Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by jorel, Feb 9, 2009.
Is it the mastering of how to utilize the fiberglass/graphite matrix in various applications….
Back in the day (early 80s mostly), the big racquet companies where transitioning their R&D from wood manufacture to synthetics. The ski manufacturers you mention were already using synthetics, so moving that tech over to racquets gave them a head start.
Another point worth mentioning: the ski companies were much fonder early on of utilizing softer synthetic blends in their frameworks, rather than embracing the 100% graphite culture of the big 3 (yes, Head less so, but Wilson was obsessed with making the stiffest frames possible and Prince's flagship was a 100% graphite frame).
^^^^I agree with everything you wrote except about the 100% graphite racquet. There is no such thing as a 100% graphite racquet. That is just marketing.
From the 1998 article from Crawford Lindsey Much To Do About Modulous
There is no such thing as a 100% graphite racquet. At least 40% of a frame’s material is resin, or matrix, as it is more commonly known. Hyper or not, graphite fiber is actually useless without the resin matrix which binds the fibers, transfers the load to the fibers, and protects them. Together, the fiber and matrix make up the composite. The strength and stiffness of the composite will fall somewhere between those of the fiber and matrix. So even if you start with Hyper Carbon, by the nature of the beast, the prepreg is semi-hyper. But that’s true of all grades of graphites, including Limp-ite which becomes semi-limp (though I don’t know if that is better or worse)...........
I think when companies say "100% Graphite" they mean no fiberglass, Kevlar or any other materials in the layup other than Carbon fiber and epoxy resins.
my old Princes used to be 100% graphite...unless it was false advertising. There was that, and there was Graphite Composite.
To say a racket is "100% graphite" is somewhat like saying a steak is "100% T-bone".
How can you have a steak that's just the T-bone (and without the meat)?
Not a good example, but I hope you know what I mean.
or like saying a steak is 100% steak meat... NO it is not
theres fat and tendons and bones... yes. it is a steak but its not 100% beef
if the racquet were 100% graphite.... it would shatter in your hand
Don't forget Head and Volkl!
I think '100% graphite' expression is valid, to distinguish it from say 80% graphite/ 20% Kevler or other mixed composite. Virtually all composite materials consist of binder, so really no point arguing it....
Abel Rossignol and Howard Head were insane club level skiers and tennis players who decided to listen to that crazy quiet inner voice which always had a wacky but brilliant idea. Combined with European engineering and craftsmanship the result is ridiculous...sublime tennis racquets, designed for players....
Agreed that the resin is not a material component - it is a collateral component, in that it's not included to add any particular playing qualities to the frame.
I knew the term resin but didn't know it was now called matrix!, just shows how out of the loop I am...
it's not the stick itself but the resin and the strings that make it hit so good...
some one should make a "sticky" as to the process of design, bluprints, molds, baloons and the authentic story of how racquets are manufactured: I nominate Jorel, Colpo, "Bud", Racquetfreak, Jet Li etc. all of whom seem to know a bit more than I on this subject...
Here is how HEAD made racquets in Austria. This is from the March 2003 issue of Racquet Tech Magazine
I think I need close ups of the "handle wrapping procedure"...ahem...for..um...er...research purposes...yeah that's it!!!! All set with the research regarding Puttying though...is that a mandrel factory or do they also make wmd's??? and what's up with Rocky Balboa and his handwraps??? do half of the men in the racquet manufacturing industry wear wifebeaters??? The pro in the last picture really knows what she's doing (she's even wearing a husband beater!) I'd love her to regrip my st.vincent...the way she orients the grip along the handle using both hands shows that she has what it takes...it takes a pro to do it that good, don't think you can do such a good job at home (by yourself)...
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