Archive for May, 2007

NewGrass: Eco-Friendly from the Get-Go

Friday, May 11th, 2007

NewGrass™ is eco-friendly far beyond being a valuable water conservation measure.

The backing on NewGrass™ is in fact partly made from domestically grown soybeans. Called BioCel®, is made by Universal Textile Technologies, which has worked since 1999 to incorporate soy-based polymers into backings for artificial lawns and carpets.

According to UTT, soy-based polymers are polyurethane polymers in which a portion of the binding chemical compound (polyol) is derived from one renewable resource—the soybean plant. UTT uses soybean oil that is extracted from soybeans and then stabilized by removing gums and waxes. Finally it’s converted into a polymer. This is the polymer that becomes a key part of the backing for NewGrass™.

The soy-based polyols used by UTT account for 10%-14% of the overall backing weight. In addition, UTT incorporates a significant percentage of recycled content, resulting in a backing that is 60%-70% “green” by weight. This is important for NewGrass™ because the backing is the greatest weight of the product.

NewGrass™ blades are basically made from the same compounds that you’ll find in everyday plastic water bottles and with the same environmental protections, said Sandy Galinksi.

“It’s polypropylene or polyethylene, standard stuff that’s been around forever,” Galinski said.

As for the actual manufacturing process, it’s all done through highly computerized, electric-powered manufacturing equipment. None of the equipment is run on fossil fuels.
The blades are made using an extrusion process that results in negligible waste, said Sean Peng.

“Then comes the tufting, in which the strands are woven together and attached to backing cloth,” a process that also releases no greenhouse gases and negligible waste, Peng said.

Finally, the yard is coated using a high-heat process, also without greenhouse effects.


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