The installation of artificial grass can be done on practically any surface, so if we install it on a smooth surface, such as microcement, we probably only need adhesive tape and some silicone; however, if we place it on the ground we require the installation of a geotextile mesh.
In addition, we must use resources for the filling, it is at this time where we resort to silica sand.
Silica sand composition
Silica sand is a combination of silica atoms (up to 96%) with oxygen atoms, presented in small grains or what we know as sand.
This is combined with gravel, which comes from the breakage or fragmentation of other rocks and thus forms silica sand for use with artificial turf. Its primary function is to ballast or place weight, but it has many more.
Why use silica sand for artificial turf?
Because it offers many advantages ranging from making it look more natural to the verticality of the fibers.
By placing the silica sand layer, the artificial grass becomes softer and smoother to the touch, thus causing less impact on the undercarriage.
When artificial grass is to be laid on surfaces that will receive direct sunshine for several hours a day for an extended period of time, silica sand provides freshness. It gets wet with water and the temperature drops immediately.
The silica sand is spread on the artificial turf, which makes the material more firmly attached to the ground, also helps the edges, on all those who are exposed to traffic.
Verticality of the fibers
Adding the silica sand backing to the artificial turf makes the fibers more vertical, adding beauty to the material.
What is the purpose of silica sand in artificial turf?
Silica sand in artificial turf has several functions, including
- It makes it look more natural.
- It provides comfort to the footprint.
- It regulates the temperature, especially allowing it to cool down when in direct sunlight.
- It provides greater support.
- It keeps the fibres upright.
- Helps with water drainage.
- Absorbs static electricity produced by friction from use or electrical discharges from the environment.
How does silica sand spread?
Silica sand should be spread on the artificial turf once it has been installed and this is done only once.
Remember that the artificial turf is fixed to the surface with a mesh and bolts. The sand is transported either in a special cart for this purpose or in a building site cart and is spread with a shovel or placed by hand.
Once poured onto the lawn, at a rate of 5kg per square metre, it must be patiently brushed in the opposite direction to the fibres, so that it goes down to the bottom and forms a layer that joins the ground and the lawn. The brushing process can be done with a hard bristle plastic brush or an electric one. Once this process is finished, it is watered with a little water and left to settle.
Alternatives to silica sand
There are always alternatives available, the important thing is to know where the lawn is to be laid and what function it is to perform. Rubber is an alternative that is used in sports surfaces, providing comfort to the player and allowing the reuse of discarded car tires, thus helping the environment.
There is also coconut fibre, which gives an even more realistic look and provides a light brown warmth that feels like part of the earth.