The Evolution of Artificial Grass – 4G
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The Evolution of Artificial Grass: 4G non-infill Sports Pitches

What is 4G Grass?

4G known as ‘fourth generation’ artificial turf refers to an improvement and innovation in technology on 3G (‘third generation’) artificial grass. The technological advancement refers to how closely the pitch replicates playing sports such as; football and rugby on real grass. The non-infill feature means that the synthetic turf can be laid without the addition of a rubber crumb.

Why is 4G non-infill Artificial Grass preferable?

4G non-infill Artificial Grass is an evolution in technology, it delivers the most accurate playing experience to traditional turf.  It has great weatherproof qualities, water can drain speedily owing to its several porous layers. Delays are kept to a minimum because there is little need to cancel matches due to the weather. Training on 4G pitches gives players the chance to better equip themselves for the same playing conditions they’re probable to experience on match day – irrespective of the weather.

As no rubber crumb is required there is an obvious financial and time advantage. Once installed, it requires little care and will not cause additional mess or dust as a by-product.

From now on due to protect a potential ban of 3G rubber infill turf. All of our MUGA‘s and sports pitch installs will be created with no-infill (4G) synthetic turf. Not only is this easier to maintain, but it conforms with the impending ban on rubber infill sports area

Looking into an empty primary school MUGA

3G Artificial Turf

3G sport pitches are currently infilled with rubber crumb, spread all over to improve the surface. It is fitted with an underlying drainage system. These sport pitches are approved and recognised by accredited and governing bodies in the UK such as; FIFA and FA.

The rubber pellets/crumbs are supplementary to the synthetic turf, providing better grip and a smoother playing surface for players. Though, the rubber crumbs need to be added frequently to the turf, they are messy and are likely to get everywhere, even after the game. This can prove to be disadvantageous when trying to keep costs down, cleaning and maintenance expenses would need to be considered when opting for 3G pitches.

The origin of the rubber crumb has been under investigation for several years due to health concerns, with many claiming that they are widespread with carcinogens. Rubber crumbs used for 3G sport pitches are often reclaimed from old recycled tyres.  Several studies have explored the above claims, but then again have all lead to inconclusive results, suggesting that further investigation is required into the relationship between rubber pellets and overall health. These studies are principally important when exploring options for play areas and sports pitches aimed at children.

The EU have BANNED to use of 3G rubber infill artificial grass – What does this mean for you?

  • Current 3G pitches: The prohibition of polymeric infill materials is scheduled to be implemented in 2031 following an 8-year transition phase. This timeline is devised to allow the ongoing use and maintenance of existing synthetic turf fields with polymeric infills until they reach the end of their operational life.
  • Future 3G pitches: The prohibition entails that starting in 2031, only natural infill materials will be allowed for application in synthetic turf.
  • Alternative options: Dense, non-filled grasses, often termed as ‘4G’ turf systems, offer viable alternatives.

In light of the recent ban in the EU, many other country’s are likely to follow suit including the UK and many other European countries.