How long can strings be stored?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Shangri La, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    For different reasons I find the need to stock up on some strings sometimes. But I dont know if strings will lose playing characteristics /durability if stored too long.

    Does anyone have any idea? And I assume non-gut strings can be stored longer than gut? Thanks.
     
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  2. TennisNewbie85

    TennisNewbie85 Rookie

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    im curious about this exact same question! can anyone help?
     
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  3. charaseac

    charaseac Rookie

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    ya ya i'm curious about this one too..
    I'm guessing poly is the longest lasting one, as for gut im guessing it will last longer if you store it in dry place or vacuum container lol

    Anyway, most things will last longer if you store it in dry vacuum container lol
     
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  4. uabucks

    uabucks Rookie

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    My guess is 10 years (or more)--

    However, I just bought a Klippermate stringer, and
    the catalogue it came with said 3 years!!
    I don't see how that is possible.
    If it is, I am in trouble (I have about 7 yrs worth of strings).

    I don't see how the molecules of the strings would break down,
    as long as stored properly.?????
     
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  5. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    Synthetics will last over 20 years providing they are kept out of direct sunlight and extreme temperature. They prob will last even longer. I have strung up and used gut that was 7 years old!

    Nick
     
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  6. supermario343

    supermario343 Hall of Fame

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    haha you can always count on Nick for a good answer :p I was worried my 10+ years worth was in trouble too phewww you saved the day
     
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  7. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I think it will last longer if you store it in the refrigirator.
     
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  8. charaseac

    charaseac Rookie

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    in ziploc lol
     
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  9. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    Huh? I assume this is extremely well disguised sarcasm. There is an old joke about not being able to claim light bulbs last forever, since they can never finish testing them. Somehow I doubt nickb has personally witnessed strings lasting 20 years.

    The shelf life of strings obviously depends upon the construction of the individual string. Multifilaments are probably the worst, have a fair amount of glue material, which dries out, becomes brittle and discolored after a time. I bought 10 sets of Gamma Live Wire Pro from a shop that went under, and when I got down to the last few sets about a year later they were noticeably discolored. Who knows how old they were when I bought them. Still played OK, but I wouldn't claim they were as good as fresh, and I wouldn't sell them to anybody.

    Poly and regular nylon sets should last quite a bit longer, but will gradually become more brittle. If stored well, I might consider them good for 3 years, (if I watched them being made) but would never pay full price if I knew they were that old.

    If you have it in reels, it is exposed to the air and light, both of which are corrosive. Regular plastic bags are not a perfect barrier either. Notice how much better natural gut is packaged, it is obviously much more sensitive to UV, humidity, etc. and the vacuum packaging probably adds a significant percentage to the cost of the string.

    Contact the manufacturer for the individual string if you plan on storing up multiple years worth. Or treat your friends to discounted string you bought in bulk but don't/can't use reasonably quickly, like a year. Use up half sets in a reasonable amount of time, and tape them shut in between. Store reasonably away from sunlight and small children, constant fairly cool temperature, medium humidity.

    I know people that don't think beer goes bad either, and although they know their beer, they tend to use it up so fast they will never find out the truth. :)
     
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  10. uabucks

    uabucks Rookie

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    so the glue goes bad?
    uh oh, I really do have 7-8 yrs worth
    I will say that I have had 3 sets of
    tennis shoes fall apart after 6-8 years--
    glue issues (2 Nikes, 1 K-swiss) even the
    kevlar around the toe on my Nikes
    turned to mush.
    I'm seriously depressed now.
    Anyone else had strings go bad after a few years?
     
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  11. charaseac

    charaseac Rookie

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    i still dont get it.. whyever do you need to buy that much?
     
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  12. supermario343

    supermario343 Hall of Fame

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    maybe i should ziplock my reels now :p lol...ahhhh
     
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  13. YonexFanatic21

    YonexFanatic21 New User

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    Hmm well it actually depends on what tempature it is in and i forgot what was the range of the tempature was >.>
     
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  14. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    My reel of klipper synthetic gut 18g white started to lose color over the course of 10 years. Playability and all other aspects were not effected. I'm not sure if it's the environment or that the manufacture whitened their string.

    Look at the nylon strings that are on woodies and old racquets they are fine.

    Natural gut on the other hand is what you should be really worried about . I'm not sure how long but it can't be stored for a long time.
    ________
    PREGNANT BBW
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
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  15. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    Are you joking?

    I HAVE USED synthetic gut string that was 15 years old....natural gut string that was 7 years old and old sets of multi string over 5 years old. ALL PLAYED GREAT.

    Your gamma live wire could have been stored in high temperatures.
     
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  16. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    great feedback.... bumping for more input
     
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  17. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    I have continued to dig around on this, most people seem a little surprised at the question. I now think that the discoloration was more due to the polyurethane used than the binding agent on my gamma livewire pro issue, which discolors, and will eventually become more brittle. If the sets were subject to bad conditions, they showed no sign of it for almost a year, and were stored well the entire time I had them.

    I have asked multiple local pro shops, some manufacturers, some chem engineer buddies, etc. The consensus seems to be years and years, but when pressed, most would be suspicious of even well kept strings more than 5 years old. Some tape shut all half sets, all tape shut ng half sets. On the USRSA site under the Q&A, there is a page on adding a slightly damp rag in with the bag to partially restore old, dried up string. Manufacturers recommend extended storing of reels in ziplock bags.

    On the other hand, I have seen 15+ year nylon strings in woodies that still seem to be holding a minimal tension, a racquet that was stored in a garage for roughly ten years strung with nylon that didn't shatter when hit fairly hard (but broke within a few hits at high pace) and some anecdotal evidence of strings lasting longer, such as nickb's.

    Most of the pro shops rotate stock well, and periodically give away/ offer specials/ string demos on strings that don't move well. So they don't offer much advice, other than "never had stuff get too old"
     
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  18. ClubHoUno

    ClubHoUno Banned

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    The bags I have stored up of my Babolat Natural gut VS 16 and 17 gauge all are in air isolated sealed bags - so I would think they could be stored for a long time without any problems - but I don't know for sure, because I didn't start using natural gut before late last year.

    Anyone know for how long you can store natural gut strings, when they are still kept in the air isolated alu bags ?
    Both my natural gut strings from Babolat and Pacific comes in the same air tight sealed bags.
     
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