In our quest to give answers to the many questions our customers have, we’ve set to create a bundle of interesting articles on some of the frequently asked subjects people find themselves wondering at when it’s time to broadening their Tennis sport knowledge. Knowing more about your gear, how it’s made, how it performs and how other variables like physics affect it will in the end benefit your game and performance. This week’s blog will review the main tool for a tennis player, the racquet and how the different materials they are made of convey to deliver the different racquet models major brands have to offer. To start off, let’s have a look at the main materials racquets are made of.
Graphite: is a naturally-occurring form of crystalline carbon. Graphite is a mineral of extremes. It is extremely soft, cleaves with very light pressure. In contrast, it is extremely resistant to heat. These extreme properties give it a wide range of uses in metallurgy and manufacturing*.
Carbon Fiber: it’s the Engineer’s dream material. Carbon fiber is an extremely strong material that’s also very lightweight. Carbon fibers are basically threads of carbon braided to form a sort of mat that can be shaped into a mold with pressure and heat. Although the terms graphite and carbon fibers are used seamlessly they are not quite the same. Graphite is the mineral carbon arranged in a specific molecular structure and carbon fiber is a polymer that’s modified to create an atomic structure of carbon alike to that of the graphite.The characteristics of carbon fiber being a combination of multiple carbon yarns woven together gives it its resistance qualities, it is said that CF is stronger and stiffer than steel yet more lightweight. Now every performance racquet is made out of carbon fiber.
Kevlar: it’s a synthetic polymer developed in a product that’s super strong and stiff. It’s made out of synthetic sources which makes it different than graphite although both are used in braided like layers. Adding these fibers to the carbon fiber mat increases the racquet resistance properties diminishing flexibility and vibration absorption.
Basalt fibers: are a well known material by its thermal and acoustic properties. Its source are volcanic basalt rocks formed from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava. These rocks are then transformed into a golden hair-like fiber that’s introduced into the manufacturing of some of Wilson’s tennis racquets. Its main purpose is to absorb the unwanted vibrations that can reach the hand of the player, improving the feel of the racquet.
It is common for manufacturers to state the materials and technologies used in the designing and making of their racquets, the reason being is that the physical properties of the material alone can be considered into the specs of the racquet. Whether it is resistance, flexibility, vibration dampening or stability.
Some examples are the Wilson Pro Staff: braided Carbon fiber (graphene) and Kevlar, Wilson Blade: Carbon Fiber and Basalt. Head with Graphene XT which allows for a optimized weight distribution and stability.
Check out the following video if you’ve ever wondered how tennis racquets are made and how these materials are used to create the best tennis equipment available.
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