Transient analysis of a tennis racket using PC-based finite elements and experimental techniques Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p2676x74t

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  • Only very recently has modern technology been applied to the design of the tennis racket. In fact, the tennis player of a few hundred years ago would easily recognize today's racket. Although the literature reveals a surprising number of studies on racket mechanics, little work has been reported on the dynamic stresses involved during tennis play. Such investigations lead naturally to questions of fully stressed design optimization. An AMF/Head "Professional" tennis racket was modeled on an IBMPC-AT using the MSC-PAL finite element code. Experimental verification of the computer model was accomplished in two ways. First, the racket was clamped at the handle, loaded statically, and deflections measured by dial indicator. Next, the racket was instrumented with piezoelectric accelerometers, caused to vibrate in its fundamental mode, and the resulting acceleration-time history recorded on a digital oscilloscope. This data was translated on the IBMPC-AT to reveal the racket's fundamental natural frequency. These experimental results were then compared to the predictions from the finite element model. For dynamic loading, the racket was mounted in a test fixture utilizing a spring-loaded arm. Tennis balls were fired from a pitching machine with the acceleration-time history again recorded on a digital oscilloscope. The data was processed on the IBMPC-AT and used as input for the finite element transient analysis, and dynamic stresses in the racket frame were determined. The results are disscused and future research opportunities are indicated.
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