No, as synthetic turf technology evolves the range of products grows. The first synthetic turf products were actually developed in the 1960s with the first major installation at the Houston Astrodome in 19966 meaning synthetic turf has been in use for 50 years.
The first generation of surfaces were short pile (12 -15mm) dense non-filled surfaces, manufactured using a knitting technique from nylon yarn. This type of surface has evolved and is now used for sports such as hockey, cricket and lawn bowls.
In the 1970s the second generation of surfaces were developed. The piles of these surfaces were more open and longer (20 -25mm) and relied on a sand infill to support the pile and keep it standing upright. Used extensively for a range of sports these surfaces pioneered the growth of community use synthetic sports fields throughout Europe.
The third generation of surfaces were developed in the late 1990s. With even longer pile lengths (50 – 70mm) and even more open constructions, the surfaces incorporate a blend of infills that provide the desired cushioning and sports performance properties. It is this form of surfacing that has seen the acceptance of synthetic turf by sports such as football and rugby and created the growth in synthetic turf that now allows high quality, high intensity use sports fields to be provided in locations and climates that previously could not consider playing on anything that was vaguely like a natural grass field.