Can Multifilaments go dead?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Speed Kat, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Speed Kat

    Speed Kat Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    Can Multifilament strings go dead and would there be an inherent "arm risk" to us more sensitive elbow-ed lesser folk, as there would be with a poly?

    I know there would be a tension drop and loosening up leading to "the trampoline effect" and wild balls spraying hither and thither but is that it?

    Thanks knowledgeable forum browsers...!
     
    #1
  2. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,505
    In my experience, multifilament strings keep their playability longer, even after they start to fray, due to higher elasticity.

    Your arm/elbow should be fine, but perhaps you might not like the tension loss that happens to all strings.
     
    #2
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,557
    Location:
    Central Florida
    For me, multifilaments always break before they go dead.
     
    #3
  4. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    The short answer is yes they can but it takes a long time. I've only seen one dead multi, was in a racquet that came from a friend of my mothers. She had been playing with the same string for 2+yrs and it was dead when I hit with it.

    They tend to break or lose a lot of tension before they lose their elasticity though
     
    #4
  5. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,359
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    every string irrespective of material sooner or later goes dead. going dead in my opinion is losing the elastic properties. with multifilaments this happens much later than with polys. as i break strings in about 10 hours playing time, i have not experienced this in my own racquettes, but occasionally i hit with a racquet of somebody else boasting for instance that his string didn't break for 8+ months. while that was nice for his wallet it definitely was not nice from the playing experience - therefore i personally recommend to have your racquettes restrung every three months at least, even if your multifilament might still look good. i don't know of anybody having hurt his elbow from playing with a "dead" multi, but i can imagine that in the long run you might run into trouble, since the lowering of the elastic properties will most probably make you overhit in order to get that ball going, and then also the danger of injury comes into play.
     
    #5
  6. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,337
    Just like many folks, I have never played a dead multi. When they lose tension they become unplayable for me. I either break them or they lose too much tension and I cut them out.
     
    #6
  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,083
    If they are left in the garage for several years.
     
    #7
  8. Speed Kat

    Speed Kat Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    how about used 4 times to play then left in the cupboard for 3 months?
     
    #8
  9. The_Question

    The_Question Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,748
    Location:
    Towson, MD
    Wait...wouldn't lose tension be the cause of lost of elasticity? Wouldn't loss of elasticity cause the string bed to feel dead? Now, wouldn't loss of tension cause of the string bed to feel dead??
     
    #9
  10. Hapless

    Hapless Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    189
    I'm a 3.0 that plays with multis. I've noticed that they lose tension at about 4 hours of play, which is almost more of a break-in period. Then there's 10-20 hours of solid performance. After the 20 hour mark, I've found they don't go dead per se, but you'll notice a dip in performance and feel from the stringbed; I presume this is further tension loss.

    Of course, this could be entirely a product of my imagination, and I'm using a lousy day's hit as an excuse to restring.
     
    #10
  11. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,359
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    tension loss does not equal loss of elasticity. of course the elastic behaviour is affected by tension, but a string is elastic when put in a racquet at 20kg as well as when tensioned at 28kg - it will definitely behave different though. a string which initially was pulled at 28 and let's assume will have lost tension up to the 20kg mark, can still be elastic, ie not dead.
     
    #11
  12. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    5,489
    I can 2nd that. Breaks before it dies.
     
    #12
  13. jyas

    jyas New User

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Yes they lose tension and go dead.
    No arm risk.
    Yes that's it.
     
    #13
  14. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Oakland
    +1. Especially Head's Fibegel. Breaks fast if you go with a full bed. Great playability and tension retention
     
    #14
  15. laboule

    laboule Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    263
    I second this. It's a paradox to the naked eye. Most people, that don't know what they are talking about, think a monofilament last for half a year if it does not break. This is also one of the bigger reasons to why people get tennis elbow; when the monofilament lose its playability you have to muscle the ball a lot more which also means you hold the grip firmer and tighten up upon impact and thus your body needs to absorb more shock.

    So even that multifilaments looks more worn after a while it still is the most economic string, if you want to keep playing tennis. This is mainly for us amateurs though...
     
    #15
  16. Tennis_Crazed

    Tennis_Crazed Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    Grind City
    Same here. If you're worried about multifilaments going dead before breaking, it means they are durable enough for you and that you should change out your strings more often.
     
    #16
  17. timball

    timball Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    I'm no expert here but I have played with various multi's for years and my experience is that, although they do not break and I am not a string breaker, they do lose enough tension that they just become rocket launchers. I have had this experience with X1, NRG, NXT Tour and K-gut. K-gut seemed to be the best but alas, it is discontinued. I string tight...60-64 pounds in a 18x20 pattern and I find that after no more than 5-6 weeks, playing 7-8 hours per week that the life of any muti is gone for me. I start hitting balls deep, less spin and just overall less control. I agree with others that X! is very crisp for the first hour or so and then it is awesome for probably 20 hours of play. After that it is WAY too powerful for me. I just had Rip Control installed in one of my rackets and I am earger to see how it performs given the praise I have seen on these pages.

    I hope to find something that plays as well as any number of multis but performs longer and thus requires fewer string jobs.....although I am becomming so OCD about such that I think a Gamma or Neos is in my future!
     
    #17
  18. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Elasticity vs. Resiliency

    It's all about elasticity vs. resiliency in string that makes them perform the way they do. NG string has the highest level of both of these elements and thats why this string is by far the best string on the planet. Mathematically elasticity is the ability for a string to stretch and resiliency is the ability of a string to recover to it's original state.

    The issue arises as no string is 100% resilient and cannot recover to 100% original state, so we see tension loss. With NG, multis and SG string the elasticity is high and the string will lose tension as resiliency is lost as we continue to play. This will continue until the string breaks or all resiliency is eventually lost and the string goes dead (for non string breakers). NGs resiliency is so high that it almost never loses it and will perform great until it breaks, after it settles in.

    Poly and co-poly strings have very low elasticity and low resiliency, so they are stiff and lose tension quicker than they counterparts. Plus, poly/co-poly strings have a max stress point (varies by string makeup) where you can pull it so tight that the string plays dead from the beginning; it's surpassed it's resilient point and cannot recover at all; resiliency = 0 (kind of like when you bend a plastic card and suddenly see a whitish line at the bend; the line shows the plastic has exceeded it's recoverable state). Because you have a high stiffness index with low elasticity and resiliency in poly/co-poly string, stringing lower is crucial for the life and best performance from the string.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
    #18
  19. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,337

    Great Post...Nice work TennezSport !!! Cheers
     
    #19
  20. timball

    timball Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    An awesome explanation and one that clears up much for me in my attempt to understand different string types and properties.

    But now, I must ask, as you state clearly that low tension on poly's is mandatory for best performance. How much lower do you feel one should string a poly vs. a NG or multi? And secondly, do you support the common thread that all poly's go dead quite quickly and are really only appropiate for pro level players and/or ones that restring daily/weekly?
     
    #20
  21. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Thanks.......

    Thanks SteveI and Timball for your kind response. However I cannot take all of the credit as the team here has spent a lot of time with some great string engineers to understand this mess. We recently spent a great week with Jay Cee where he dazzled us with his knowledge of poly/copoly string design; our heads were spinning.

    Timball, you are asking very good questions and I will try to answer as best I can. JC told us that when they originally developed poly string it was for pro players only, durability was to be for one match or 6hrs max. Because of the higher stiffness index you could string lower and not lose control and it was harder to break, especially good for clay court players. The opinion at the time was for 5-10% lower tension than you would use for a NG or Multi/SG string. Tension loss was not a consideration because pros would restring almost daily.

    However, when rec player heard about this "Magic String" that their fav players were using and they heard the word "Durable" they as you say "jump on it". Most poly manufacturers were not prepared for this and just sold the standard poly string as requested. The second problem was that most rec players did not adhere to the 5-10% reduction and strung at normal tension; elbow problems rose immediately. Several companies like Kirschbaum began to address this issue with the concept of copoly strings, trying to soften poly string and give them a longer playable life span for rec players. At one point Kirsch suggested not to string over 57lbs (25.9kgs). All companies are still searching for that soft, spinny, durable magic string today.

    Finally to answer your last question, poly strings are better today and good for some rec players who understand that poly string has little more life than NG/SG/multi string in the sense of playabilty. You may not break the poly string but it does lose it's playable life faster than NG/SG/multi string. Poly string is good for you if it fits your game and your level of ability, as long as you understand how to properly use it and not hurt yourself. Hope this answers your question.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #21
  22. timball

    timball Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    Tennez.....once again, clear as a bell and made my decision to stay with multi's a firm one. I have been so tempted to try a poly as I seek better control than what I have been getting from multis.....after a honeymoon period of a number of hours and then the rocket launcher is bourn! My hope was that poly's, especially a softer copoly, would provide better control and longer life as I never break strings.I guess my best shot is to stay with multis, continue to test them all and restring once a month or so. Makes the decision to buy a stringer that much more sound.

    Thanks again for educating me and others on this board!
     
    #22
  23. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,083
    Probably aren't dead then. 3 months isn't that long and I'm assuming the cupboard doesn't have lots of temperature variation.
     
    #23
  24. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Options..........

    You do have other options in the new multi/co-poly strings by several makers like Tec and Wilson to start. Tec makes Promix and Duramix along with Wilsons NXT Control. These strings are multi configurations with poly bundles included in the string. They are stiffer than typical multis but softer than co-poly strings and they hold tension much better than co-polys.

    Another option is to hybrid a soft rounded co-poly with a synth gut, multi or NG string (SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] lower than the co-poly string). As the co-poly starts to die the synth gut, multi or NG will hold the string bed up and keep the soft feeling. Lots of options out there with over 1300 strings to choose from. Enjoy the quest and have fun.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #24
  25. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,337

    1300 strings.. what is the total # of conbinations if you hybrid???
     
    #25
  26. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Well...........

    That was the number of strings on the market today including hybrid combinations according the the national rep from Wilson. And, there are more coming, as current companies come up with new co-poly combos and new companies are introduced like Thunderstings in Europe. I know that we tested about 40 sets of new string this year for the USRSA and various manufacturers. Some made it to market and some did not, but def more to come.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #26
  27. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    Tenez as always a pleasure, cheers for the info

    Orig
     
    #27
  28. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Hmm this sounds contradictory to me...it seems that it would have to be the other way around (i.e. the more elastic/resilient string strung higher rather than lower).
    That's the way I do it anyway...
     
    #28
  29. Tennis16

    Tennis16 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    353
    Multis tend to lose tension first.
     
    #29
  30. maxplymac

    maxplymac Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    203
    Can a string lose elasticity without being played much or does it just lose inherent tension? I guess what I'm trying to ask is can a string lose elasticity by not hitting balls with it?
     
    #30
  31. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Corrected.........

    0d1n, you are absolutely correct, my bad, I did not check that before posting.
    SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] higher than the co-poly string. Poly string loses tension faster than a SG, multi or especially NG string but the poly stiffness index is higher. As the poly string goes dead the SG, multi or NG will hold the stringbed up.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
    #31
  32. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    Continually...........

    Strings lose tension (or creep) from the moment they come off the machine. The rate of loss will depend on the string type. One of the tests that the USRSA requires is to test the stringbed the moment the racquet comes off the machine and then to test again after a few hours of non play. String can lose 4-12lbs in creeping a few hours after stringing and not hit a ball.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #32
  33. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Not necessarily.
    Multifilament strings consist of many thin filaments. Let's imagine if we invented a material that will never lose elasticity unless it breaks. The multifilament string can reduce to half of its original tension when half of those filaments are broken, yet lose no elasticity because they are not stretched any more or less, due to the fact that the racquet frame does not change shape.
     
    #33

Share This Page