount of shrink can also occur on surfaces as they age. Shifting of turf surfaces is more often noticed and can be misidentified as shrink.

Slip resistance/ traction

Measures of a finished surface related to sufficient grip underfoot to accelerate and decelerate, adequate slip to turn, etc. Sub-base A secondary layer of bound or unbound fill placed on the subgrade to influence the engineering and playing characteristics of the whole construction. Is in addition to the base course, added where the sub-grade conditions are inconsistent.

Soft spots

Areas of ground that have lower than typical strength. Typically, these could be areas where tree roots have been removed and insufficient attention has been paid to compaction when the holes were filled. Soft spots may also be caused by moisture collecting in fi ne grained clay and silt soils.

Static electricity

Cold and low humidity often create isolated motionless charges of electricity, and some turf products can provide static resistance.


The prepared surface of the natural ground onto which the base pavement and carpet system are laid. Provides the ultimate support and sometimes the required surface profile to the base.  The strength and stability of the sub-grade are particularly critical for pitches/fields/courts/greens built over filled sites.

Surface system

The composite of the individual layers of materials used in the construction of a sports surface – the base, shock pad, artificial grass carpet, and infill (where appropriate).


Seaming tape is used under the edges of two pieces of synthetic grass as a part of a seaming system to attach the two pieces of synthetic grass together.

Tensile Strength

The resistance of a material to a load applied in tension (as opposed to compression).

Third Generation (3G) Turf

Introduced in the late 1990s – comprising a longer pile (35-65mm), lower density of fibres in-filled with sand/rubber granules or both. Generally loose laid, not stuck to the layers below (except at the seams).

Pile density

Determined by multiplying the number of tufts per unit area by the unit weight of each tuft.


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

Unfilled pitches

Pitches using a carpet of woven, tufted or knitted synthetic yarn in which the density of the pile is sufficient to maintain yarn vertically without support or stabilisation by other materials. 

Water Harvesting

Collecting and reusing water that drains from the surface system.

Water-based pitches

An unfilled product that generally has a low-pile height and has a high-density of fibres. Most often used for hockey, the surface is watered to help reduce friction and change the speed of the game.


A continuous strand of twisted fibres.

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