G9 Turf of Hauppauge, NY has established a strict maintenance protocol for pre-existing synthetic turf fields that can significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries. The new program calls for regularly-scheduled testing and revitalization projects in an effort to meet or exceed industry standards for field hardness.
“Our company is undertaking a comprehensive maintenance program to assure our synthetic fields are kept safe for athletes of all ages by launching a Rejuvenation protocol,” said G9 Turf President Grant Hendricks Jr. “Over time, synthetic turf fields become compacted and hard. In order to reduce the potential for severe head injuries, synthetic turf fields must undergo a decompaction process when Gmax ratings reach critical levels.”
Gmax testing involves measuring the shock absorbing properties of a playing surface and comparing the results to an industry standard set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Harder surfaces will increase the amount of impact absorbed by the body, which results in a higher Gmax rating. Scores over 200 are considered dangerous and increase the risk of life threatening head injuries. Preferred Gmax scores should be in the 120-150 range.
Over the past year, G9 has led several Gmax test and rejuvenation projects. An independent testing lab records before and after measurements of 15 points on the synthetic turf surface, marking high wear areas that give an accurate spatial representation of the field. After a complete rejuvenation and decompaction of the surface, Gmax values have proven to be significantly reduced to a safer level while also improving the playability of the surface.
“Gmax is based on biomechanical data showing that the risk of life threatening head injuries increases as the Gmax levels rise above 200,” said Dr. Norman Hummel, a leading sports field management expert who is the primary author of the ASTM minimum standards for the maintenance of sports fields, has written the construction specifications of putting greens for the USGA, and has served on the faculties of the Agronomy departments at Iowa State University and Cornell University. “After a recent decompaction by the G9 team, all of the points on the field showed significantly reduced Gmax scores, and the field’s average score dropped from 171 to 144.”
In 2009, G9 Turf Inc. introduced the B2000 to the North American market. Using a state-of-the-art, patent protected Rejuvenation® process, the B2000 uses forced compressed air to fully extract all infill products. This process allows for extraction and replacement of infill without any mechanical contact with turf yarns, enabling G9 to extend the life of a playing surface by standing up yarns that “lay over” due to compaction, and replace the infill. A separate process called CleanIt makes use of the SMG machine, which uses a brush, suction, and filter system within the unit to remove dirt and other materials quickly and efficiently before it can damage the field surface. The SMG also straightens the fibers and decompacts the top 2-5 mm of infill, which helps preserve the surface.
By establishing a strict maintenance protocol that includes regular testing, inspection of fields, and use of the B2000 and SMG machines as part of their Revujenation and Cleanit programs to bring fields back to a “like new” condition, G9 will create the industry standard by which all fields are measured. This rejuvenation process is not only essential to playability and longevity, but is the key to safety.
G9 Turf manufactures, installs, and maintains high quality synthetic turf systems that focus on the key components of safety, playability, and durability, while also using this protocol to emphasize the importance of regular maintenance and rejuvenation of pre-existing fields.
For more information on Gmax testing and maintenance protocols for synthetic turf fields, or to inquire about a testing and decompaction demonstration at your facility, go to www.g9turf.com or call 631-851-2100.