Loughborough University
Thesis-2017-Webb.pdf (10.01 MB)

Mechanical traction behaviour of artificial turf

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posted on 2017-06-30, 15:29 authored by Carolyn H. Webb
Artificial surfaces are increasingly more common in a number of sports including football, rugby and hockey. Each specific sport has mechanical properties designed to suit the requirements of the sport which can be achieved through appropriate selection of surface specification, as well as the appropriate selection of footwear. In player-surface interactions, traction is a key system property that needs to be measured for comfort, performance and any potential injury risk. Many of the current industry tests used to measure traction are simplistic and have limitations when used in tests. The aim of the thesis was to make a contribution to knowledge with regard to the mobilisation of traction and apply this to the understanding of shoe-surface interactions. This was achieved by completing a number of objectives. These included reviewing current knowledge of player-surface interaction behaviour in relation to traction and obtaining relevant human boundary conditions for biofidelic mechanical test development. The mechanisms of traction were then investigated and the variables in the mobilisation of traction identified. The traction forces developed were quantified with appropriate measurement systems. Mechanical test equipment was then developed along with protocols to replicate the translational and rotational lower limb behaviour during sport specific behaviour. This included the standard FIFA rotational device being modified to include two sensors which record continuous data throughout a trial to allow for more than a peak torque value to be analysed. In addition, a piece of equipment to measure translational traction was developed and constructed to support the rotational traction device and help to understand the mobilisation of traction. The device pulled a tray containing a surface sample, with a shoe/plate placed on the sample. The horizontal force was measured, as well as the amount of stud penetration into the surface. It was also necessary to characterise the state of the surface and the effects that any changes may have on the traction that is mobilised. Testing completed involved repeated testing on both the rotational and translational to allow for comparison. Changes in the surface properties were made such as the number of fibres in a set area and the rubber infill density as well as shoe properties such as stud spacing, stud type and number of studs. In the results, the initial stiffness response of the surface was often focussed on as it was stated that this may be a better indicator of the mechanisms involved in the traction mobilised by subjects, compared to peak torque. This is due to actual foot rotation measured in subject testing being observed to be much smaller than the rotation/distance required to produce the peak force. The larger angles/displacements were also considered to help inform the mechanisms of traction. The final objective was to refine the mechanisms based on the experimental design. This all adds to the contribution of knowledge regarding the mobilisation of traction. A key outcome from the thesis is the effect the surface and shoe properties have on traction, therefore it is essential to state the specification when reporting results otherwise comparisons are not able to be made. The mechanism of traction has not previously been fully understood, with this thesis beginning to understand the details of how the change in surface or shoe properties affect how the surface reacts during shoe-surface interactions.





  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Carolyn Helen Webb

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: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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