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How do you choose the right capillary mat?

Capilarry mat
Written by Sonja Buurman | Last update 31-03-2019

Many pot plant nurseries use capillary mats to water their crops. There are different types of capillary mats available. The best capillary mat to use for your crops, depends on multiple variables, such as water absorption, capillary action, substrate, method of watering and usage time. Our specialist explains more about choosing the right capillary mat in this article.

Do you want a custom advice right away? Fill in the form and get advice from our specialists.

Water capacity

Water capacity is the amount of water the capillary matting can retain per square meter in litres. The greater the mat’s water capacity, the more water it can buffer. The water capacity plays a large part in choosing the capillary mat; after all, you are choosing the amount of water under your plants. But you are also choosing the buffering function that can offer results during a disruption in the watering system, for example, with a defective pump.

There is a relation between water capacity and capillary action. The more water the capillary mat retains, the slower the capillary action is (as there are larger amounts of water to be processed). Therefore mats with a low water capacity will distribute water faster thanthe same kind of mat with a higher water capacity.

Lately a trend towards lower water capacity combined with higher frequency of watering has emerged. By doing this the relative air humidity can be decreased, which, in turn, decreases the chances of disease and algae growth.

Capillary Action

Capillary action is the extent to which the capillary mat evenly distributes the water over the entire surface of the mat and the circulation speed it has. The greater the capillary action, the faster the water can distributed throughout the capillary mat.

Type of Watering

The irrigation system plays a very important role in choosing the right capillary matting. For example, during cultivation when watering can only be done from the bottom good capillary action is of great importance, but when watering can be done from above during cultivation (for example a watering cart) capillary action plays a much less important role.

Usage time/Lifespan

Usage time is also a factor in choosing a mat. If you want to use the capillary mats for multiple crops, quality is of greater importance then when you are using the capillary mat for one-time cultivation only.


Finally substrate also plays a part in choosing certain capillary mats. This does not merely concern the substrate (e.g. metaal, sand or concrete), but also, for example the grade of the substrate (slope).

Ground cover and algae film

During production you can also choose to rest your capillary mats on ground cover and/or agae film. This prevents roots from growing into the mat. You will also prevent the capillary mat from becoming contaminated by the growth of weeds, roots and algae, which will benefit the mat’s lifespan. Finally, you will prevent unnecessary vaporization and you will protect the capillary matting from mechanical influences, such as fork lifts and (cleaning) sweeping machines.

Custom Advice

Let someone advise you properly when choosing capillary mats. Do you want custom advice? Fill out the form below. Indicate for each point what your situation or application is. Our specialist will then contact you as soon ass possible with custom advice – on work days even within 24 hours.

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Questions regarding capillary mats?
Do you have questions about (the choice of) capillary mats? Contact our product specialist Sonja Buurman, or ask your question using the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

Sonja Buurman About Sonja Buurman

Sonja Buurman has been working at Royal Brinkman as an internal product specialist Packaging & Design since 2012. She serves as the link between the sales department and the suppliers, regarding this aspect. "The best part of my work is, I think, advising the account managers concerning the different products and possibilities of the various suppliers in the area of pots, trays, irrigation mats and bamboo poles."

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