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Proceedings Paper

Constrained layer damping of a tennis racket
Author(s): Michael Robert Harms; H. S. Gopal; Ming-Lai Lai; Po-Jen Cheng
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Paper Abstract

When a tennis ball strikes a racket the impact causes vibrations which are distracting and undesirable to the player. In this work a passive damping system used to reduce vibration is described. The damping system uses a viscoelastic material along with a stiff composite constraining layer which is molded on the inner surface of the tennis racket frame. When a ball strikes a racket with this damping system the vibration causes shearing strain in the viscoelastic material. This strain energy is partially dissipated by the viscoelastic material, thereby increasing the racket damping. An analysis of the design was performed by creating a solid CAD model of the racket using Pro/Engineer. A finite element mesh was created and the mesh was then exported to ANSYS for the finite element modal analysis. The technique used to determine the damping ratio is the modal strain energy method. Experimental testing using accelerometers was conducted to determine the natural frequency and the damping ratio of rackets with and without the damping system. The natural frequency of the finite element model was benchmarked to the experimental data and damping ratios were compared. The modal strain energy method was found to be a very effective means of determining the damping ratio, and the frequencies and damping ratios correlated well with the experimental data. Using this analysis method, the effectiveness of the damping ratio to the change in key variables can be studied, minimizing the need for prototypes. This method can be used to determine an optimum design by maximizing the damping ratio with minimal weight addition.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2720, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Passive Damping and Isolation, (1 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.239112
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Robert Harms, 3M Co. (United States)
H. S. Gopal, 3M Co. (United States)
Ming-Lai Lai, 3M Co. (United States)
Po-Jen Cheng, Wilson Sporting Goods (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2720:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Passive Damping and Isolation
Conor D. Johnson, Editor(s)

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