Development of a Portable Synthetic Cricket Pitch

Curnow, Alan (2010). Development of a Portable Synthetic Cricket Pitch B.Sc Thesis, School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Curnow, Alan
Thesis Title Development of a Portable Synthetic Cricket Pitch
School, Centre or Institute School of Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type B.Sc Thesis
Supervisor Rowan Truss
Total pages 73
Language eng
Subjects 09 Engineering
Formatted abstract
Cricket clubs have identified a need for the development of a portable synthetic cricket pitch to supersede existing concrete pitches installed throughout sporting ground in Australia. Junior cricket in particular has been targeted as the age category the product is to be developed for. Junior cricket is an important part of cricket clubs getting children involved in the sport at an early age. A portable synthetic product would be able to greatly increase participation in the sport. No current product has been offered on the commercial market for this purpose and as such is a unique area of research and product development that this thesis has undertaken.

A successful synthetic cricket pitch product must be a viable alternative to existing concrete pitch installations. The performance characteristics required for the developed product are safety, portability, functionality and affordability. Previous literature and research has identified the hardest parameter to achieve in the design is functionality of adequate and consistent bounce when materials are laid on hard and uneven ground. Two engineering theses prepared in 2009 identified separate design concepts to meet the required performance parameters. One concept used aluminium sheet metal as the product base and another proposed that a polypropylene co-polymer be utilised. Neither concept designs were manufactured and tested.

This thesis undertook extensive design review of both concept designs to optimise for practical use in the performance characteristics. Modifications were applied to the aluminium base model to give the most feasible design. A working prototype was not procured due to funding unable to be sourced. It was concluded that the design should not be continued for investment in prototyping as the high cost of the full pitch assembly was not feasible for junior cricket clubs to procure as a viable alternative to low maintenance concrete pitches.

The polypropylene co-polymer concept design was modified and applied to a commercially available interlocking tile of similar dimensioned profile. It was found that by adding
polyethylene foam overlay bounce characteristics improved contrary to previous literature on the tested base material. A full portable synthetic test pitch was designed and assembled for quantitative functionality testing. The polypropylene co-polymer test pitch assembly was found to provide good rebound bounce and consistency suitable for junior cricket use. The product is extremely practical and portable and provides safety for players. The design will be affordable and commercially viable if manufactured on a large scale provided initial investment is forthcoming for manufacture of the injection mould. The final polypropylene co-polymer portable synthetic cricket pitch design is a viable alternative to concrete base pitches. Further small changed may need to be investigated by a company wanting to take the product to the commercial market.
Keyword Cricket -- Australia
synthetic pitch

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Tue, 06 Jan 2015, 14:14:02 EST by Ahmed Taha Siddiqui on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service