Lubricant on strings for durability

Discussion in 'Strings' started by hyperion99, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Would adding lubricant to poly strings help with durability?

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    FWIW:

    I use ARMOR ALL -- a water-base emulsion of wax and silicone. It makes plastic surfaces very slippery and lasts -- no smell or problems with residue -- just spray on and wipe off excess.

    IMO it improves playability and life of string.
     
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  3. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, definitely a lubricant can improve string life. With strings like slide around, like copolys, the strings rub together with quite a bit of force at the intersections. This not only scuffs up the strings but the heat from the friction melts the main strings, notching them. Anything that reduces friction should keep them playing better for longer. The trick, though, is that the playing characteristics will change slightly as the lubricant starts to wear off, so you probably will have to commit to reapplication pretty often.

    There's a recent thread about lubrication on the forum: Giving Lube a Chance

    Old Chemist, how long do you get with Armor All before you can start to feel a change and need to reapply.
     
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  4. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    corners,

    I spray it on right after stringing and at about the 5 hour mark (if I remember).

    I accidently got some on a spot on my hardwood floor -- it took several washings with detergent before the slipperiness finally got better -- so it seems to be fairly persistent.
     
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  5. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks. I was just looking at a tube of Armor All wipes the other day, thinking it would be a pretty convenient way of applying it, but spraying sounds even better. The persistence you noted sounds great.
     
    #5
  6. hyperion99

    hyperion99 Semi-Pro

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    Thank you old chemist and corners for your response.

    My next question is how does the lubricant give more life to the string (better playability)?

    Thanks
     
    #6
  7. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Crosses don't saw into the mains as quickly. This gives it increased string life, but it doesn't improve playability. They'll still get springy and launch balls when they're old.
     
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  8. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    In another thread I initially reported little benefit from using ArmorAll, but now I find that after repeated use it does have a noticeable effect on string slipperiness. I string at sub40 tensions, and I find that after several applications of ArmorAll a well-used BHBR string bed that started to 'move' comes back to life and realigns nicely after very shot.
     
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  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    Putting lubricant on a string changes the playing characteristics of a stringbed perhaps more than anything else you could do to it, short of cutting a string.

    Adding lubrication reduces friction between the strings at the intersections. This allows the main strings to slide sideways with the ball during impact and then snap back into place, which torques the ball in such a way as to add additional spin to it. Less friction means the main strings can snap back with greater force and/or that this snap back occurs at the right moment.

    For a good introduction to how this works, check out this article and video:http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-new-physics-of-tennis/308339/

    1. More spin. Experiments have shown that when lubricant is added to worn or notched strings that spin generation can increase by as much as 50%, depending on the type of string, how long it has been played with, etc.

    This is a huge difference in spin. The average difference in spin generation between copoly strings and nylon strings is around 20-25%.

    2. The same experiments linked in #1 showed that lubrications tends to increase the rebound angle, so the ball will bounce off the strings at a slightly higher angle and fly on a slighter higher trajectory, which will lead to more natural depth.

    3. Other experiments have shown that when the main strings are free to slide sideways and snap back that dwell time - the length of time that the ball is on the strings before bouncing away - is longer. Longer dwell time means less impact shock, so the string will feel softer.

    4. Because the main strings are now stretching sideways, perpendicular to the line of the shot, and expressing their stored energy in that direction, producing extra spin, shot speed is slightly reduced. Basically, if the mains and crosses are glued together they will both express their energy in more or less the same direction - in the direction of the shot (in the normal direction). But since the mains are now sliding and stretching perpendicular to the normal direction some of their energy is diverted to producing spin, rather than speed.

    This paper showed a decrease in shot speed of 6% when lubricant was added to notched natural gut strings. This paper also talks about the shock reduction of lubrication.
     
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  10. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    I have not tested the lubricated strings side by side at the same time with unlubed strings, so this is based mainly on my impressions. I definitely get less notching, I believe a little more spin, and imo good playability which lasts for a little longer -- I have only used the spray with full-bed poly.

    Maybe one of these days I will do a direct comparison to ensure I am not imagining things.
     
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  11. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    What kind of Armor All? There are a number different types, I guess the tyre shiner would be best?
     
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  12. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

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    i find adding gorilla glue really improves pocket feel
     
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  13. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  14. Tight Lines

    Tight Lines Professional

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    LMAO! I think you should add a smiley face or something. Otherwise, some people may take your post seriously.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

    Harry
     
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  15. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    I think it's the 'original' -- I have an old spray bottle that my wife originally used to polish up the interior of the car a few years back. We've had it around for quite a while.

    I noticed in the auto section that they do have a plethora of Armor All products -- the closest one appeared to me to be the 'original', although they claim it is new and improved.
     
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  16. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

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    i was serious.........try it. its like the guys lubricating their strings. it improves your game by 10x. no need to practice or anything. just spray some lubricant and BAM grand slam for you. nadal is no match.
     
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  17. corners

    corners Legend

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    Equipment tweaks don't make that big a difference to performance. Practice is more important. All true. Thanks for pointing out the bloody obvious.

    People are experimenting here and seem to be having a good time of it. Nobody is having any delusions of grandeur. Nobody needs or asked for your parental input. Please stop trolling here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  18. Old Chemist

    Old Chemist Rookie

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    Absolutely agree -- case in point, I always seem to play better after putting on a new overgrip -- should change them more often, but I am bit cheap.
     
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  19. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

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    yea......coming from the 'parent' here. try taking your own advice? maybe?
     
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