Tennis Racket Technology Is Way More Elaborate Than You Think

Otacon

Hall of Fame
Engineers are embracing digital mapping, materials science, and robotics to provide an incremental edge on the tennis court.



As tennis speeds up on the court, including at the 2020 Australian Open, which began this week, racket evolution hustles along off the court, with technology to create more power and spin within the game. Companies across the globe, from Japan to Austria and Chicago to France, all take their own high-tech view on the process.

Think: sheets and rolls of carbon fiber in climate-controlled rooms, new iterations of graphite, and a completely updated computational design that offers a fresh perspective on flex and stiffness of frames. All advancements define modern tennis racket manufacturing.

Take the January 18 release of the new Yonex EZONE, an update of a popular frame played by the likes of Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios. The completely updated design—both in a 98- and 100-square-inch head—creates a larger sweet spot by widening the square-shaped isometric head and then further ups the power game by introducing a new M40X graphite, never before used in sporting goods, but with more strength and elasticity to help with the balance of stability and flex.

Typically, at faster swing speeds, normal graphite will become more stiff. That's not the case with the new M40X graphite. "The uniqueness of this graphite is that it achieves a balance of stability and flex," says Nicole Laduca, a spokesperson for Yonex. "The combination of this graphite with the new aero-shape frame makes the racket feel powerful and plush."


The new EZONE from Yonex includes a new type of graphite meant to create a better balance of stability and flex.



Read more : https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/sports/a30610612/tennis-racket-technology/
 
Thanks for the link! There are a couple of levers to pull with materials and mold, and most manufacturers tend to concentrate on the materials side of the equation. Perhaps that's due to rule restrictions, but golf equipment seems to play with both sides a bit more.
 

BorgCash

Legend
Engineers are embracing digital mapping, materials science, and robotics to provide an incremental edge on the tennis court.



As tennis speeds up on the court, including at the 2020 Australian Open, which began this week, racket evolution hustles along off the court, with technology to create more power and spin within the game. Companies across the globe, from Japan to Austria and Chicago to France, all take their own high-tech view on the process.

Think: sheets and rolls of carbon fiber in climate-controlled rooms, new iterations of graphite, and a completely updated computational design that offers a fresh perspective on flex and stiffness of frames. All advancements define modern tennis racket manufacturing.

Take the January 18 release of the new Yonex EZONE, an update of a popular frame played by the likes of Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios. The completely updated design—both in a 98- and 100-square-inch head—creates a larger sweet spot by widening the square-shaped isometric head and then further ups the power game by introducing a new M40X graphite, never before used in sporting goods, but with more strength and elasticity to help with the balance of stability and flex.

Typically, at faster swing speeds, normal graphite will become more stiff. That's not the case with the new M40X graphite. "The uniqueness of this graphite is that it achieves a balance of stability and flex," says Nicole Laduca, a spokesperson for Yonex. "The combination of this graphite with the new aero-shape frame makes the racket feel powerful and plush."


The new EZONE from Yonex includes a new type of graphite meant to create a better balance of stability and flex.



Read more : https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/sports/a30610612/tennis-racket-technology/
And after all these "nano technologies" really smart people looking for SV PS 6.0 and PC 600 and PT 630.
 

Alexh22

Professional
This article is like a paid ads. Most Ezone 98 pros use today are still the old DRs not the 2020 even though they are painted as so. We didn’t get the comfort back with the so called new technology.
 
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dkmura

Rookie
I liked the article from the perspective of understanding new CAD and materials science. It answered a few questions and posited the next wave of racquet development. And just because current players prefer older Yonex frames doesn't mean the new developments aren't improvements in some ways. Maybe the pros of tomorrow will grow up learning the feel and response of new racquets and prefer them in the future. Who knows?

I prefer to keep an open mind...
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
That is exactly what racquet manufacturers want their customer base to believe, “Tennis racket technology is way more elaborate than you think.”

In reality, sure, racquet manufacturers generally continue to make improvements here and there. But they sell those improvements as revolutionary break throughs, often coming up with buzz words or phrases, and sometimes claiming to use rare and obscure materials “in the mix.” This a lot more about marketing, than it is about actual, legitimate improvements to the products they sell. (My guess is many people would argue the quality of the products offered by some of these companies has actually gotten worse, not better).

Sorry to say, that article is just another example of racquet manufacturer propaganda used to convince their customers that they must buy new racquets every couple years. Which is smart, from a business standpoint. Because if racquet manufacturers didn’t do that, their sales would suffer.
 

BlueB

Legend
Too many resins, sand, etc.

Older rackets like the ones I use and the PS 85 were made of high-modulus pure graphite and the feel is awesome.
I'm not aware of anyone puting the sand into the laminate. It would be counterproductive anyways.
Generally, the newer racquets are made of higher modulus graphite than the classics. This is in line with increased stiffness of the bewcframes, too.
Also, the modern lamination processes alow for lower percentage of the resin in the laminate. Hard to believe it would be higher then before...

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I'm not aware of anyone puting the sand into the laminate. It would be counterproductive anyways.
Find out what was the new ingredient in Wilson's NCode frames.

What do you think is "nanosized silicon oxide?"

You are right about high modulus graphite. Problem is it has higher stiffness and less strength, and requires other materials to give back its strength. In contrast, "pure graphite" which is actually 40% resin when used in low modulus form requires nothing else.
 

BlueB

Legend
Find out what was the new ingredient in Wilson's NCode frames.

What do you think is "nanosized silicon oxide?"

You are right about high modulus graphite. Problem is it has higher stiffness and less strength, and requires other materials to give back its strength. In contrast, "pure graphite" which is actually 40% resin when used in low modulus form requires nothing else.
It's a stretch to say "sand" is a component there. Yes, silicon oxide is the main component of the sand, but also of of the quartz, glass and wait for it... fiberglass!

What do you consider as "strength"? Higher modulus graphite is stiffer but it also has higher tensile strength. Of course, it is more brittle on impact.

I think that you are confusing the "pureness" and resin/fiber ratio... Proportion quite depends on the technology used. A prepreg, or infusion wettened laminate will have less resin then a hand-wettened product, even if the laterr was vacuumed or press-molded.
Lower percentage of resin gives you a lighter and stiffer, yet more brittle, product.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
It's a stretch to say "sand" is a component there. Yes, silicon oxide is the main component of the sand, but also of of the quartz, glass and wait for it... fiberglass!

What do you consider as "strength"? Higher modulus graphite is stiffer but it also has higher tensile strength. Of course, it is more brittle on impact.

I think that you are confusing the "pureness" and resin/fiber ratio... Proportion quite depends on the technology used. A prepreg, or infusion wettened laminate will have less resin then a hand-wettened product, even if the laterr was vacuumed or press-molded.
Lower percentage of resin gives you a lighter and stiffer, yet more brittle, product.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
From what I have read, older rackets were more flexible and had thicker walls, while recent rackets are stiffer and their walls are thinner, leading to a hollow or tinny feel. I can clearly find much better feel in the old frames.

 

BlueB

Legend
From what I have read, older rackets were more flexible and had thicker walls, while recent rackets are stiffer and their walls are thinner, leading to a hollow or tinny feel. I can clearly find much better feel in the old frames.

I actually agree on both of those statements.
However, I think that we have debunked your opening statement:
Modern rackets use poor quality graphite and fillers to save cost and so the rackets have no feel.
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