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RSI wants to overhaul the entire infrastructure of artificial grass pitches

There is no shortage of ambition for Recreational Systems International (RSI), one of the chosen participants of the SBIR 'More environmentally-friendly sports fields'. The company - with branches throughout Europe - tries to make the entire process around artificial grass pitches more environmentally friendly with the SBIR. There are possibilities according to RSI from installation to maintenance.

The result of system-oriented solutions, that's how Arnoud Fiolet of RSI calls the innovation that his company has in mind. The company maintains the entire sports infrastructure in their own way of working, and is now trying to express this. "We have tried to interpret the SBIR's request a little more broadly, so not only the grass, but also the construction and maintenance of the fields," he says. "Our solutions are therefore threefold."


According to Fiolet, many improvements are already possible in the construction of the fields, the first of the three phases. “The old guidelines for a new sports field indicated that you had to excavate half a meter deep under the grass, with drainage, a sand bed and often a lava layer for example. The reason for this was previously because, in the event of poor drainage, grass fields became uneven due to frozen water on and in particular under the field. According to Fiolet a welcome change to implement their own innovation - after successful tests of horizontal drainage systems in Scandinavia and Italy - in the Netherlands.

"The new standard allows innovation much more," says the entrepreneur. “Until recently it was standard to move thousands of cubic meters of earth to build a new field. That alone already cost a lot of effort and environmental impact through transport, among other things. We have the Base Panel as a solution, with which only five centimeters would be excavated enough. This is because the water is then eliminated from the side, something that we will further argue during the feasibility study. ”


In addition, the company also hopes to make progress in the field of field maintenance in the future, with Fiolet's company already having workable resources on natural grass. “We use UV C-Light, a light spectrum that kills algae and other bacteria at the DNA level. Over the past year and a half, we have successfully maintained various fields in Germany, virtually without using pesticides. "

According to Fiolet, two sessions of 45 minutes a week are enough to keep the field free of algae and other bacteria without the use of pesticides. A tractor with a light bar behind the car then completes the entire field, whereby the turf is also automatically reinforced. For the time being, however, this will only happen on natural grass sports fields. "We know that this solution works for natural grass, but little is known about the effectiveness on artificial grass," he explains. "So we will investigate that further."


Finally, the artificial grass naturally comes to the fore as the most important improvement of the current problem for RSI. The company joins the companies that are looking for the golden formula for recyclable plastics, with Fiolet calling 'a monomer' the innovation they envisage. “Synthetic turf is generally made from three materials, which, when reused, yield low-quality material for, for example, picnic benches and striking boards. The aim is to make artificial grass in the future from only one material - a 'monomer' - so that the material from which the new artificial grass can actually be processed again into artificial grass and is therefore 100% circular.

The article was originally published in Sportinnovator -

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