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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 783: II International Conference on Turfgrass Science and Management for Sports Fields

TEMPERATURE AMELIORATION OF SYNTHETIC TURF SURFACES THROUGH IRRIGATION

Authors:   A.S. McNitt, D.M. Petrunak, T.J. Serensits
Keywords:   artificial turf, athlete injury, cooling, heat
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.783.59
Abstract:
Researchers have found that the surface temperatures of synthetic turf are significantly higher than natural turfgrass surfaces when exposed to sunlight. Reports indicate the surface temperatures of traditional synthetic turf can be as much as 35-60°C higher than natural turfgrass surface temperatures. Surface temperatures of infill synthetic turf systems have been reported to be as high as 93°C on a day when air temperatures were 37°C. Researchers have concluded that the heat transfer from the surface to the sole of an athlete's foot is significant enough to contribute to greater physiological stress that may result in serious heat related health problems. The objective of this study was to evaluate various methods of reducing the surface temperature of synthetic turf surfaces. Various irrigation and tarping regimes were used in an effort to reduce surface temperature. Infill was also amended with calcined clay in an effort to increase the water holding capacity and potential evaporative cooling of the infill media. Many of the regimes tested were initially very successful in lowering surface temperature to that of natural turfgrass; however, these low temperatures could not be maintained for periods of time equal to the length of standard sporting events, although synthetic turf surfaces receiving irrigation did measure lower in surface temperature after 3 hr compared to unirrigated synthetic turf surfaces.

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