One of Britain’s top football teams – Arsenal – will soon be playing on Swiss artificial turf. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
The London club has ordered 1,400 m2 of the grass from the Tisca Tiara textile company in Appenzell Outer Rhodes. Club members came to Switzerland in 2014 to inspect playing fields developed by the company. They were so impressed that they ordered the same turf for their own training hall.
Weather resistant, low-maintenance artificial turf has been around for the past 60 years, but there have always been disadvantages. When the fibres are too hard they cause painful injuries. Soft fibres, on the other hand, wear out too quickly.
Tisca Tiara came up with a new, tough grass said to exhibit the same ball behaviour as natural grass but also reducing the risk of injury. It was developed along with the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) and the Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich.
Each turf blade has a hard core and a soft coat, thus eliminating the conventional support with sand or granules.