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Proceedings Paper

Use of piezoelectric dampers for improving the feel of golf clubs
Author(s): Emanuele Bianchini; Ronald L. Spangler; Tracy Pandell
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Paper Abstract

Several sports are based upon a tool (club, bat, stick) striking an object (ball, puck) across a field of play. Anytime two structures collide, vibration is created by the impact of the two. The impact of the objects excites the structural modes of the tool, creating a vibration that can be felt by the player, especially if the hit is not at a `sweet spot'. Vibration adversely affects both feel and performance. This paper explains how piezoelectric dampers were developed to reduce vibration and improve the feel of ball-impact sporting goods such as golf clubs. The paper describes how the dynamic characteristics of a golf club were calculated, at first in the free-free condition, and then during its operation conditions (the swing of the club, and the impact with the ball). The dynamic characteristics were used to develop a damper that addressed a specific, or multiple, modes of interest. The damper development and testing are detailed in this paper. Both objective laboratory tests and subjective player tests were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the piezoelectric dampers. The results of the tests, along with published medical data on the sensitivity of the human body, were used to draw a correlation between human feel and vibration reduction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3668, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (9 June 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.350758
Show Author Affiliations
Emanuele Bianchini, Active Control eXperts, Inc. (United States)
Ronald L. Spangler, Active Control eXperts, Inc. (United States)
Tracy Pandell, Active Control eXperts, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3668:
Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Norman M. Wereley, Editor(s)

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