A synthetic turf system is build up by a number of different components that all play a vital role in the overall performance of the system. This performance is mostly determined by two parameters: playing characteristics and durability. The relation between these parameters heavily depends on the application for the synthetic turf pitch.
For a typical community field or 5-a-side field, durability is more important than the playing characteristics. However, a premier league soccer club will prefer optimal playing characteristics.
Relationship of system components
The components and their interaction determine, together with the turf construction, installation and maintenance, how the system will perform. This makes the right choice of components essential for the pitch; it is all about balancing the needs of the end-user. The combination of the different components in the system determines the overall performance of the system. In order to describe the performance of a synthetic turf pitch, this performance is relates to a number of different criteria. These criteria are also used by the different global sport associations, like for instance FIFA.
In order to meet for example the requirements for a FIFA 2 star pitch the above criteria need to be within FIFA standards. For example the ball roll of a FIFA two star pitch needs to be within 4-8m. The interaction of the different components plays a key role in the system and thus the components need to be carefully chosen. Therefore, the turf construction used for the system is also of great importance. For comparison, TenCate tested two carpet constructions with identical components in an open and a dense tuft setting. The constructions and the test results on two criteria are shown to the right.
The example to the right clearly shows the performance difference and in particular ‘long-term performance’. The interaction of the components in the dense construction differs from the open construction providing better and more durable performance characteristics.
Besides the components and the turf construction, also the installation of the pitch and its maintenance all contribute to performance and especially the long term performance of a synthetic turf field.