A 3D Numerical Model for the Optimization of Running Tracks Performance

L. Andena, S. Aleo, F. Caimmi, S. Mariani, F. Briatico-Vangosa, A. Pavan
2016 Procedia Engineering  
In previous works, a finite element model of the shock absorbing characteristics of athletics tracks was developed, able to give sufficiently reliable predictions from laboratory tests performed on suitable material samples. The model proved to be effective in discriminating the effects of geometry (i.e. thickness) and material properties (essentially the elastic characteristics) on force reduction, thus allowing a first optimization of the tracks in view of their approval by the International
more » ... ssociation of Athletics Federations (IAAF). This simplified 2D model neglected the real track structure, considering it as a single layer of material having homogenized properties. In the present study, a new 3D model was developed to accurately describe the structure of multi-layered tracks, with properties and geometrical construction (e.g. solid or honeycomb) differing from one layer to another. Several tracks having different combinations of top/bottom layers varying in both material formulation (i.e. chemical composition) and geometry were thus considered. Mechanical properties of the individual elements constituting the track were measured with small-scale laboratory tests, taking into account their strain-rate dependence. The 3D model allowed a complete representation of the loads acting on the track and it gave results which are in very good agreement with the experiments. This proves it to be a valuable tool for the purpose of optimizing the track in terms of material formulation as well as layer geometrical construction and arrangement: as an example, the effect of changing the cell size of the honeycomb pattern was investigated.
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2016.06.291 fatcat:wdsrve6wcvhudg2jindqol6ybe