A collaboration between Cranfield University's Centre for Sports Surface Technology and the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has resulted in the publication of the first comprehensive guidelines on how best to maintain synthetic sports turf.
The 'Cranfield-IOG Guidelines for the Maintenance of Sand-Filled Synthetic Turf' were launched at the IOG Saltex exhibition this month following four years of research undertaken by Cranfield's Dr Andy McLeod and Dr Iain James.
The research, funded by the IOG 2012 Fund and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), was initiated to address the lack of concise information on the successful maintenance of synthetic sports surfaces.
Dr Iain James, a Sports Surface Engineer at Cranfield University, said: "This is an example of how Cranfield University produces research that is of direct relevance and support to the industry and aims to improve the provision of quality facilities for sport."
IOG Chief Executive Geoff Webb, said: "The Cranfield research results come at a time when an increasing number of grounds managers are charged with managing and maintaining both natural and artificial playing surfaces. What has become clear is that the grounds care industry has regularly received a wide and varied type and range of information regarding those surfaces, so this research can only help dispel any myths surrounding the maintenance of artificial surfaces."
Synthetic turf pitches are the most common sport surfaces in use in the UK because of their high usage, multi-sport capability and 'most-weather' suitability.
As a result of the research, recommendations for third generation pitches, an emerging type of surface, will follow.
The guidelines are available to download free from the Centre for Sports Surface Technology website www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/sst