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-   -   The Truth about Babolat's "GT Technology" Braided Graphite (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=439877)

Long Face 09-12-2012 03:10 PM

The Truth about Babolat's "GT Technology" Braided Graphite
 
I have a Babolate Pure Storm Tour GT that I used earlyer this year, which has been badly scratched up. Paint is soft and thick on this racquet, prone to paint chipping. I don't think I can sell it for a good price, so I had some fun with it.

I stripped the paint and looked at what the "GT Technology" is about.

24 hours bathed in paint stripper, and lots of elbow grease with a stripping pad:


Turns out that the "GT Braided Graphite" is just three pieces of stickers, attached to the racquet at three positions where they make open windows for you to see:



Long Face 09-12-2012 03:16 PM

I thought I would see something like this (done by a member here, can't remember who he is, though. Sorry.)

This is the true braided graphite, in my opinion. The Babolat method is not. To me, showing the stickers through clear windows is misleading, and in a sense, cheating.

What do you think?


corners 09-12-2012 03:30 PM

If the pics in the OP show what they appear to show - strips of woven graphite cloth - it's probably false advertising. A braid is woven, but a weave is not braided. You can clearly see in the pics of the naked K Pro Staff 88 what a braid looks like: the graphite strands are woven and continuous from tip to tail - a continuous braid of graphite starting on one side of the handle, going up and around to form the head and then back down to the other side of the handle. (They then put a separate throat piece in and put on the handle.) This is how "braided" has been defined in the tennis industry since the 80s.

They should have just said "woven graphite with Tungsten", blah, blah. And I'm sure they would say "That's what we meant!" in a court of law.

It does appear that there are some metallic threads in the graphite weave on the Babolat. Tungsten, or something else?

Long Face 09-12-2012 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corners (Post 6895789)
If the pics in the OP show what they appear to show - strips of woven graphite cloth - it's probably false advertising. A braid is woven, but a weave is not braided. You can clearly see in the pics of the naked K Pro Staff 88 what a braid looks like: the graphite strands are woven and continuous from tip to tail - a continuous braid of graphite starting on one side of the handle, going up and around to form the head and then back down to the other side of the handle. (They then put a separate throat piece in and put on the handle.) This is how "braided" has been defined in the tennis industry since the 80s.

They should have just said "woven graphite with Tungsten", blah, blah. And I'm sure they would say "That's what we meant!" in a court of law.

It does appear that there are some metallic threads in the graphite weave on the Babolat. Tungsten, or something else?

I actually don't care much about it is woven or braided. My biggest surprise was that it was just 3 small pieces of cloths under the clear windows.

Here is Babolat's advertising picture:

KoolTennisKid 09-12-2012 04:58 PM

Did that affect the playibility? Because that honestly looks cool, maybe thinking about doing that to my Prostaff six one 95

Long Face 09-12-2012 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoolTennisKid (Post 6895962)
Did that affect the playibility? Because that honestly looks cool, maybe thinking about doing that to my Prostaff six one 95

The original racquet felt soft and muted, probably due to the very thick paint. After the factory paint was removed, the racquet became skinny, and about 30 grams lighter (not very accurate).

I did put on a new grommet set and hit it. It felt lighter and stiffer than before.

floide 09-12-2012 05:36 PM

This post made me want to remove the paint of ALL my frames. Lol!

KenC 09-12-2012 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floide (Post 6896046)
This post made me want to remove the paint of ALL my frames. Lol!

They look like urban assault weapons. Maybe put a biohazard stencil on the strings and smell the fear from your opponents!

ricki 09-13-2012 02:05 AM

Can these "stickers" be removed? I think its just a gimmick and frame will play the same without them.

Also 30 grams of paint seems to me to be very much, usually paint is only like 250 micro meters thick...

Hi I'm Ray 09-13-2012 03:01 AM

Haha, what a rip. The frames sure don't feel like braided or continuous fiber graphite. Although I guess it could actually count as being a layer in the graphite lay up (look for racket manufacturing vids on youtube) and it might have some effect on feel. Worse is probably the clear window view of the blue foil layer on Dunlop Aerogel and 4D rackets. I wonder if the APD and PD would feel better and transmit less shock if they actually used more dampening material such as kevlar or basalt throughout the frame instead of pulling this crap.

treblings 09-13-2012 03:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Long Face (Post 6895761)
I have a Babolate Pure Storm Tour GT that I used earlyer this year, which has been badly scratched up. Paint is soft and thick on this racquet, prone to paint chipping. I don't think I can sell it for a good price, so I had some fun with it.

I stripped the paint and looked at what the "GT Technology" is about.

24 hours bathed in paint stripper, and lots of elbow grease with a stripping pad

sorry if my question doesn´t go to the core of your thread, but i´m very interested in how you were able to get the paint of the racket. i did that with a couple of mine that i wanted to repaint and it took a long time and was very difficult.

could you elaborate on what kind of paint stripper you used and what exactly you mean by bathing it?

hard2explain 09-13-2012 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hi I'm Ray (Post 6896768)
Haha, what a rip. The frames sure don't feel like braided or continuous fiber graphite. Although I guess it could actually count as being a layer in the graphite lay up (look for racket manufacturing vids on youtube) and it might have some effect on feel. Worse is probably the clear window view of the blue foil layer on Dunlop Aerogel and 4D rackets. I wonder if the APD and PD would feel better and transmit less shock if they actually used more dampening material such as kevlar or basalt throughout the frame instead of pulling this crap.

That's my hypothesis too; the GT layers are not the external plies in the carbon fibre layup.

An individual ply is typically 1mm thick, and any carbon fibre or graphite composite is usually made up of bunch of plies with the fibres oriented in different directions, with woven and unidirectional plies.

I'm not suggesting the OP do this but if you were to sand through the rcket you'd be able to see the different ply orientations, almost like rings on a tree.

An example with fibreglass;

Long Face 09-13-2012 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hard2explain (Post 6896863)
That's my hypothesis too; the GT layers are not the external plies in the carbon fibre layup.

An individual ply is typically 1mm thick, and any carbon fibre or graphite composite is usually made up of bunch of plies with the fibres oriented in different directions, with woven and unidirectional plies.

I'm not suggesting the OP do this but if you were to sand through the rcket you'd be able to see the different ply orientations, almost like rings on a tree.

An example with fibreglass;

I didn't do anything besides removing the red and white paint. The red paint also seems to be somekind of primer, which was very tough.

And I have no idea how Babolat's factory applied that small piece of woven cloth to those spots, while keeping them flush with the other parts. Maybe that piece of cloth was already attached to a cut-out of the carbonfiber sheet, and they polished it flush before painting.

Long Face 09-13-2012 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treblings (Post 6896780)
sorry if my question doesn´t go to the core of your thread, but i´m very interested in how you were able to get the paint of the racket. i did that with a couple of mine that i wanted to repaint and it took a long time and was very difficult.

could you elaborate on what kind of paint stripper you used and what exactly you mean by bathing it?

Nothing special. Just normal paint stripper and stripping pads available from Home Depot.

Like I said, lots of elbow grease. The top coats were easy. The red primer underneath was very tough.

drakulie 09-13-2012 10:59 AM

Love these threads! Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

sureshs 09-13-2012 11:18 AM

Which frames available today are full braided-graphite?

sundaypunch 09-13-2012 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Long Face (Post 6897524)
And I have no idea how Babolat's factory applied that small piece of woven cloth to those spots, while keeping them flush with the other parts. Maybe that piece of cloth was already attached to a cut-out of the carbonfiber sheet, and they polished it flush before painting.

The racquets are made with many layers of material. What you are seeing with the GT is just an outer layer that is applied prior to molding. It then gets formed under high heat and pressure.

There isn't anything deceptive our unusual about the GT. Placing it in the areas they chose would still have an effect on the feel of the racquet. They just chose to showcase it as part of the paint job. Probably good marketing in the same way that Nike Air shoes let the consumer see the air chamber.

corners 09-13-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 6897724)
Which frames available today are full braided-graphite?

KPS 88 (Graphite/Kevlar double braid)
K90 (ditto)
PS85 (ditto)

Allegedly, as per Wilson:

PS 6.1 90 (graphite braid with basalt, unknown if basalt is braided in separate strands like kevlar is in the above or incorporated in some other way.)
PS 6.1 95
PS 6.1 100

Wilson said nothing about 1st gen BLX90 being braided. Seems that it's the only Tour 90 that did not have braided construction.

The Dunlop 4D series was supposed to be braided, but I don't know if it was braided tip to tail like the Wilsons or only had bits of braid (tubular woven cloth) in some areas.

Slazenger Pro Braided

sureshs 09-13-2012 01:40 PM

^^^ I use the PS85. I am not sure how much "feel" I am getting from the braided graphite. It also has 20% Kevlar, and I have replaced the leather grip with Wilson Shockshield, so perhaps the feel is lost on me.

Long Face 09-13-2012 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundaypunch (Post 6897880)
There isn't anything deceptive our unusual about the GT. Placing it in the areas they chose would still have an effect on the feel of the racquet. They just chose to showcase it as part of the paint job. Probably good marketing in the same way that Nike Air shoes let the consumer see the air chamber.

I disagree.

When I see a Nike Air shoe, I see an air bubble in the heel. That is just an air bubble in the heel. They are not trying to make you believe that the entire sole is made of a large flat air cushion.

However, when Babolat makes a racquet, and shows to us through three clear windows at three different spots on the racquet that there is woven GT material inside, they are trying to make us believe that the entire racquet is made this way. Or at least this is implied.


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