Glossary

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 123

a

Acrylic

A surface coating system which uses water-soluble resins, fillers and pigments. Acrylic coatings may be applied as a spray coating on open textured base layers to provide a porous system or applied by squeegee, in successive layers, on to an impervious base, to provide a non-porous system.

Acrylic Colour Coat

A colour coat which incorporates the chemical constituents which make up the acrylic system. An acrylic colour coat may be applied as either a porous (spray applied) or an impervious (squeegee applied) finish.

ADSL

Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line

AENA

The All-England Netball Association.

Aggregate

Naturally occurring rock or gravel which may be crushed and graded to conform with a relevant standard.

API

The Association of Play Industries

Artificial Grass

A sports carpet manufactured by weaving, knitting, tufting or needle punching fibres of polypropylene, polyolefin or nylon into a backing cloth. When laid in on a flat base, this carpet can be designed to comply with the performance criteria of a range of sports governing bodies.

Artificial Turf

A sports carpet manufactured by weaving, knitting, tufting or needle punching fibres of polypropylene, polyolefin or nylon into a backing cloth. When laid in on a flat base, this carpet can be designed to comply with the performance criteria of a range of sports governing bodies.

Asphalt

A composite material, commonly used for road surfacing, formed from mixing bitumen, graded crushed rock and sand. The grading of materials and percentage of binder are specified in BS 4987 and are such as to produce an impervious layer when appropriately compacted. Asphalt may be used as a base in impervious systems such as non-porous acrylics. In the United States all bituminous roads products, including open textured macadam, tend to be classified as asphalts.

b

BS 7044

The British Standard for Artificial Sports Surfaces for Multi-use.

BSI

The British Standards Institution

c

CEN

Comité European de Normalisation. The European Committee for Standardisation, responsible for the production of the European Standards.

CITB

An abbreviation for the Construction Industry Training Board. This is one of the few remaining statutory training boards left in the UK. The Board is funded by a statutory levy on UK construction companies where their activities come within the Scope Order of the Board. The CITB run very successful training courses at their centre at Bircham Newton. Contact their website at: CITB website.

Cohesion

In the case of a soil, the shearing strength of the material not due to friction. The degree to which the particles will cling together.

Colour Coat

A paint system, which may be, for instance, acrylic or polymeric, applied to a surface to provide an aesthetic finish.

Cut and Fill

The principle, in earthworks terms where material from the high parts of a site is moved to fill the low areas and create a level plane.

d

Dynamic Base

The term 'dynamic base' is applied to the sub-surface layers of a sports surfacing system where the layers, supporting the surfacing system, are of an unbound construction. This contrasts with an 'engineered base' system where the sub-surface layers are bituminous-bound macadam.

e

Elasticity

The ability of a material to return to its original shape after having been deformed by a load for a short period of time.

Elastomer

Any polymer having high extensibility together with rapid and substantially complete elastic recovery.

Engineered Base

The term 'engineered base' is applied to the sub-surface layers of a sports surfacing system where the structural layers supporting the surfacing system are of a bituminous-bound macadam construction. This contrasts with a 'dynamic base' system where the sub-surface layers are unbound.

Envelope System

The use of layers of geotextile membrane to help stabilise the unbound material in the dynamic base of a sports surface

EPDM

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Man-made rubber granules available in a range of colours. Used for impact absorbing surfaces in children's playgrounds.

f

Fast Dry

A tennis court surfacing material developed in USA consisting of a crushed stone of a specific geological type which is screened and may be mixed with a chemical binder. The system is designed to be porous.

Fibrillating

A property displayed by certain polypropylene fibres in which the carpet fibre, when wearing, splits along its length into finer sub-fibres called fibrils.

Fibrillating - fibre type

The most popular and commonly used to date, fibres that split vertically in use, folding over the sand filling creating stability of the sand.

FIH

Federation Internationale de Hockey. The International Hockey Federation.

Filled surface

A playing surface comprising a synthetic yarn supported or stabilised by the addition of filling material (such as sand).

Fraise Mowing

The mechanical removal of the top layer of turf only, i.e. thatch, weeds, rogue grasses, whilst leaving the main root structure behind providing stability and re-growth when used with a re-seed programme

Fretting

Deterioration due to picking out of the surface aggregate in a bound surface such as porous macadam.

Frost susceptibility

The degree to which an unbound material, such as soil or sub-base, will expand due to the presence of ice forming within the layer causing heave at the surface.

g

Geotextile

A man-made fibre made into semi-permeable sheets and laid over exposed sub-soil at formation level to ensure separation of soil from base stone materials whilst allowing water to pass. Or used to separate layers of differential aggregates; sometimes reinforced with plastic meshing, when building on less stable soils or possible land fill sites. (Specialist help recommended for land-fill locations)

Gradient

The slope on a surface relative to the horizontal, e.g. expressed as 1 in 100 or 1%. Gradients are also known as falls.

h

i

IAAF

International Association of Athletics Federations

IOG

The Institute of Groundsmanship

Irrigation

An irrigation system consists of a water source, including storage tank, etc., pipe-work and a sprinkler, or rain-gun, system to apply the water evenly over the playing surface.

ITF

The International Tennis Federation

j

k

Knit-de-knit - Yarn Type

The yarn is texturised to give it a curl in the fibre, giving added support strength and increased durability.

l

Laser

Establishing a horizontal reference line by using a laser survey instrument. By continuously rotating the laser instrument on vertical axis a truly horizontal plane can be achieved. Site levels can then be established by using the light beam as a datum.

Laser Levels

Establishing a horizontal reference line by using a laser survey instrument. By continuously rotating the laser instrument on vertical axis a truly horizontal plane can be achieved. Site levels can then be established by using the light beam as a datum.

Latex

An emulsion of water and synthetic rubber, often used to coat the underside of artificial grass carpets as a secondary backing. Can also be used as a binder of rubber granules in certain types of cast synthetic surfaces.

LTA

The Lawn Tennis Association

Lute or Loot

A hand-tool consisting of a straight-edge approx. 500mm long fixed to a wooden handle used in a raking motion to evenly distribute material on a surface, such as a clay court.

m

Macadam

Now properly termed "asphalt". A matrix of graded stone, normally bound with a bituminous binder and compacted. Used as base or surfacing courses in the construction of certain sports surface systems.

Mildew

A growth of certain species of fungi.

Mondo

A Company, based in Italy, specialising in the manufacture of polymeric athletics surfaces in pre-fabricated sheet form.

Monofilament

A single extruded fibre, claimed to give increased strength to the fibre.

MUGA

An acronym formed from the words' Multi Use Games Area. This type of multi-sports facility is sometimes referred to as a 'kickabout area'.

n

Needlepunch

Needled polypropylene to form a flat felt, then secondary needled to form a pile structure, with resin impregnation to form backing.

Non-Fibrillating

A type of polypropylene fibre, which is designed to resist the fibrillating action displayed by most polypropylene fibres. A fibril is the longitudinal sub-division of a carpet fibre.

Non-Fibrillating - Fibre Type

Growing in recent popularity; fibres that are claimed not to split, manufacturers claim this improves durability of the surface. Increased maintenance of sand filling may be a requirement with such fibres.

Non-Sand Filled

Usually shorter piled, very dense synthetic sports surfaces that require a regular application of water to reduce player friction and slow the speed of the ball down across the surface. Combined with some form of underlay/shock-pad, sometimes integral. The carpets or the pad are typically designed to hold up the water flow at a specific rate.

Nylon

A polyamide fibre used in the manufacture of artificial grass carpets.

o

Orientation

The direction of the major axis of a facility, such as a track, tennis court or pitch, relative to the points of the compass.

Oxidation

Structural and cosmetic deterioration due to chemical reaction with oxygen, normally associated with prolonged exposure to the sun.

p

Peak G

The measurement of the maximum severity experienced, over any period, during an impact with a surface. Used to determine the critical height of items of playground equipment. The test involves dropping a headform on to a surface from pre-determined heights and measuring the impact force with an accelerometer mounted on the headform.

Permeability

The ease with which water will pass through the pores of a particular strata. Texture, grading, degree odf compaction and primary structure strongly influence the permeability of a strata.

Pile Height

The measurement of the length of fibre strand above the backing in a synthetic turf carpet.

Plasticity

The ability of a material to be deformed without cracking or crumbling and then maintain that deformed shape after the deforming force has been released.

Polymer

A large molecule built up by the repetition of small chemical units.

Polymeric

The generic term for sports surfacing systems which use flexible polyurethane material to bind the aggregates, normally rubber granules, in the system. Common uses for polymeric materials include athletics track systems, shock-pads under artificial grass carpets and impact absorbing surfacing in children's play areas.

Polymeric Surfaces

A polymeric surface consists of a mixture of polyurethane binder and rubber granules. This may take the form of a solid matrix of polyurethane with granules acting as fillers ( solid PU systems) or be open textured with the polyurethane acting as an adhesive between granules (porous PU systems). These surfaces are commonly used for athletics tracks, shock-pads below carpets, multi-use surfaces, impact absorbing surfaces in playgrounds and indoor sports-hall floors.

Polypropylene

A blend of copolymers of propylene sometimes with blends of ethylene, manufactured as fibres for use in artificial grass carpets.

Polyurethane Bound

A composite material, e.g. a track surface, made from an aggregate (normally rubber granules) bound together by a polyurethane binder.

Porous

Allowing liquid, normally water, to pass through.

Porous Macadam

Now properly termed "porous asphalt". A type of macadam that has been designed to be sufficiently open-textured to allow water to pass through. This is achieved by using an open graded stone (minimal fines content), coated with bitumen. This material is commonly used as an engineered base for porous sports surfaces.

Porous Tarmac

See Porous Macadam

Primary Backing

In tufted sports carpets the individual fibres are tufted into a woven sheet of polypropylene material, which is called the primary backing.

Principal Playing Area

The area on a sports facility bounded by the play lines, e.g. on a tennis court the area within the lines where the ball is in play.

q

r

RAL

The RAL chart is a standard colour selection chart, commonly used by paint manufacturers, which relates colours to a reference number. Most paint manufacturers will supply their materials to a colour or shade in the RAL range

Ravelling

Loosening of surface particles in an unbound surface causing deterioration of the court surface, e.g. in the case of a Fast-dry court.

Revetted Bunkers

A bunker is an area on a golf course which has been excavated and filled with sand to create a ‘hazard’ for the player. The construction of the bunker may be such that the sides are shallow and self-supporting or deep with near vertical faces. The latter are called ‘revetted faces’ and are normally created by building walls of turf, laid horizontally in successive layers, in the same way as courses of brickwork. Steep-faced, revetted bunkers are normally found on links (sea-side) courses where they help retain the sand in the bunker rather than be blown out by wind.

Rubber Crumb

A material manufactured by granulating rubber to form a graded rubber aggregate for use in sports and play surfacing and shock-pads. The crumb may be granulated from SBR rubber from re-cycled tyres or may be coloured EPDM rubber.

s

Sand/Rubber Filled

Sand and rubber filled into long piled grass (50-60mm), specifically for Football applications, usually filled to within 15-20mm of the top of the pile.

Sand-dressed

An artificial grass sports carpet, normally of tufted construction, which is only partially filled with sand. The sand is to help stabilise the carpet and retain some moisture in the system, it is not normally necessary for the playing performance of the surface.

Sand-filled

Where the pile of a synthetic grass is fully sand-filled to within 2 – 3mm of the top of the pile.

Sandwich System

Normally refers to athletics track systems where the base layer and surfacing layers are of two, or more, distinct types of construction but acting in unison to form the complete system.

Sandwich Track

A sandwich track construction normally consists of a base layer constructed from polyurethane bound rubber crumb, sealed with a polyurethane compound and finished with a flow coating of polyurethane with EPDM crumb as a wearing coat. The system is non-porous.

SAPCA

The Sports and Play Construction Association

SBR

Styrene Butadiene Rubber. The type of rubber commonly granulated from vehicle tyres. Used in the manufacture of shockpads for sports surfaces etc.

Scarifying

The process of loosening a compacted surface, such as a clay court, by scratching the surface using a rake or similar.

Screed Strips

Long horizontal strips of steel or wood set in position using a level and used to contain and establish a true level for a surfacing material. Used in the construction of macadam and clay tennis courts. And in the formation of the upper specialist layers, of high tolerance dynamic based structures.

Secondary Backing

In tufted sports carpets the individual fibres are tufted into a woven sheet of polypropylene material, which is called the primary backing. These fibres are then anchored into the primary backing by the application of a layer of liquid (normally latex) which, in due course, hardens-off to become the secondary backing.

Shale

Shale is a sedimentary rock, finely stratified and normally oil bearing. When the oil is extracted from the rock, the residual burnt material is red in colour and is normally referred to as shale or blaes. This material was commonly used in water bound sports surfaces between 1950 and 1970, particularly in Scotland. The term ‘shale’ is often, erroneously, used to describe red crushed brick or clay tennis courts.

Single Plane

A surface which does not have more than one gradient on the surface, i.e. all sloping in one direction.

Slide - Fibre Type

Low slip resistance fibre; each fibre has a coating to reduce friction. Less friction on the fabric, so reduced wear and tear on the fibre; also ability to slide more, which can speed the ball up across the surface and be a benefit to falling players.

STP

Abbreviation for a Synthetic Turf Pitch

Structural Spray

A coating system, utilising rubber granules in a polyurethane binder, spray applied to a rubber base mat or porous bitmac.

Sub-grade

The top level of the sub-soil prepared to receive the base stone layer.

Synthetic Grass

A sports carpet manufactured by weaving, knitting, tufting or needle punching fibres of polypropylene, polyolefin or nylon into a backing cloth. When laid in on a flat base, this carpet can be designed to comply with the performance criteria of a range of sports governing bodies.

Synthetic Turf

A sports carpet manufactured by weaving, knitting, tufting or needle punching fibres of polypropylene, polyolefin or nylon into a backing cloth. When laid in on a flat base, this carpet can be designed to comply with the performance criteria of a range of sports governing bodies.

t

Tartan

The trade name for the original polymeric track system installed by the 3M company. The Mexico Olympics in 1968 were the first to be held on a Tartan track.

Tennis

A racket game played between two players, or pairs of players, who hit a ball to and fro' over a net on a rectangular court. Variations include:- Lawn tennis, Real (or Royal) tennis, Short tennis, Table tennis, Paddle tennis, etc.

Tennis court

An area designated for the playing of the sport of tennis and marked out in accordance with the rules of the game.

Third Generation

A generic term applied to synthetic turf carpets. Third generation describes the type of system that incorporates mixed fills, generally of sand and rubber granules. The fibre length is normally in the range 50 to 75mm. This system has been widely accepted for soccer at the highest levels but is less versatile, in a multi-use context, than the second-generation sand-filled carpet systems.

Thixotropic

A property of certain gels which can vary the viscosity of a liquid such as paint.

Top Soil

The soil, found in the top few centimetres of a site, containing vegetative matter and supporting growth.

Top Soil - Soil Transition Layer

The layer of soil beneath true ‘top-soil’ which still contains occasional grass root or vegetable material; or of a soil mixture that is combined topsoil and subsoil integrated, such that it is not suitable to form an appropriate sub-grade from.

Top-dressing

The addition of fine material to the playing surface of a sports facility such as a shale tennis court, a natural grass pitch or a sand filled pitch. The addition of fine material may be required from time to time to top up the level of surface dressing.

Topography

The natural shape of the landscape, i.e. slopes, mounds, etc

Total Playing Area

The area on a sports facility where the player can move without being out of play, e.g. on a tennis court, all of the area inside the surround fence.

Tufted Carpet

Carpet produced by inserting pile yarn, with needles, into a pre-made primary backing.

u

UKA

The United Kingdom Athletics Association

Unfilled Surface

A playing surface comprising a synthetic yarn not supported or stabilised by the addition of any other material.

USTC & TBA

United States Tennis Court and Track Builders Association

v

Vertidrain

A method of improving the drainage characteristics of soil and natural grass by the formation of vertical drainage holes through compacted topsoil. This is normally done by a tractor mounted system of tines forced into the topsoil layer at regular intervals. The holes so formed may be filled with a coarse sand.

w

Watered Systems

Usually shorter piled, very dense synthetic sports surfaces that require a regular application of water to reduce player friction and slow the speed of the ball down across the surface. Combined with some form of underlay/shock-pad, sometimes integral. The carpets or the pad are typically designed to hold up the water flow at a specific rate.

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3G Pitch

A generic term applied to synthetic turf carpet pitches. 3G is short for Third Generation describes the type of system that incorporates mixed infills, generally of sand and rubber granules. The fibre length is normally in the range 50 to 75mm. This system has been widely accepted for soccer at the highest levels but is less versatile, in a multi-use context, than the second-generation sand-filled carpet systems.

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