Performance Prediction of Active Piezo Fiber Rackets in Terms of Tennis Power


Several former top players sent a letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) encouraging the governing body to revisit the question of rackets. In the letter, the players wrote that racket technology has led to major changes in how the game is played at the top level. This paper investigated the physical properties of a new type of racket with active piezoelectric fibers appeared recently in the market, and predicted the various factors associated with the frontal impact, such as impact force, contact time, deformation of ball and strings, and also estimated the racket performance such as the coefficient of restitution, the rebound power coefficient, the post-impact ball velocity and the sweet areas relevant to the power in tennis. It is based on the experimental identification of the dynamics of the ball-racket-arm system and the approximate nonlinear impact analysis with a simple swing model. The predicted results with forehand stroke model can explain the difference in mechanism of performance between the new type racket with active piezoelectric fibers and the conventional passive representative rackets. It showed that this new type racket provides higher coefficient of restitution on the whole area of string face and also gives larger rebound power coefficients particularly at the topside and bigger powers on the whole area of string face but the difference was not so large. It seems that the racket-related improvements in play are relatively small and the players themselves continue to improve, accordingly there is a gap between a perception and reality.


川副 嘉彦 埼玉工業大学 大学院工学系研究科 システム工学専攻
中川 慎理 埼玉工業大学
中川 慎理 埼玉工業大学 工学部
武田 幸弘 埼玉工業大学 工学部
川副 嘉彦 埼玉工業大学
武田 幸弘 埼玉工業大学