The report's author John Nash, Managing Director of AMI Research, says that 'Soccer and residential landscaping applications were the hot spots in 2007, but strong demand was enjoyed in most regions of the world and in most applications for artificial grass'.
While many will remember the fields they played on as kids and think artificial turf is a niche market, today's reality is quite different. Gone are the hard surfaces that caused friction burns and impact injuries, and in their place are controlled slide and defined energy restitution.
Changing product design has brought synthetic turf into the mainstream of surfaces used for both sports and landscaping applications. The industry now accounts for over 600,000 tonnes of product ranging from the polymers used for the grass carpet through the elastomeric rubber infill to the underlay.
The grass yarns are made from PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PA (polyamide or nylon), 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 rub ber) sourced from grinding up and recycling car tires, but new TPEs (thermoplastic elastomer's) and TPE or Acrylic coated semi-round grains of silica, the second hardest mineral after diamonds, known to man, are also being used.
A rise in the use of construction grade soil stabilizing under-layment fabrics and grids, along with elaborate drainage solutions is also evident.
A recent focus for field development is the Gmax shock pad, which is becoming increasingly important to the performance of the sports field system as a whole.
Not only is there a lot of technical development underway but, as predicted by AMI in its 2005 report, there is also substantial merger and acquistion activity as participants use M&A strategies to build and reshape their businesses. The last eighteen months have seen major acquisitions involving [several North American and European companies.]
Supply and demand in the market needs to be seen in a geographically global context partly because of the trade flows in the various components, but also because
participation strategies are increasingly global in their implementation.
Market Usage by Global Area:
Europe - 48%
NAFTA (No rth American Markets) - 26%
Far East - 12%
Near East - 8%
South America - 3%
Oceania - 3%
'The Global Artificial Grass Market 2007' is a detailed multi-client research report published in February 2008. For further information please use the link below.