Development of a turf stability assessment method for sports surfaces

2018-11-26T16:49:11Z (GMT) by Frazer D. Anderson
The majority of outdoor sports are played on natural turf pitches. Throughout the playing season, a pitch has continual player interaction, which, during periods of sustained unfavourable conditions, can cause the turf to tear up (shear) under player contact. This is most evident in Rugby Union scrummages, which create deep divots in the turf and rootzone that reduce player safety and are criticised by the media. However, little is known of the turf/rootzone strength to depth, termed ‘shear stability’ in this thesis, and there is currently no appropriate means to test this property. In order to explore the shear stability of turf, a device was designed and developed. The prototype device, termed the ‘Shear Tester’, underwent trial, validation and several redesigns until it was deemed suitable to investigate turf shear stability. A range of natural and hybrid constructions and laboratory-controlled samples were investigated, and the key variables found to influence the shear stability were grass rooting, water content and rootzone density. [Continues.]