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Title: The biomechanical interaction between sports players and artificial turf for the development of a validated artificial turf testing rig
Author: Blackburn, Steven
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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Artificial turf is increasingly becoming prevalent in field sports traditionally played on natural grass surfaces. However, current artificial turf test methods are not biomechanically representative. This study investigated the interaction between players and sports surfaces in order to develop a new biomechanically valid testing rig for the mechanical characterisation of artificial turf. A biomechanical analysis of thirteen sports players performing five running and turning movements on three types of artificial turf was conducted. Three-dimensional ground loadings (ground reaction forces (GRFs), free moment) and knee biomechanics (angles, moments) were measured. A subset of eight subjects who completed trials on all three tyes of surfaces were included in statistical analyses. There were no significant differences in ground loadings or knee biomechanics between the turfs. However, ground loadings and knee biomechanics varied significantly between movements, according to movemen t velocity and the degree of turn. Larger vertical GRFs, peak knee flexion, and sagittal knee moments were measured in faster movements. Larger horizontal GRFs, free moment, traction coefficient, peak fontal knee angle, frontal and transverse knee moment were measured in turning movements. Using two weighted pendulums, the Strathclyde Sports Turf Testing Rig (SSTTR) can apply simultaneous vertical, horizontal and rotational loads. Initial testing of the rig was conducted in situ on nine outdoor artificial turfs. Linear and rotational traction, and vertical, shear and torque loading was measured on each surface and compared with the biomechanical results. The SSTTR produced loads typical of a range of sports movement that are performed on artificial turf, indicating that the biomechanical validity of the SSTTR was broadly demonstrated in that it applies realistic biomechanical loads in a timely fashion. In summary, this study has generated new knowledge and further understanding regarding the three-dimensional biomechanical interaction of players and artificial turf. The biomechanically validated SSTTR is unique in terms of its ability to combine three load actions of different magnitudes which are truly representative of the loading that occur in a number of typical sporting movements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available