AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. Though the term is a registered trademark, it is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short pile synthetic turf while the current products incorporate modern features such as antimicrobial protection, rubber infill, backing systems and nylon yarn fibers.
AstroTurf was co-invented in 1964 by James M. Faria and Robert T. Wright, employees of Monsanto
. It was patented in 1967 and originally sold under the name "Chemgrass". It was renamed AstroTurf after its first well-publicized use at the Houston Astrodome
stadium in 1966.
In 1986 Monsanto consolidated its AstroTurf management, marketing, and technical activities in Dalton, Georgia, as AstroTurf Industries, Inc. In 1988 Balsam AG purchased all the capital stock of AstroTurf Industries, Inc. In 1994 Southwest Recreational Industries, Inc. (SWRI) acquired the AstroTurf brand. In 1996 SWRI was acquired by American Sports Products Group Inc. (ASPG). In 2001, SWRI launched a turf system called NexTurf. In 2003 SWRI changed its name to SRI Sports and one year later filed for bankruptcy and the parent company, ASPG, retained the AstroTurf rights. In 2005 Textile Management and Associates (TMA) acquired the AstroTurf assets and intellectual property from ASPG and began marketing the AstroTurf brand under the company AstroTurf, LLC. In 2006 GeneralSports Venue (GSV) became TMA’s marketing partner for the AstroTurf brand for the American market. AstroTurf, LLC handles the marketing of AstroTurf in the rest of the world.
- The Houston Astrodome opens with natural turf and a glass roof which causes glare for the fielders. The glass panes with a view of the sun are painted white, and the grass soon dies. The field's dead grass is replaced with AstroTurf the next year.
- AstroTurf is first installed in the Houston Astrodome. The infield was in place in April, but due to lack of supply, the outfield is not completed until July, when the Astros are sent on an extended road trip. The all-synthetic field is ready for play following the All-Star break in July. The first football game played on AstroTurf occurs when the Houston Cougars beat the Washington State Cougars.
- AstroTurf is first installed in an outdoor stadium - Indiana State University Stadium, Terre Haute, Indiana.
- Cincinnati Reds play back-to-back World Series' on AstroTurf.
- Women's World Cup Hockey (field hockey) games are played on AstroTurf.
- AstroTurf installs first North American vertical drainage systems in Ewing, NJ at Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey).
- First E-Layer system (Elastomeric) installed at William and Mary, as well as University of California, Berkeley.
- Atlanta Olympic Field Hockey installs AstroTurf System.
- Real Madrid C. F. (Spain) become the first European football club to purchase an AstroTurf system for their practice fields.