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SPECTRA: Possible New Material For Badminton Rackets and/or String?

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by DinkAlot, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
    Brand Representative

    Feb 20, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Southern California
    There's a relatively new, mysterious material called "spectra". It is very light, forgiving, and extremely strong/tough/durable and can be applied to many applications.

    Spectra's been used in bullet-resistant vests, composite baseball/softball bats and fishing line.
    In bats, spectra is woven into carbon fiber. This sparked Panda's interest because composite bat technology is not too different than badminton racket technology.

    More info here:

    So, anyone a spectra expert? Can it be applied to badminton?

    #1 DinkAlot, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  2. jamesd20

    jamesd20 Moderator

    Feb 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Leeds, UK
    I have no Idea. I know Spectra & Dyneema is used for ropes in Sailing as it has very low stretch & water absorbtion

    Vectran used to be used in ropes but became brittle & failed in UV light. A certain member experimented with Vectran in badminton rackets a while ago.

    Is this top secrete investigative R&D works?:)
  3. shooting stroke

    shooting stroke Regular Member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Professional / Badminton Coach
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia
    If yonex can use this material to make a new type of racket, i'll proposed that product to be name as YONEX NanoArc-SpecMotec Z-1000 Slash Speed Power TLP:D
  4. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

    May 23, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Surrey, UK
    I've used spectra (dyneema) in caving. It's the perfect material for SRT footloops. Here's what Marbach & Tourte say in Alpine Caving Techniques:

    The optimum material for this application is Spectra cord (or Dyneema), a rope made of specially extended chain polyethylene fibers, which is well suited to caving. It is so light that it floats on water; it is inelastic yet is stronger than steel, which allows us to use diameters as small as 5mm. It is six times more abrasion resistant than nylon, and it is easy to melt the ends to prevent fraying. Always choose 100% Spectra cord (including the sheath) if possible, as it is the most abrasion resistant variety. It is completely white because Spectra cannot hold a dye; any cord having colored fibers indicates that it is a nylon blend.

    And on light rigging:

    Even in light rigging, it would be pure insanity to use 5-mm Spectra cord as your pit rope. ... Spectra is as static as a steel cable; in the event of an anchor failure, the resulting shock load could be critical.

    They also give this wonderful quote, when discussing the limits on light rigging:

    Trying to combine the advantages of nylon and Spectra would be like trying to crossbreed a fish and a rabbit, and we would then need to invent the appropriate mechanical devices.

    Spectra would be unsuitable for racket strings. It would be impossible to string a racket, because spectra does not stretch (well, no more than steel does). Even if you could somehow tension spectra, it would be useless for playing, for the same reason. I suppose you could try blending it with other materials to increase durability.

    As a racket material, I have no idea. It's light, strong, and inelastic. I'd be amazed if you could make a racket out of just spectra, but perhaps you could blend it into a carbon fibre mix. I've no clue what the result would be, though. Maybe you could use it to create a thin, super-strong shell around the frame, to increase durability.

    When assessing this material, bear in mind it's low melting point (about 150 Celsius). Spectra and Dyneema are actually brand names; the material itself is ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.
    #4 Gollum, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  5. ViningWolff

    ViningWolff Regular Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Process Engineer
    Strathmore Alberta
    It's a type of plastic, which tends to fatigue over time on it's own when formed into a solid body, non-filament form. I'd agree with Gollum - it may be best to try this as additive to existing graphite materials in an attempt to improve performance.

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