Mechanical characterisation and strain rate sensitivity of rubber shockpad in 3G artificial turf
Moura Mehravar  1, *@  , Paul Fleming  1@  , David Cole  1@  , Steph Forrester  1@  
1 : Loughborough University
Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TU -  United Kingdom
* : Corresponding author

Artificial turf systems are increasingly prolific, and are typically comprised of multi-components. Their responses to interactions with users and equipment can be relatively complex under different loading conditions as they tend to be polymeric and elastomeric and hence can exhibit non-linear and strain rate dependent behaviour. To further study and better understand the behaviour of these systems, the development of a numerical model to accurately predict individual layers' behaviour as well as the overall system's response under different loading conditions is necessary. Such a model can be used to better optimise surface design such as material choices and layer thickness, also possibly reducing construction costs. The purpose of this study was to model the mechanical behaviour of the rubber shockpad layer used in 3G artificial turfs using finite element (FE) analyses. Shockpad layers in artificial turf play a vital role in the shock absorption and ball interactions, and affect user safety. The rubber shockpad used in this study was an elastic prefabricated mat comprised of recycled rubber shreds approximately 2 to 8 mm in size bonded with polyurethane.

A series of 3D finite element dynamic analyses were carried out using ABAQUS applying compressive cyclic loading to simulate the shockpad behaviour under different loading frequencies. The frequencies were based on biomechanical data for an athlete walking, running and sprinting. Arruda-Boyce hyperelastic constitutive model was employed to best describe the stress-strain response of the rubber shockpad under compressive loading. A series of uniaxial compression tests were conducted and the results were employed to characterise the mechanical behaviour of the material. The best Arruda-Boyce's coefficients, for different strain rates were obtained using initial estimation (IEM) method and trial-and-error approach. The FE results showed the best-fit hyperelastic material model which can describe and predict the material behaviour under various strain rates. Finally, using finite element results a series of models were proposed to accurately predict the stress-strain behaviour of the material in different loading frequencies relevant to athlete.

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