Study findings offer guidance on artificial turf care

A four-year project funded by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) at Cranfield University has been completed.

The result is a guideline publication on the maintenance of sand-filled and sand-dressed synthetic turf, which will be available through the IoG and Cranfield in the coming months.

The research project, revealed at the IoG conference in Liverpool by Dr Iain James of Cranfield, has developed a number of new methodologies for assessing synthetic turf maintenance. These can be conducted on site by facility managers or sent to laboratories for analysis.

Research has shown that the two key performance indicators for maintenance of synthetic turf are the quantity of infill and the cleanliness of that infill. Insufficient sand infill or excess sand infill results in poor playability and reduced pitch life. Infill contaminated with fines reduces infiltration and increases ball bounce. It also increases the time that pitches take to dry out.

The recommendations include information on how to keep infill clean and regular maintenance programmes.

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