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Choosing capillary mats | What to take into account?

Capilarry mat
Written by Bonita van Ingen | Last update 31-03-2019

Many pot plant nurseries use capillary mats to irrigate their crops. There are different types of capillary mats available. The best capillary mat to use for your crops, depends on multiple factors, 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 mats' 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 effect. The more water the capillary mat retains, the slower the capillary effect is (as there are larger amounts of water to be processed). Therefore mats with a low water capacity will distribute water faster than the 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 effect

Capillary effect 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 effect, the faster the water can distributed throughout the capillary mat.

Type of irrigation system

The irrigation system is key in choosing the right capillary matting. For example, during cultivation when watering can only be done from the bottom good capillary effect 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.

Video: Klavermat irrigation mats

Usage time/ Lifespan

How long does capillary matting last? That is a frequently asked question from our customers. Usage time is an important factor when 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. Please reach our specialist out to find out what best lifespan is for your crop.


Finally, the type of substrate is an important factor for choosing certain capillary mats. This does not merely concern the substrate (e.g. metal, 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 Bonita van Ingen, or ask your question using the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

About Bonita van Ingen

Bonita van Ingen joined Royal Brinkman in 2017 as internal product specialist Packaging & Design. She acts as a link between the sales department and suppliers. "Horticulture is a beautiful industry to me. Working with different products, contact with suppliers, the interaction with colleagues and the variety of work: every day is different. If the customer is happy with the products he has purchased, so am I."

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