Opinion of:

Elisa Portigliatti

Corporate Product Manager Sport Line, Mapei SpA

From Realtà Mapei International n° 76 - 8/29/2019

Cutting-edge drainage with Mapesoil Technology

The artificial pitch at the Mapei Football Center features a cutting-edge drainage system which was created by carrying out a preliminary treatment of the surface using MAPESOIL Technology.

Mapesoil 100 is a powdered stabilising agent and, apart from being used to enhance the properties of the existing soil of the pitch, it also avoids having to resort to invasive excavation work (and then having to dispose of waste material), with clear benefits in particularly built-up areas and where the aim is to reduce environmental impact.

A new synthetic grass pitch has been installed at the Mapei Football Center in Sassuolo (Central Italy). It is made from the latest generation of synthetic turf and has a cutting-edge drainage system that complies with widely used design specifications, particularly when having to operate in highly anthropized urban settings a long way from sources of aggregates.

The pitch was installed on new, virgin land situated along the old bed of the River Secchia characterised, from a geological point of view, by river deposits of mainly gravel mixed with highly plastic, enlarged particles of loose clay. Preliminary work needed to be carried out to create sufficient drainage for the pitch, which consisted in removing the top soil, removing the existing soil from around the organic matrix and shaping the ground to form a crown. Non-woven geotextile fabric was then laid on the area of prepared ground, along with a special, flat synthetic strengthening geomesh made from extruded, bidirectional polypropylene which, thanks to its high level of tensile strength and the way it interacts with the ground, increases the load-bearing capacity of the area and, more importantly, improves load distribution.

What is more, the combination of non-woven geofabric and bidirectional geomesh forms a geocomposite that has particular strengthening properties and also acts as a separation filter, typical of non-woven fabrics.

The next step was to apply a layer around 20 cm thick of 0–35 mm road base material (recycled material may also be potentially employed), of which around the top 15 cm were stabilised with MAPESOIL 100 fibre-reinforced stabilising agent.

Once the ground had been shaped and then treated with MAPESOIL technology, a high-performance draining under-mat made from SBR and thermoplastic polymer binder with horizontal drainage was laid on the surface and, to complete the work, artificial turf of the latest generation with high-performance, ennobled elastomeric rubber infill was laid.

This means that water now flows away just below the playing surface, that is, through the pervious under-mat, and is carried down the slope of the crown to concrete channels installed along the long sides of the pitch.

What makes the stratigraphic layout used for this type of pitch so innovative is that there was no need to excavate more than 3,500 m3 of soil from an area of new land and there was no need to add a large amount of raw aggregates or install a network of drainage pipes. An important factor to consider is that, if a traditional solution with vertical drainage had been adopted, it would have required more than 400 truck journeys going through the nearby city of Sassuolo to dispose of the topsoil and to bring freshly-excavated material from quarries to make the drainage layers.

MAPESOIL technology, on the other hand, in combination with the geomesh positioned at the bottom of the structure of the pitch, helped to greatly reduce the amount of excavation work and the amount of aggregates that would have been required, while at the same time increased the load-bearing capacity of the area where the intervention took place and improved the functionality of the playing surface.

Technological innovation at the service of the city of Sassuolo: the inhabitants of the city weren’t even aware of the building site… for which they are truly grateful!

Realtà Mapei Tags: #substrates #sports

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