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Tennis Rackets – Hyper-Carbon

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Introduction

Tennis Rackets - Hyper-Carbon Time Line 12th Century - Tennis rackets was made from solid Hickory or ash. These made it more difficult for players to produce effective shots because they were heavy and quite awkward. 1960's and 70s - Laciest introduced Aluminium and Prince brings Fibreglass into the production of Tennis rackets. 1980s - The manufacturers began to design lighter, graphite rackets. Graphite rackets have a rigid structure that does not bend on impact with the ball, so the strings deflect and rebound immediately. They are approximately 30% more powerful than the older wooden rackets. 1990s - Titanium is used to produce the more expensive rackets. 2002 Revolution - Wilson presents the revolutionary new material to produce Tennis rackets - HYPERCARBON Hybercarbon is a form of carbon fibre material produced with Polyacrylonitrile. What makes it Different from other materials? The Transfer of Kinetic Energy When the tennis ball is moving it contains kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy of the ball is transferred to the racket on impact as heat when the molecules of the racket vibrate. ...read more.

Middle

Young's modulus is the measure of the stiffness of a material, measured in Pa, Pascals or GPa, Giga Pascals. Stiffness is the ability of a material to bear high stress with little strain affecting the material. Which means that there is less extension of the tennis racket on impact of the ball. To put it in simpler terms, stiffness is how much a material stretches elastically when a force is applied. The higher the value of Young's Modulus, the stiffer the material is. The stiffness of the material helps the player to produce more powerful shots because the stiffer it is the more power it will have when it flicks the ball off the racket. As in a stiff material a large force is required to change the shape of an object and so a stiff material tends to want to move or change back to its original shape or position. Hypercarbon is lightweight partly because it has low density (1.77 g/cubic cm). Another reason that could explain Hypercarbon being lightweight is that the relative atomic mass of carbon (it's mass in relation to 1/12 or the carbon-12 isotope) ...read more.

Conclusion

Hyper carbon is made from carbon fibres of Polyacrylonitrile by a complicated heating process. when the polyacrylonitrile is heated, the heat causes the cyano repeat units to form cycles. The heat is turned up higher, and the carbon atoms kick off their hydrogens, and the rings become aromatic. This polymer is a series of fused pyridine rings. It is than heated again slow roasting the polymer some more at around 400-600 oC causes adjacent chains to join together like this: This expels hydrogen gas, and gives us a ribbon-like fused ring polymer. Next the heat is turned up again, anywhere from 600 all the way up to 1300 oC. when this happens our newly formed ribbons will themselves join together to form even wider ribbons like this: When this happens, nitrogen gas expel. The polymer achieved has nitrogen atoms along its edges, and these new wide ribbons can then merge to form even wider ribbons. As this happens, more and more nitrogen is expelled. When we're through, the ribbons are really wide, and most of the nitrogen is gone, leaving us with ribbons that are almost pure carbon in the graphite form. That's why we call these things carbon fibers. And as a result Hybercarbon is made. ...read more.

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