AstroTurfAstroTurf ® is a registered trademark of Textile Management Associates, applied to a particular kind of artificial turf. The term is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf.
AstroTurf was invented in 1965 by employees of Monsanto and patented in 1967 under the name "Chemgrass." It was renamed AstroTurf after its first well-publicised use at the Houston Astrodome baseball stadium.
The advantage of AstroTurf over grass turf is quite evident: an artificial turf requires minimal maintenance. It is also ideal for indoor stadiums, since it does not require sunlight. However, an AstroTurf surface is much harder than one of natural grass. Players describe the impact as similar to falling on concrete (Vince Lombardi called AstroTurf fuzzy cement). Players' cleats can get caught in the turf, which does not give the way grass and dirt does, causing the injury known as "turf toe". Also, in baseball, the ball tends to bounce higher and faster. AstroTurf is being replaced in many stadiums with newer types of artificial turf—two common brands of this new generation being FieldTurf and Sport Grass. These materials have properties much closer to natural grass turf. AstroTurf's version of this new artificial grass was called Astroplay, but in 2004, Southwest Recreational Industries, who held the rights to making AstroTurf, went out of business after filing for bankruptcy.
- History of AstroTurf (http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blastroturf.htm)