Development of materials transformed ping pong in table tennis , today one of the most complex sport in the world ,with 150 million active players and over 300 million fans .
Probably table tennis had the most accelerated evolution comparing to any other sport ,because materials characteristics are really of most importance for this sport : the ball entering in contact with different surfaces ,complex systems and individually distinct ,in an infinite variety of possibilities of speed, spin and placement of ball make this sport the one where performance is connected with the setups of the racket ,wear of rubbers, correct gluing , sport hall ,balls, tables ,space ,light ,humidity , shoes and surface contact ,etc .
Professional players prepare their rackets similar as preparing a katana for the fight .
They always have doubts if the racket is correctly responding to the eficience of their different strokes and the conditions of sport hall .
Any setup is specific to any player amateur or professional and in our days ,from this point of view amateurs are becoming more aware about importance of equipment and they pay real attention to racket (combination blade and rubbers ) adapted to their style in different periods of training and evolution .
General rule is to start with more control blades , thinner rubbers and after one develops his strokes and improve playing ,slowly change to more powerful setups .
But nobody paid real attention to the complexity of a racket .
Racket is a very complex physic system that hardly can be reproduced or duplicated .
A racket is characterized by:
- gravity center
- axes of moves
- handle and grip
- modulus of elasticity
- energy restitution capability
- DWELL TIME.
All this characteristics are depending of the materials that compose the racket.
The materials are :
- Blade :at least 1-3 or 5 layers of wood (85 % )- which is natural material and even with the finest selection is impossible to reproduce perfectly a spercification for final product -and other technical materials (carbon, fibre glass,Kevlar,texalium,basalt, etc ) , glued and pressed together with specific adhesives and techniques . There are also blades with 11 or even 17 different layers of materials glued with up to 10 or 16 layers of glue with
- Rubbers : two different vulcanized mixture of natural and synthetic rubber materials (sponge and top sheet ) made with different form and techniques which are assembled together by a gluing process . This process is so complex ,using raw natural materials and processes where ,time ,weight ,temperature are varying all the time so no manufacturer can control the processes in order to obtain always same rubber quality .The rubbers are simply characterized by weight (specific weight ) .
- Glue :to stick rubbers on blade . Rubbers have different elastic properties than blade and the INTERFACE –THE GLUE has to be ELASTIC in a certain manner in order to make the assembly compatible and adapted to player requirements . By controlling the thickness (multiple thinner layers ),uniformity of film ,drying time and ,force applied for gluing this element can adjust the DWELL TIME of the racket – the principle characteristic of this complex system .
SO GLUE IS THE FINE TUNING ELEMENT FOR OBTAINING THE REQUIRED RESPONSE OF THE RACKET (ELASTICITY AND DWELL TIME ) . WHY ? BECAUSE ALL MATERIALS USED,INCLUDING GLUE ARE NATURAL ,SO NOT IDENTICAL.
Once you have a blade one can consider that this element is always the same .This is wrong because of humidity ,sweat ,interaction with the water from glue ,damages that can appear ,residues films on surface ,even if the blade is varnished (which is a compulsory and good method for better protection ) blade is changing weight and gravity center in time and also dwell time or just simple not respond anymore to the new abilities of the player.
If one has two or three rackets (spare twin rackets ) will see that in time response becomes more different between the rackets ,even prepared identically . It is difficult ( I can say impossible )to have two or three identically blades.
- Because of manufacturing process it is difficult to have identical rubbers for spare and use always same rubbers with same characteristics. The selection process is simple :weight the rubbers and use always same weight (with package and without ) that fit with your style (choose what you liked more ) .One has to do this by himself , kindly asking seller for a certain weight of the packed rubber.
- For the sponsored players selection is done by manufacturers by weighting rubbers from the middle production lot and giving specific weight to specific players ,after testing .
- Blades and rubbers are all ageing :since for the blades this is a benefic process if the blade dries in time for rubbers it is different .
- After manufacturing the vulcanization process is continuing for a certain period of time ( 2-6 weeks ) so the rubber has a maximum response for a period of around another 2-6 weeks (2 -3 weeks for professional players ,they are more sensitive ).
- After that period the elastic properties are diminishing :time , storage, temperature ,heat , humidity ,UV ,air contact ,etc are ageing the rubbers . Even if one weight the rubbers is impossible to know when the rubber was manufactured and in what condition have been stored .
- That is why manufacturers do not write manufacturing date on rubbers .Rubbers will be too expensive or should lose value depending on this.
- For the sponsored players they select rubbers in the maximum period of response.
- So there are many factors that are determining the dwell time of your racket but the most important thing is that you can control and adjust to your needs the response of your racket by controlling the thickness of the glue film :
- if the rubber is selected , fresh and the right weight (or too heavy ) you may need only one layer on blade and one layer on rubber (only 2 grams of glue elastic film in total ) for better control
- if the rubber is too light or too old we can choose to use more layers of glue(not more than 0.1 mm in total ,but can be 3-6 grams of glue film ) to obtain more power and spin
- this is a fine tuning process : you can start with one layer ,not satisfied ,take off rubber from blade carefully not to damage the glue film and add one more layer of glue on blade and rubber and test again .Film too thick :peel off carefully and start again .Once you know your recipe you can reproduce it .
- THE MOST IMPORTANT SECRET FOR THE GLUE FILM IS TO LET IT DRY PERFECTLY :EVEN IF IT IS NOT DRIED COMPLETELY IT WILL DRY ON RACKET AND YOU WILL HAVE THE BEST AND STEADY RESPONSE IN ONE-TWO DAYS .
To understand the complexity of the racket as a physical system let’s make a review for a normal 5 layers blade :
- 5 layers of different thickness materials
- 4 layers of glue and different process for gluing the layers
- 2 films of elastic glue composed of different layers and process of gluing (pressing or not at a certain force ,time, etc )
- 2 rubbers composed of 3 different materials (6 layers in total )
- one sponge rubber foam
- one adhesive and gluing process
- one rubber top sheet
SO IN TOTAL THERE ARE 17 LAYERS OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS ASSEMBLED BY DIFFERENT PROCESSES .BUT COULD BE UP TO 41 LAYERS (DINAMIX BLADE ) .
THAT IS WHY REVOLUTION NO. 3 IT IS THE RIGHT TUNING SOLUTION FOR YOUR RACKET :
- IT HAS RIGHT ELASTICITY ,VISCOZITY , SELF LEVELING FEATURE ,EASY TO PEEL OFF , NEVER DAMAGING BLADE OR RUBBER ,RIGHT ADHERENCE , GOOD FREEZE -THAW RESISTANCE , NO COAGULATION, NO BALLING ,EASY TO USE AND CONTROL THE THICKNESS OF ADHESIVE FILM , MAINTAINING ELASTIC PROPERTIES FOR YEARS , ADDING MORE SPEED ,SPIN AND CONTROL TO YOUR RACKET .
- AND COMES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO USE IT FOR BEST PERFORMANCE !