Artificial turf is increasingly being used in the construction of football pitches. One of its characteristics is an infill of sand and rubber granules. At present, different materials and layer thicknesses, as well as grain sizes are used for the sand and mainly for the rubber, but they are chosen with little scientific evidence about their influence on the mechanical and biomechanical properties of the pitch. Based on knowledge from materials science, it is reasonable to suggest that grain morphology may have a large influence on pitch performance. This paper presents research conducted to assess the influence of different parameters related to infill grain morphology on the mechanical properties of artificial turf (force reduction (%), vertical deformation (mm) and vertical ball bounce (m)), as well as on their wear with use, measured according to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) procedures. The results show a significant reduction of pitch performance with use and a significant influence of grainmorphology in mechanical response of artificial turf with respect to impact forces and ball rebound.
Keywords: artificial turf; impact force; pitch performance; rubber granules; morphology