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View Full Version : Symptoms of serious racquet fatigue- what to do ...


cervelo
02-02-2006, 02:58 PM
I string for my tennis club and I've been stringing for many years.

I hope that I recognize what might be the sounds of racquet stress during a stringing. Lately, I've had a bunch of older frames and I'm uncomfortable about the sounds coming off the frame (I just did two Gamma Classic 25's, both creaked like old bones, and I've worked with the Gamma frames for years also). To be sure, I haven't had any serious issues when stringing - I just did a few new Fischers and 2 Pure Drives and a P/S 6.1, all were quiet as mice.

I assume that I understand concepts of structural integrity and stringing crosses from the bottom vs. the top (to be clear, in the vast majority of cases, "head first," as I learned it). But I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know everything- which is why I'm posting here.

Other than cracks or obvious defects, what signs evidence "serious fatigue?"

How do you guys handle a frame that is intact, but maybe pretty fatigued?

Are there alternate stringing techniques that will avoid mishaps or might avoid more "stringing damage?" (I can't imagine 50/50 being structurally "better.")

(In case it's helpful: I use a Gamma 6pt, 602FC mostly- but I still have my Prince P-200 (rarely used) and the Gamma 5003 at our club)

Midlife crisis
02-02-2006, 05:50 PM
The carbon fibers themselves have very high fatigue resistance and what usually breaks down is the epoxy holding the fibers and fiber sheets together. They do that by microscopically failing, and you can see that sometimes as crazing, which may be visible as a milky or translucent appearance. Usually, though, the modulus of elasticity for carbon fiber is very linear up to plastic failure, and these materials depend on the integrity of the epoxy to provide structural strength, so if you're hearing noises or seeing lots of distortion, that's a serious sign of impending failure. I'd suggest wearing some good protection in case the frame implodes during tensioning.