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A new model of third generation artificial turf degradation, maintenance interventions and benefits

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posted on 2023-03-21, 13:47 authored by Paul FlemingPaul Fleming, Charlie Watts, Steph ForresterSteph Forrester
High performing and safe outdoor third generation (3G) artificial turf (AT) fields demand high quality initial design and construction coupled with a comprehensive maintenance aftercare regime. However, in many cases maintenance of AT fields suffers from either a low-cost inexpert approach, or a one-size-fits-all generic approach based on general guidance with little to no evidence of effectiveness. Little previous research has addressed fundamental questions regarding how 3G AT systems degrade or have provided evidence of the effectiveness of maintenance interventions. Maintenance techniques currently utilised can be grouped into four separate categories (grooming, cleaning, decompaction and infill top-ups). The maintenance tools and processes for each category have been developed empirically through experience, mainly in response to qualitative observations with little quantitative evidence. This paper reports on a unique body of quantitative evidence of specific effects of maintenance interventions, on third generation AT surfaces (3G), collected over the past several years in collaboration with a major UK sports surface maintenance contractor. In addition, the data contributes new and robust evidence of the rate at which 3G surfaces can ‘lose’ quantities of performance infill corroborated by the rate at which fields were topped up to maintain appropriate infill depths. A new quantified pitch degradation and maintenance benefits model is presented explaining 3G AT system degradation factors and mechanisms, their links to changes in system performance and the magnitudes of change effected by specific maintenance techniques. The new model is of direct benefit to both researchers and practitioners impacting on future best practice for assessing and maintaining the safety and performance of 3G AT.

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology

Volume

237

Issue

1

Pages

19-33

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© IMechE

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by SAGE under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

2020-08-21

Publication date

2020-10-20

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1754-3371

eISSN

1754-338X

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Paul Fleming. Deposit date: 17 November 2020

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