Maintenance best practice and recent research

2015-04-14T15:01:14Z (GMT) by Paul R. Fleming
This paper sets out to capture the recent discussions on maintenance best practice for artificial turf surfaces, from a SportSURF workshop in 2009, supplemented with a case study from Loughborough University. This is enhanced with recent research findings from two studies investigating damage to artificial carpet fibres caused by power brushing, and the usefulness of simple portable tools in monitoring pitch degradation and the alleviating effects of maintenance interventions. The outcomes of the maintenance seminar showed good consensus for frequency and type of maintenance practice, with a useful rule of thumb of one hour of maintenance for every 10 hours of use of the surface system. Maintenance costs of artificial turf should be expected to be similar to natural turf however, but expressed as ‘per hour of use’ are much lower. Damage caused by power brushing, from a laboratory study, was found to be minimal in terms of fibre splits or breaks, for three different standard brush systems and three different carpet systems. Portable monitoring tools, such as the Clegg hammer and rotational traction devices may be suited to monitoring two important pitch properties over time. These relatively low cost tools are potentially useful to manage aspects regarding infill depth and mobility, frozen ground and advice on intervention maintenance.