AMI: Artificial Grass Demand Ahead in 2009
Despite the challenging economic environment global demand for artificial turf grew in 2009 according to a recently published study by Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI), Bristol, U.K. The industry accounts for over 700,000t of product ranging from the polymers used for the grass carpet through the elastomeric rubber infill to the underlay. The market value of the grass carpet alone is estimated at EUR 1.3 billion and is expected to exceed EUR 2 billion in 2013. The grass yarns are made from PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PA (polyamide), and they are fast developing both in terms of the performance of the polymer, but also the shape of the yarns and their bonding into the backing tape, whether by SB (styrene butadiene) latex or PU (polyurethane). The infill that has become predominant is SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) sourced from grinding up and recycling car tyres, but new TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers) are being offered which address specific requirements. A more recent focus for development is the underlay, or shock pad, which is becoming increasingly important to the performance of the system as a whole.
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