Loughborough University

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Maintenance best practice and recent research

journal contribution
posted on 2012-12-13, 13:25 authored by Paul FlemingPaul Fleming
This paper sets out to capture the recent discussions on maintenance ‘best practice’ for artificial turf surfaces and some related research. The information presented comes partly from a seminar in 2009, providing a mix of quantitative and qualitative information and opinions from a range of contributors both academic and industrial organized by the research network SportSURF (based at Loughborough University), and is supplemented with a case study of practices at Loughborough University on three different outdoor synthetic surfaces. The best practice information is further enhanced with recent research findings from a study investigating damage to artificial carpet fibres caused by power brushing. The outcomes of the maintenance seminar showed a good consensus for aspects of the most relevant type and frequency of maintenance tasks, with a useful rule of thumb for pitch managers of one hour of maintenance for every 10 hours of use of the surface system. Maintenance costs for artificial turf has traditionally been marketed as being ‘low’, but the data show costs per annum should be expected to be similar to natural turf but when expressed as a cost ‘per hour of use’ then the relative cost to be much lower for artificial turf than natural turf. Damage caused by power brushing, from a short laboratory study, was found to be minimal in terms of fibre splits or breaks for three (standard) brush systems of varying stiffness and for three different carpet systems (both sand and rubber infill systems). This paper collectively provides an advance in the knowledge and debate for the specialist practice of artificial surface maintenance, currently under-researched and poorly disseminated.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


FLEMING, P.R., 2011. Maintenance best practice and recent research. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 225 (3), pp. 159 - 170


Sage Publications © Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


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This article is closed access, it was published in the serial Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology [Sage © IMechE]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1754337111405256






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