A new turf-making technology could replace grass, artificial turf and even old cemented turf in suburban homes.
The breakthrough comes from the team at Boston University, who have developed a machine that uses a combination of laser, laser beam and micro-fluid to create a porous and porous-like surface that is much more durable than concrete or asphalt.
The team also created a coating that makes the porous material more pliable than the other materials, and has already applied it to several other projects, including one for a new stadium.
“We’ve created a process where we use laser light to generate a highly porous surface, which is very important,” says Daniel Siegel, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Boston College and a member of the project team.
“The surface we have here is much better than what we’ve seen before.”
The team has applied for patent protection on the new technology, which they say could have a wide impact on the turf industry in the near future.
Siegel says the new coating could also be used to coat the surface of existing turf.
“You’re going to be able to coat an existing surface with a new coating, which could have huge benefits,” Siegel said.
The technology is just the latest in a series of advancements in artificial turf technology, Siegel notes.
In 2014, researchers from New Zealand developed a technique that uses laser light, a polymer, and a nano-coating to create the surface.
That technology is currently being tested on turf at stadiums across the country, including in Boston, and it’s hoped that the technology could soon be applied to new applications in the United States.
In addition to the research at Boston, SGS says it’s working on a prototype that could eventually replace the asphalt that’s often used in the country’s suburban lawn systems.
That project is now in the final stages of design and testing, and is expected to take two to three years.