The existing Masterspec section 8255 SYNTHETIC TURF, relates to the design, supply and installation of a synthetic turf/grass system and sub-base, to meet the requirements of various outdoor applications including; sport, landscaping, playgrounds, residential etc.
This section referred only to Australian Standards, but recently all 11 of them were withdrawn by Standards Australia and not replaced. This automatically meant we had to review the section but, with no replacement Standards in either Australia or New Zealand, this turned into a major review. The option of using Standards from other countries has its drawbacks as synthetic turf is manufactured in a range of countries to a wide variety of Standards.
For everyday uses, playgrounds, residential, landscape, low level sports etc, the lack of Standards may not be a major problem. However for high level competitive sports fields the quality and performance of the playing surface is important. So this section review and update has addressed some of these issues and increased the detail covered by the section. It is worth noting at this point that it is likely that, sports field design will probably need, to varying degrees, the input of the particular sports code body involved.
For a competition high level sports field the most common objective is that the ball behaves in the desired predictable way for that particular sporting code. This largely depends on the playing surface plane being relatively smooth and the surface finish providing the right amount of resilience and friction.
The update to the section has added a number of tolerance requirements for sports fields that control the surface plane - gradient and deviation which are fairly standard, and also fall profile and surface regularity which are more sports specific. Surface finish performance is more difficult to specify and may rely on the sports body and manufacturer's input. This input will affect the turf type, turf fill and underlay requirements specified.
With the update of the section additional detail has also been added covering - turf fill types, rubber matting underlays and game line markings. Turf fill types depend on the particular sport, they range from - sand dressing or filling, rubber filling, sand plus rubber filling, water systems. Rubber matting underlay may be required to improve resilience or bounce for sport, or for safety to meet soft fall requirements in playgrounds. Line markings can be tufted or fabric inlays or painted and should be carried out to meet the requirements of the sports code body involved.
When selecting synthetic turf for high performance activities consider the following:
- resistance to impact
- joint strength
- tensile properties
- water infiltration rate
- resistance to staining
- behaviour under a rolling load
- ball roll behaviour
- UV resistance
A cautionary note, section 8255 SYNTHETIC TURF is written to suit outdoor applications only, if used for indoor applications take great care to check flooring fire performance requirements as most synthetic turfs do not have a high fire performance value
The Masterspec section 8255 SYNTHETIC TURF is available in Masterspec; Standard, Landscapes, Structural & Civil.