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The behaviour of recycled rubber shockpads for synthetic sports pitches

conference contribution
posted on 14.04.2015, 08:58 by Paul Fleming, Lauren Anderson, Ali Ansarifar
Shock-absorbing layers perform vital roles in the user comfort, safety and ball interaction characteristics of synthetic sports pitches. This layer typically comprises a porous composite of granulated recycled rubber bound in a polyurethane resin, mixed on site and compacted and cured to form a flat continuous pad upon which the synthetic carpet is laid. A lack of published scientific information regarding shockpad behaviour or design prompted research at Loughborough University. This research investigated fundamental behavioural aspects of in-situ shockpad layers, including: their design; construction; mechanical behaviour; and sought appropriate and novel test methods for their assessment in the laboratory and field. This paper provides a summary of these unique findings in relation to the effect of mix design variables, including binder content, bulk density, layer thickness and rubber size distribution. Data are presented for shockpad energy restitution, impact behaviour, and shockpad tensile strength. In addition, the effect of short pile and long pile carpet systems placed above to replicate whole pitch systems is presented. Conclusions are presented and include recommended requirements for the industry to incorporate changes in design and construction quality assurance.


The authors are grateful for the financial support and advice of the technical steering committee, comprising Andy Shaw of Polytan (UK), Barry Stocker of Murfitts Industries Ltd, and Bob Allen of Aggregate Industries.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

7th International Conference on the Engineering of Sport .




77 - 88


FLEMING, P.R., ANDERSON, L. and ANSARIFAR, A., 2008. The behaviour of recycled rubber shockpads for synthetic sports pitches. IN: Estivalet, M. and Brisson, P. (eds). The Engineering of Sport 7: Volume 2. Paris: Springer-Verlag, pp. 77 - 88.


© Springer-Verlag


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



This conference paper is closed access. It was presented at the 7th International Conference on the Engineering of Sport held in Biarritz, France in June 2008 and was published by Springer-Verlag in The Engineering of Sport 7: Volume 2.






Biarritz, France


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