# Pros using silcone spray on their strings

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Torres, Jun 23, 2012.

1. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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1. But neither overgrips nor lead tape nor dampeners are required to play tennis either, yet I don't think they are considering banning any of those. Yes, strings are required to play tennis, yet they banned spaghetti strings anyway for producing too much spin. So why won't they also ban poly strings for producing too much spin?

2. But the string by itself only has one coefficient of friction (COF). Only when you introduce another material to be in contact with the string can you have different coefficients of friction. But you can't increase the roughness of a string and thereby increase its COF when in contact with the ball but AT THE SAME TIME decrease its roughness to decrease its COF with the same rough strings in the crosses. Either both COFs go up or they both go down. You can't make a surface rougher and smoother at the same time as people are saying about rough strings (i.e., that they give more friction on the ball but less friction on the same cross strings).

3. It's common practice for people to say a certain material itself has a high COF or a low COF when compared to another material even without specifying the other materials it comes into contact with because we assume that the third material is a constant. It's like saying that the shag carpeting in your living room has a higher COF than the granite countertop in your kitchen. No need to specify the exact material they come into contact with because in almost all cases, the rough shag carpeting will have a higher COF than the smooth granite countertop. That's why people get "rug burns".

4. Why would a rough string snap back with greater force than a smooth string? If two strings of the same composition are strung at the same tension, they should snap back at the same force because the "snap back force" is a function of the tensile force on the string. If anything, the terminal snap back force of the rough string will be less than that of the smooth string because with the rough string some of the snap back force is dissipated in overcoming the higher frictional forces of the rough string sliding on rough string.

2. ### mikelerModerator

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So I tried it out tonight on an older full multifilament string job (Discho Microfibre). It held the strings in place for a little while but then they started moving like they normally do. I did not notice a big increase in spin. If there is any increase, it is a fraction better. Perhaps I'll try it on my new string job when it comes up in the rotation.

3. ### BudBionic Poster

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Exhibit #1

These pics were taken earlier after 2 hours and 3-sets of 4.5 doubles. This is after a week (approximately 10-12 hours) of silicone spray use (applied after every hitting session). Strings snap back to their original position with no assistance.

The string is Klip Legend uncoated natural gut 16 at #55 (dropweight). I did not straighten the strings a single time during all 3 sets, earlier this evening. Those who use natural gut know how messy the string bed becomes while playing.

Before my next hitting session, I'll spray another light coat of silicone onto the stringbed and will move all main strings to ensure the silicone is distributed between mains and crosses. The stringbed will look like this until it eventually snaps.

4. ### BudBionic Poster

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If you read my earlier posts or other threads where I've posted about SS, it takes about 2-3 hitting sessions until the strings no longer require straightening (especially if it's a multifilament as they tend to be a bit gummy and are usually slightly textured). You may recall my thread in the string forum inquiring about a smooth, non-gummy MF to use with silicone spray.

It's best on a freshly strung frame (before it notches at all). after stringing, lightly spray the stringbed and perfectly align all strings (if possible let it sit overnight before using - as this will begin the notching process).

Then, as you're hitting during the first few sessions, you'll need to slightly straighten some strings. After 2-3 hitting sessions, the strings will no longer require straightening. You must reapply the silicone after every hitting session and quickly move all mains (which should snap right back into place). Once the strings become slightly notched, you're golden as they will re-lock in place after every ball strike.

Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
5. ### ClarkCHall of Fame

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Looks like Barry Flatman needs to learn the difference between silicone and silicon, especially before he mistakenly shoots silicon into his wife's boobs.

6. ### ClarkCHall of Fame

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The pictures show two rackets that are illegally strung. As a quiz, can anyone spot the problem?

7. ### BudBionic Poster

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If you're referring to the dampener, it's legal as is.

The top loop isn't touching the stringbed above the last cross. It's hanging in the air.

Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
8. ### tleeNew User

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"illegality" you mention

Most likely the poster is referring to the dampener/rubberband extending into the hitting area...

9. ### ClarkCHall of Fame

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Wrong.

Correct.

10. ### BudBionic Poster

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Whatever, let's get back to the thread topic

11. ### klementineHall of Fame

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^ I did these exact steps and my multi/syn.gut combo is playing great. Followed your previous thread/posts on Silicone Spray.

The keys are a fresh string job, move the mains around and let it sit over night.

My friend sprayed down a full bed of 17g Prince Beast. Funky, death balls of 8 foot spin-tastic joy were jumping about. Much more so than he anticipated, that being said he hits with alot of spin as is. The most noticeable was on serve and on the forehand/slice side...... but it only lasted for about 30-40 minutes. He did not move the mains around, it was not a fresh string job and he did not let it sit overnight.

Maybe these pros are spraying down full poly jobs :shock: The results are more potent than spraying down syn.gut/multi/gut.

Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
12. ### BudBionic Poster

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The SS is awesome on full poly and gut/poly too! It magnifies the spin even more versus the bare string. Too bad my arm can't take poly any longer... even in hybrid.

13. ### klementineHall of Fame

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^ Oh yeah, I'm with you on the full poly thing. Besides the health reasons and constant need for restringing, I never really enjoyed the feel, except for a few choice ones.

As far as silicone on full poly. I hit with it for about a set and it had reinvigorated the beastXP that was in need of replacing.

I could feel the mains sliding and snapping back into place, especially on serve. I don't know if it adds as much spin as it does velocity. Have to hit more with the SS'd set-up. I'm leaning towards the fact that the velocity of the ball is bumped, thanks to an extra elasticity and maybe this in turn effects the spin coming off the court on the initial bounce.

14. ### cornersLegend

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I'm only writing this for those posters not familiar with Breakpoint. This guy mistakes his opinions for fact, consistently, and will not back down from his personal dogma no matter what evidence you provide him. In fact, he refuses to even look at evidence contrary to his baseless assertions. As to his post above, he is dead wrong. But there is no sense in trying to convince him of this, for the reasons already mentioned.

15. ### Hi I'm RayHall of Fame

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Oh man, that is so lame.

16. ### Power PlayerTalk Tennis Guru

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Lol..well said.

17. ### jackcrawfordProfessional

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Agreed, the ignore function is the best defense against posters like that who won't listen to reason.

18. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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OK, so if I'm wrong, please give us an example of when a material can be made BOTH rougher (higher COF) and smoother (lower COF) AT THE SAME TIME from what it was before. We'll wait with baited breath.

19. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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"Reason"? You mean the the well accepted laws of physics are not reasonable?

20. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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For those that claim that using silicone spray on a full multi stringjob will give as much or more spin than a full poly stringjob, why or why not? If it's the "snap back force" that provides most of the additional spin, shouldn't a full multi stringbed that snaps back give as much spin as a full poly stringbed that snaps back? But if you feel you still get more spin from the full poly stringbed, don't you think it's because of the additional stiffness of the full poly stringbed that gives you the extra spin?

21. ### LarrysümmersHall of Fame

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anyone use it on kevlar strings? i know there was a mini fad of the kev/poly brid for a while

22. ### Hi I'm RayHall of Fame

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I did try it on a Kevlar/syn gut hybrid. As anyone who has played with kevlar knows, the strings tend to get stuck all over the place especially when it gets worn. It did prevent the string from getting stuck and increase spin noticeably for about 30min, but it never took the spin to the level of lubricant + full poly.

23. ### WilanderRookie

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i will try it soon.
if silicone spray does reduce the friction between mains and crosses, shouldnt this increase durability? my strings break every 4 hours and if i could increase durability, this would be great news for me!

24. ### BLiNDHall of Fame

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This is an intriguing thread... not heard of this before.

Going to try tonight using GT85 (like WD40 but with teflon).

25. ### mikelerModerator

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OK, good info. I'll try it with the next racket I string. I'll also keep using it on my existing string jobs (hey I want to get my \$4 worth). There were quite a few warnings on the can that had me slightly concerned. Do you worry about getting it all over your fingers?

26. ### kiteboardLegend

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Usually when something says on the label: "Warning, this will give you cancer.", they mean it and have been forced to say it.

27. ### pinky42Rookie

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Stop spreading misinformation. There's no such thing as COF of string by itself. COF is defined as the ratio of the force of friction (Ff) and the normal force (N). Ff is defined as the resistive force of two surfaces sliding against each other. You can't have COF with just one surface since by definition frictional force requires two surfaces.

28. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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Which would you say has a higher COF? Sandpaper or teflon?

COF is not a force. It's just a coefficient. It's a relative rating. It's common practice to state that Material A has a higher COF than Material B without specifying any Material C for A and B to come into contact with. It's a relative descriptor of the roughness of a material. I never gave any specific numbers for the COF of a string. For that, you need to specify if it's contacting the ball or the cross string. The two COFs will likely be different, but they will both go up or both go down and one cannot go up while the other goes down at the same time, as people here are claiming. They can only go in one direction because the string itself only has one base COF (roughness). If it had two, then one can go up while the other went down. That is, you can't make the string rougher to increase its COF with the ball while at the same time decrease its COF with the cross string.

29. ### colan5934Rookie

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A COF is a ratio of the friction between two surfaces. The lower it is, the less friction. While a rough string will have a lower COF with the other string in the bed, regardless of whether it is the same or not, it will grip the ball more as well as applying the energy of the snap-back of the main strings. For a more in-depth explanation, I suggest you take a physics course, or read some Wikipedia, or the TW Prof's publications. It's not worth my time to keep explaining this because it takes away from the thread. Back to the benefits of silicone spray.

30. ### pinky42Rookie

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Sandpaper doesn't have a COF. Neither does teflon. Friction is defined as the resistive force of two surfaces sliding against each other.

I never said it was. I said it was the ratio of the force of friction (Ff) and the normal force (N). Ff and N have the same units so COF is unitless.

No it isn't. COF is a property of a pair of materials not an individual material. An individual material does not have a COF at all. You can't talk about COF without specifying both materials just like you can't talk about distance without specifying both endpoints.

No it isn't. Roughness and COF are two different things. Take two pieces of smooth glass and two pieces of ground glass. Ground glass is rougher than smooth glass, but two pieces of smooth glass sliding across each other have a higher COF than two pieces of ground glass sliding across each other.

That's because you can't. COF = Ff / N. I'll make it easier for you. I won't ask for the COF of a string. What's the direction of the Ff vector of a piece of string? I'm not even asking for the magnitude, just the direction. Since you claim that string has a COF, buy the equation above, there is a frictional force vector and a normal force vector. So, what's the direction of the force vector?

Again, string itself doesn't have a COF. And COF and roughness are not the same thing. See counterexample above.

31. ### BLiNDHall of Fame

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OK tried this last night on some new Babolat RPM Team 1.3mm strings @44/40lbs and some well used Luxilon TiMO 1.1mm @45lbs both an Vantage 95" 18x20.

My conclusion is it possibly helps a little tiny but, but really its not very noticable, I'm not going to bother.

32. ### dman72Hall of Fame

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As should be assumed by all non-expert (5.0 and below) players, things like this will do very little to improve your game..your time is always better spent becoming a better player than worrying about equipment.

However, if I can lube strings for 5 minutes and get more life and better performance out of them, saving me money and making me happier with my equipment, and that 5 minutes wouldn't have been spent doing something more productive, why wouldn't I?

At this point all I'm doing is waxing my mains before stringing my crosses. It takes about 2 minutes. Maybe I'll switch to wiping silicone on them instead.

33. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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Oh, really? A rough textured string will have a LOWER COF with another rough textured string than a smooth string with another smooth string? I think you have that backwards, my friend. A rough string will have a HIGHER COF than a smooth string, just like rough sandpaper will have a higher COF than plain white printer paper. Of course, when people say "higher" or "lower" COF, they are speaking in relative terms with the third material coming in contact being a constant.

Thus, you can't make the string rougher to increase its COF with the ball yet AT THE SAME TIME decrease its COF with the same rougher cross string. It's one or the other.

And "take a physics course"? I've taken more physics courses than I can count and also have a mechanical engineering degree from a top university, as well as having worked as a mechanical engineer. And, yes, engineers will say that a certain material has a high or a low COF as one of its properties all the time.

34. ### mikelerModerator

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Apparently, the first guy I played with the lubed strings told another guy I play that my shots had more spin. He tried to play it off with me like there was no change. They could just be messing with me too.

35. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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You only need to specify a second material if you want a specific number to the COF. But you can say a material has a "high COF" or a "low COF" without specifying a second material because it's relative and you are not looking for a specific number for the COF.

And quite often, specific COFs for different materials will be listed as one of its material properties without specifying a second material in contact, such as in this table for different plastics (see properties in the left hand column):
http://www.machinist-materials.com/comparison_table_for_plastics.htm

Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
36. ### davedRookie

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jargon idiocy

You guys are lost in semantics.

Let's talk in plain English.

It is entirely conceivable that when strings with some "texture" ("texture" in this case meaning typical characteristics offered by string manufacturers as "texture," which usually constitute some form of changing the cross-section of a string from the usual round profile to a hexagonal or other striated shape) are installed in a string bed...or even installed only as crosses or mains with regular, round cross-section strings going in the other direction...that those strings will slide more easily against each when a ball is struck than would crosses and mains that are both round in cross section.

37. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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Yes, but a "shaped" string (e.g., hexagonal, etc.) is different from a "rough" (e.g., textured, etc.) string.

38. ### davedRookie

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"rough" vs. "textured"

A string with a truly "rough" surface, such as uncoated gut, with a multiplicity of stiff fibers or other variations in surface sticking up randomly, is obviously going to resist sliding...against another string of any shape.

A "rough" string in the parlance of the string industry (e.g. Lux Alu Rough) isn't "rough" in the same way as uncoated gut or sandpaper and in fact functionally would be equivalent to a hexagonal or other string with non-round cross section...if "roughness" is created with numerous regular striations of a half centimeter or more, when two strings are rubbing during the course of a ball deflection you're still talking about two strings with potentially reduced surface area where they touch (relative to two round strings). Of course, they also could have potentially GREATER surface area in contact, if two flat edges are rubbing. So, even if "rough" or non-round cross section strings actually do slide more easily against each other, there's more happening than a simple matter of surface area.

39. ### dman72Hall of Fame

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All of this just to maintain the 20+ year old belief that textured strings add more spin because of ball bite.

WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU, BREAKPOINT.

40. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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So ball bite doesn't add more spin?

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Tou...ough_String_17/descpageACUNIQUE-UBHIT17R.html

Poly strings bite the ball more due to its stiffness (which results in the ball "pancaking" or flattening into the stringbed more), which results in more spin. And almost everyone agrees that polys bite the ball more and produce more spin than soft multis.

41. ### WilanderRookie

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i did try it out and had marginally better spin production with my pro hurricane tour. i guess the effect of the spray is on poly strings naturally small.
perhaps i had too much spray on my strings, as the balls got a little wet and fluffy and with the dirt from the orange clay, the balls looked very messy after minutes, with the pattern of my strings on them.

42. ### WuppyProfessional

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I bought some at Walmart today for \$2+ and will try it out on my nylon strings. It dries almost completely after about 3 minutes.

NOT the same as WD-40 for chrissakes which is mineral oil (and solvents).

EDIT:

I do have one issue with the whole story. The article here (http://engineeringsport.co.uk/2012/06/24/is-tennis-spinning-out-of-control) talks about it, and says this:

"Advances in racket technology and increases in ball speed don’t favour the traditional (and arguably more exciting) player who attacks the net and plays off the volley."

I'd have to disagree and say that serve & volley is not "more exciting" than baseline bashing. The ITF, ATP, and everyone else dread going to back to men's serve & volley tennis. Crowds love to see 10, 15, 20-shot rallies, not serve-return-smash over and over again. Which is why the people in charge have done everything they can over the past two decades to (rather successfully) eradicate S&V from men's tennis.

Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
43. ### 000KFACTOR90000Professional

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Haven't heard from a pro stringer doing this yet.

Reserving judgement on whether the pro players are doing this or not.

44. ### mikelerModerator

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Dang, I should have gone to Wal Mart. I payed \$4 for it at an Auto parts store. It does dry rather quickly, it is very greasy when wet.

45. ### dman72Hall of Fame

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What section in Walmart did you find it and what is the brand name. I was there buying tennis balls on lunch break last week..stopped by the hardware and auto sections and could not find it in the section where the WD40 is. Of course there was no one there to help, so I just left.

46. ### WuppyProfessional

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Took me forever to find, I walked the aisles for about 15 minutes. It's called "CRC Heavy Duty Silicone" in a red and white can and was in or near the car section on a shelf with other spray lubricants (not WD40). I think I walked past it like 5 times before I saw it. About the most generic looking product I've ever seen.

Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
47. ### dman72Hall of Fame

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Ball compressing into the strings has nothing to do with little thin bands tied around nylon strings or poly stings with sharp "sides" in their profiles. Keep trying though.

48. ### BreakPointBionic Poster

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Where did I say the ball compressing into the strings have to do with anything other than the string's stiffness?

Polys give more spin than soft multis because they are stiffer and the ball flattens more onto a stiff stringbed.

49. ### ClarkCHall of Fame

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False. Details below.

False. Main strings and cross strings rub against each other at a 90 degree angle. Picture a steel surface that has directional roughness like the teeth on certain saw blades which all point in one direction. Rub another such surface against it with the two surfaces rotated 180 degrees relative to each other, so that the "teeth" fit perfectly into each other. That orientation will maximize the friction. Now, rotate one of them 90 degrees, and the friction between the two surfaces will go down. So, you cannot say that a particular material always has just one coefficient of friction without taking into account directionality.

If the string manufacturer makes the roughness directional, then mains and crosses will not have the maximum friction as they slide against each other. What will be the friction between a ball and such a directionally rough string? Who knows? It depends on a lot of factors, like the exact angle of the "teeth" on the surface of the string, the angle of the racket face at impact, string tension, etc. Measurements would have to be taken and confirmed; I would not trust guesses on the ball vs. string friction.

Are any string manufacturers making such directional roughness today? I don't know. They will have to reveal details of their products to convince us of that.

50. ### ATP100Professional

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I said this about a year ago, and pros have been doing this for 30+ years that I know of, probably longer.