The ESTC has made another step in paving the way for a European standard for infill material for 3G synthetic turf pitches. CEN TC217, WG6-TG1 has agreed to follow most of the working program of the ESTC Infill Working Group.
Technical Committee 217 (‘Surfaces for Sports Areas’) focuses on the harmonisation of standards for sports surfaces in Europe to eliminate trade barriers of these products. The TC consists of various working groups with representatives of the national standardisation bodies as well as technical experts. TC217 has 9 working groups of which Working Group 6 focuses on synthetic turf.
The working group has now agreed to follow and review the ESTC proposal for test methods. This includes an identification test method as well as a durability test method. Adoption of the ESTC test methods will ensure good coordination for standards proposed to guarantee the quality of infill materials.
During the latest meeting, the ESTC Infill Working Group updated their document with ‘infill families’. The ESTC distinguishes the following kinds of infill:
• Organic: cork, coconut fibre, sugar cane fibre, bark tree, kernels, wood and any mixture of organic materials.
• Inorganic: Sand, coated sand, recycled inorganic material and any mixture of inorganic materials.
• Thermosets: Virgin EPDM, recycled EPDM, ELT granules, coated ELT granules, recycled rubber (non-tire rubber), PVC granules and any mixture of thermosets.
• Thermoplastics: TPE, TPO, PP or PE granules, recycled TPE, recycled TPO, recycled PE or PP and any mixture of thermoplastics.
The test methods identification that the ESTC Infill Working Group, together with CEN271-WG6-TG1, is working on, will consider:
• Particle size;
• Particle shape;
• TGA, DSC, FTIR
• Declaration of infill material by the producer.
The durability test method will consider the:
• Resistance to agglomeration/melting;
• Resistance to aging and wearing.
Testing institutes Labosport and Kiwa ISA-Sport will organise a round robin to evaluate and validate a new infill wear test method. The ESTC expects to have the first results, as well as a draft proposal for procedures, ready in June.
With members of the CEN TC217-TG1 meeting mid-June, the ESTC Infill Working Group has decided to schedule another conference call this summer. The time and date for this call will be announced in due course.