New R&D project for creating a tool for evaluating the functional capabilities and material quality of artificial grass
NTNU SIAT, Centre for Sports facility and Technology, All Sports Recycled and TeBe Sport has started an R&D project with the goal of developing an in-field solution and methodology for evaluating the functional capabilities and material quality of the sand, infill and fiber. The end goals are to reduce waste and increase the reuse and repurposing of material from artificial soccer turfs.
Today, there is no in-field tool or practical methodology to evaluate the functional quality of artificial soccer turfs and its components. Is the grass still in compliance with lower quality field certifications? Is the infill usable in new or existing soccer turfs? Or, has it lost its functional qualities for usage on an artificial soccer turf, but still has its material characteristics and are usable for producing rubber products?
As example, there are several different quality certifications that a new artificial soccer turfs have to comply to, from FIFA quality pro to e.g. the Nordic standard. The different certifications require the field to comply to a set of different functional requirements, testing features related to friction and dampening. Due to the different quality requirements, a field not being in compliance with the FIFA Quality Pro, could still be in compliance with the Nordic standard. This would reduce the amount of waste as the turf would be re-installed on at new location, offering another 5-10 years of usage for non-elite players of all ages. And equally important, it would reduce the cost for the new field owner, being able to buy a reused turf at a significantly lower price.
Through the R&D project, we will develop an in-field practical tool to evaluate and document the functional capabilities and the material quality of an artificial soccer turf and its infill. The outcome is a set of tools, and a report, documenting if the turf and/or its infill material can be reused, have to be repurposed, or if it has lost all its material quality and have to be handed over to an approved end of life service.
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