Study on Factors Impacting Degradation of Artificial Turf Fibers

Study on Factors Impacting Degradation of Artificial Turf Fibers

Abstract

The aim of this study is to present an overview over factors that impact degradation of artificial turf fibers, based on previous research on the topic. The report is written in collaboration with Centre for Sport Facilities and Technology (SIAT) at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) and the project Kunstgress 2021 (KG2021). The project focuses on the development and testing of new concepts for future artificial turfs.

It is found several factors that may lead to both mechanical and chemical degradation of artificial turf fibers. These include degradation from poor maintenance and increased number of usage hours in addition to degradation from UV radiation and alterations in surface temperature. These lead to potential changes in the properties of the artificial turf fibers. The most damaging cause leading to degradation of fibers is believed to be UV radiation with additional surface heating. Preventive measures can be done to minimize degradation of the grass fibers thus keeping aesthetics and playing abilities, in addition to ensure longevity. Measures includes use of proper maintenance equipment and sub terrain heating during winter, spread activity (recreational sports) around the pitch, and removing contaminants from the pitch. Irrigating the turf with coolants such as water may for a period lower the surface temperature, preventing unnecessary damage from usage during sunny days.


Previous research is heavily focused on mapping changes in the properties of the fiber after exposure in an accelerated environment. Effect of UV radiation seem to be the most researched topic. Upon transferring knowledge from laboratory testing to an actual football field, multiple additional parameters must be considered. Some of these include field age, type and quantity of infill material, and field location. Results from accelerated tests may therefore be considered as worst-case scenario in terms of degradation of fibers. No previous research on the long-term effect of degradation was found. Measuring mass loss from wear over time in different environmental conditions temperature, UV), could be done to achieve better understanding of the process behind degradation caused by maintenance and sport’s activities.

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