Cause of breakage? (with pic)

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Dags, May 8, 2012.

  1. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    Some of you guys have seen it all, so I'd curious on theories of what happened here.

    Background:
    The racquet is a Head FXP Prestige Team. It was strung on 23/02/2012 (by me) with Tecnifibre Syn Gut 1.25 at 62lbs. Recommended tension on the frame is 57 +- 5. The string came from individual sets rather than a reel. I also strung its twin at the same time.

    The owner tells me that he rotates racquets, and that this one has only been played with a couple of times. This seems reasonable - he's a weekend warrior, and it has rained buckets in the past month. He claims he just pulled the racquet from the bag yesterday, and it looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    (if you're interested in a higher quality pic, look here.)

    It has been very wet recently, but the temperatures haven't been extreme either high or low.

    Any ideas welcome. I do have my own theory, but it's a bit sketchy so if there's anything more common that would cause this (just in case you missed it - there are two broken strings here, on opposite sides of the racquet).
     
    #1
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    looks to me like he caught one near the edge of the frame. it happens...
     
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  3. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    Running with this premise:

    - have you ever seen a shank with 'delayed action'? The claim (and I have no reason to doubt him) is that it didn't break on court, but at some point whilst in the bag.

    - could one shot account for both points of breakage given they're in opposite corners of the frame?
     
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  4. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Yeah, looks like he shanked two shots right at the frame/grommet, breaking the string. But two?
     
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  5. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    There are two distinct breaks - one in the top left, the other in the bottom right.
     
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  6. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Looks like they broke at knots on a 2 piece, right?

    Is it possible the knots squished the grommets at some point, allowing the string to directly contact the frame and get cut?? Since I don't see the 4th knot-- perhaps it came untied and let the frame elongate, causing a break on the opposite side?
     
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  7. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    he didn't like your stringing so he cut it.:)
     
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  8. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    r the grommets OK?
     
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  9. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    The break at the top looks like a shank or a bad grommet. The one at the bottom looks like it may have been caused by the knot being tied too tight. When one string breaks it causes the racket to deform slightly and could cause other strings about to break to break. My guess is one caused the other because both locations were weakened somehow. Check the grommets real good and be careful tying those knots.
     
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  10. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    The break in the bottom right is indeed at the knot. The anchor string has broken on the main tie-off. At the top, it's the opposite side from the knot - the cross that you can't see is tied-off on 8H on the right hand side.

    The grommets appear in extremely good condition for a racquet this age. The one at the top looks in tip-top condition; the one at the tie-off is decent, but has been slightly distorted from previous knots. Nothing that would ordinarily concern me too much, but it's quite possible it was over-tightened.

    The thing I was really curious about was how both breaks happened at the same time. As both KerryR and Irvin have suggested frame elongation when with one breakage being enough cause for another break, I'll assume that's the case.

    My initial suspicion was that something had put stress on the frame - either a shank or something being pushed into the stringbed when it was in the bag. I guess I'm going to go with this, along with the theory that the first break caused enough stress to cause the second.

    Of course, this is always possible. :)

    Thanks to all who replied. I'll give it an extra close inspection before stringing it back up. Hopefully it'll turn out to be a mildly freakish accident.
     
    #10
  11. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Any chance you happen to use the tensioner to cinch up your knots?
     
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  12. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    :shock: YULitle taught me better than that!

    I use a starting clamp to help, but nothing else. I've never had a problem with a knot in 3 years of stringing, so always assumed my technique was sound. However, it's a relatively thin string so I'm not ruling out being heavy handed.
     
    #12
  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    sorry, didn't notice the second break
     
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  14. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    It was just a "filling in the blanks" question, I assume most people don't cinch via tensioner, but I've seen much worse. It didn't really make sense in this case, anyways. Honestly, it looks like it may have been cut ;)

    If you could get a really zoomed in view of the string, I'd be looking for partially nicked strings. Opposite sides of the frame is pretty "dramatic," but I've seen weird stuff happen in the shoulder areas and around knots... pretty bizarre.

    I also find Tec syn gut to be pretty low quality, at least last I used it.
     
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  15. Wikky

    Wikky Rookie

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    the one on bottom definitely has something to do with the knot due to how far up the string is on the 2nd main.

    as for the top left.... i blame the smiley face.
     
    #15
  16. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I go with shank causing top break - delayed in bag. Resulting head deflection causing break at a compromised, weak knot.

    I've read to immediately cut out strings after a break to releave unbalanced head stresses - don't do it on court but immediately upon getting home. I have thought of adding a small cutter to bag....
     
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  17. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Finger nail clippers (the bigger toe clipper version is better) will suffice...
     
    #17
  18. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    You clamp in those areas so maybe the clamps are too tight crushing the string , or too loose causing slipping of string damaging it, or maybe dirty clamps slipping?
    Not saying thats the cause, but something to check out. Clamp pressure and holding properly is important.
     
    #18
  19. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    It's not a string I've ever used before, but he specifically asked for it so I obliged. I may well stay away from it in future.

    I do clean my clamps regularly, and no signs of any crushing marks on the strings. I did 2 racquets for him back-to-back, so if the other one also suffers a premature breakage then it may well be related to the clamps.

    Perhaps I should give it back to him with a sad face...
     
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