Mechanism of High-Tech Tennis Rackets Performance


With sport equipment, engineering technology has advanced to enable manufacturers to discover and synthesize new materials and new design. There are rackets of all compositions, sizes, weights, shapes and string tensions. At the current stage, very specific designs are targeted to match the physical and technical levels of each user. However, ball and racket impact in tennis is an instantaneous phenomenon creating large deformations of ball/strings and vibrations in the racket. The problem is further complicated by the involvement of humans in the actual strokes. Therefore, there are many unknowns involved in the mechanisms explaining how the specifications and physical properties of the high-tech rackets influence the racket capabilities. The terms used in describing the performance of a tennis racket are still based on the feel of an experienced tester or a player. This paper has investigated the physical properties, predicting the coefficient of restitution, the rebound power coefficient, the post-impact ball velocity and the feel of various high-tech rackets, and estimating the overall racket performances of them using scientific method. It is based on the experimental identification of the racket dynamics and the approximate nonlinear impact analysis with a simple forehand swing model. The predicted results could explain the mechanism of high-tech rackets performance and the difference in performance between the rackets with diffirent physical properties.


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