Over the past 30 years, AstroTurf® Manufacturing, Inc. has performed field inspections of various synthetic turf fields throughout the U.S. Testing included turf color retention, fiber wear, turf performance, padding system performance, pavement performance, as well as the subbases. To date, over 250 fields have been tested. Testing has been performed at various times of the year with recorded weather conditions, i.e., temperature, humidity, and rainfall.
Along with the visual inspections, various physical properties of the turf system have been tested by trained technicians. Pile height retention, shoe traction, turf friction, and Gmax were made. This paper will focus on the Gmax testing (ASTM Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Play Surface and Materials F 355, Procedure A) over this 30 year period. This field test data will be compared with “laboratory accelerated wear” testing performed on turf and pad. This will also illustrate the correlation between accelerated lab testing of turf products to “real live” testing.
The Gmax values will be broken down further into various subcategories: (A) Gmax values versus the life of fields. This will show the progression or loss of shock absorbency of the total field as the years of wear and use occur. (B) Gmax values versus padding systems. This will show the evolution of pad systems. Improved performance and longevity, as well as player comfort of pad systems after years of development and testing indication. (C) Gmax progression (increase) of specific fields. This will chart how individual field Gmax values progress over time. Several fields will be examined, and a relationship drawn between life of the field and amount of usage versus Gmax values.