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Discussion: Why Composite Bats?

Posted Discussion
Jan. 8, 2008
Men's 70
267 posts
Why Composite Bats?
I just had a chat with aero-space Composite Materials engineer and found out that composite material can be made to be stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum which is public knowledge and not proprietary info. These new materials have a distinct advantage over the former aluminum alloys in that composites have a characteristic called…get this now- “anisotropic” properties. This means that the composite material has elastic properties that are NOT all lined-up in the same linear directions as other materials like aluminum and titanium that can’t be altered.

Commercial airplanes for example, until just recently were always made out of aluminum/titanium, but with the composite wing they can now make it stiff where it needs to be stiff and more flexible in other areas so they don’t break during flight (a good thing) along with the aircraft being more fuel efficient.

These multi-directional properties allows bat engineers to alter the fibers weave angle and direction so that they can fine tune a bat that is stiff in handle with a corresponding softer barrel to yield a greater “trampoline” effect.

Understand that a stiff handle is necessary to allow for more compression of the barrel when the ball collides with it yielding a larger trampoline effect. If the bat handle allows a lot of bat flex then the barrel will not compress as much which gives us seniors to 30-40 extra feet further on our long fly’s compared to say aluminum C405!

Also, the thickness of the bat fiber-walls is not the only factor that determines the level of trampoline effect as you can “dumb down” a bat’s performance by altering the composites lay-up-process by the directional vectors of the material.

As we know, one sure way to increase the performance of a bat is to enhance what is known as the trampoline effect of the barrel. The barrel of the bat essentially acts as a spring board during the bat-ball collision. If the barrel spring is very stiff, then the ball compresses a great deal upon impact and loses a significant amount of energy thereby losing it’s shape and aero-dynamic flight characteristics in the process of compression and re-expansion of the bat barrel.

So, if the barrel of the bat is made to be softer, then the barrel compresses more, the ball compresses less, and the ball loses less energy during the collision and ‘fly’s’ further. Furthermore, the energy which was temporarily stored in the barrel spring board is returned to the ball (i.e. composite material has high memory) and the batter-ball speed is greatly increased after the collision.

By the bat engineers adjusting the stiffness of the barrel, a manufacturer is able to "fine-tune" the trampoline effect of a bat to increase or decrease performance as desired for(e.g. ASA/SSUSA/USSSA/NSA). Composite materials provide a manufacturer with a very wide range of possibilities to design a bat to a targeted performance and/or feel and that’s why the composite bats are the “bats of choice” in senior softball.

Bashbro1(W.E. Ruth 60’s Kent, WA Major+)

Definitions from Dictionary Dot Com:

Anisotropic: Means that it’s differing in all directions according to orientation, as light scattered by a liquid crystal.

Isotropic: Means that it’s identical in all directions; invariant with respect to direction.
Jan. 8, 2008
Hit the gap
Men's 70
154 posts
Good stuff Bash. I have a question regarding handle flex. As you know, the Easton Synergy CNT Flex has been one of the most sought after ASA bats. It took me a while to get used to the flex but I have to say, that it is the best balanced ASA bat I have used. Based on your comments, would you suggest a stiffer handle? I know you don't swing ASA but if you did, what would the recommendation be? Balanced not EL.

Jan. 8, 2008
Men's 50
535 posts
THE ONE & ONLY BASH BROTHER: What u have stated is a well known fact in the field of Engineering.

I have been hit' 2 End Loaded test bats that r Composite. These bats hit almost as good as the U-2.

The only problem, after 6000 swings, hit' in cold, wet weather, these 2 bats have not broken.

We have put 400 swings or so, on them, in 1 day. These Bat last too long. Bat Manufact' will not make their ton of money.

The New Story..... this yr, balls maybe, made that will do 80% of the work. Look 4 the New 53 cor balls w/ a 260 comp. Great balls, that will fly, weather one uses a Composite, Double, or single wall Ball. Todays bats, do 80 % of the work.

What I have posted, comes from several SGMA members.

BEST FACTOR. These New Balls, have a impact of less than 160 ..... At 170 .... or greater, a human, will have serious head damage, if, one is hit in the head.

Have a great yr....... The STONEMAN
Jan. 9, 2008
Men's 70
267 posts
Hey there “Hit-duh-Gap”! How’s the weather over there in the “Inland Empire”? We’ve had nothing but lots of rain and cold for weeks here on the Westside of Washington State Cascade range and my swing is getting “rusty” and not just figuratively speaking either! LOL

Your remark in your post about “it’s the best damn balanced ASA bat I’ve every used” to me is about equivalent to me saying “it’s was the best safe sex I’ve every had”!! Both are less rewarding than the real thing if you know what I mean.

Revisiting my recent post above about handle stiffness and how it relates to the “trampoline” effect, I believe it’s “safe” to say that ASA bats, given the 98mph ceiling, would have their bats designed with flexible handles in order to quiet the bat down and reducing the ball-exit-speed.

ASA must keep their bats performing under the radar of 98mph BBS and if an ASA bat had a stiff handle you can bet your bottom dollar, that the barrel will have a reduced “trampoline” effect designed in thereby off-setting the advantage of a stiff handle IMHO.

STONEMAN: The ONE the ONLY! Very interesting stuff about the proposed NEW balls “hitting” the market with a higher COR(coefficient Of Restitution) and then couple with a lower compression to control distance. Excellent info and the physics make sense. The higher the COR the more the call will bounce off the barrell and the lower the hardness the less the ball will compress the barrel yielding a lower “tram;” effect.

Regrading your remark about “some serious head damage”…I’ve been hit in the head several times but obviously I’m ok???

How about STONEMAN PhD?

Jan. 9, 2008
Men's 50
535 posts
BASH BRO: Thanks a lot..... Piled Higher & Deeper. U r start' to sound like that Georgia Peach. (- -)
What a friend? Keep ur E-Mails a com'....

This New Ball will cause less damage if, a player is hit in the head. @ 170 (#/") or more, a person is @ risk of die'.

Hope to c u @ a few events...... The STONEMAN..
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