What is GMAX Testing?

GMAX testing is an ASTM governed test that provides facility owners an established guideline on their field safety. GMAX testing establishes a baseline of a synthetic turf field that ensures a monitoring value to determine the field’s safety and lifespan which is measured in the field. GMAX testing allows the owner/architect to govern the synthetic turf manufacture/installer. The test ensures the field has received the proper installation to ensure safety. GMAX also ensures the safety of field users throughout the lifespan of the field. The testing can also indicate areas that may need additional attention or repair if user traffic is heavy in certain areas. You should test your fields annually to insure that you are still in safe levels and within the specified warranty number. GMAX testing of synthetic fields should be tested in accordance with ASTM F1936-10 The Standard Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials.

Why is GMAX Important?

Although it’s not a requirement of the ASTM-1936 specification, another important value determined and recorded is the Head Injury Criteria (HIC). In addition to GMAX (peak deceleration), the duration of the impact is useful when attempting to assess the probability for a potential head injury. HIC takes into account both the deceleration and the duration by using a hemispheric impacting missile that related HIC values to the probability at which a head injury will occur as a result of an impact generating fall. This research produced a graphical display of this relationship called the “Expanded Prasad/Mertz Curves”. These curves are based on data from cadaver experiments in which the relationship between HIC scores, skull fracture, and brain damage were observed. To reiterate, the HIC head injury probability curves are determined using a hemispherical impacting missile as is used in playground testing. They should be interpreted cautiously but can be very helpful when attempting to understanding the severity of impact values. In reference to the playground standard (ASTM F1292), the maximum recommended value for HIC is 1000.

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GMAX testing allows the owner/architect to govern the synthetic turf manufacture/installer.
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