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Steaming shuttles

Discussion in 'Shuttlecock' started by david14700, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. noppy

    noppy Regular Member

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    i keep over a hundred birds which bathe daily and my best bird Loui is a Blue and Gold macaw if i dont give him a bath atleast once a week his feathers become brittle when preening.

    moisture in feathers is a necessity. but not too much which is why when steaming you must be careful
     
  2. milford30

    milford30 Regular Member

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    haha you can make your own bird shuttles :p
     
  3. noppy

    noppy Regular Member

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    they'd be very expensive and i could only make 1 or 2 a year :p
    [​IMG]

    they'd be a nice blue colour though
     
  4. AurorAX

    AurorAX Regular Member

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    Honestly, I don't see much of a different in durability when I steam shuttles or not.
     
  5. michael23

    michael23 Regular Member

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    I second this, but then again, I might not be doing it properly...
     
  6. Alom

    Alom Regular Member

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    Steaming the shuttle does help but you have to leave them for a few days to dry properly otherwise the shuttle slows down (due to excess moisture). Its the best method for old shuttle stock which become brittle because the natural oil in the feathers have dried up. Best thing to do with new shuttles is to store them in a semi moist environment (cellar). But if you store them in a place where moisture is too high, they need to be dried a few days before play otherwise the shuttle will be slow.
     
  7. Tony Sun

    Tony Sun Regular Member

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    I don't agree with your opinion.
    First, let us talk about rotation speed. The main factor is the angle when inserting feathers into cork. If the angle between two feathers is big, then the rotation speed will be quick, if it is small, the rotation speed will be slow. Generally we recommend the rotation from 400-450/MINUTES.

    Secondly, fresh feathers. Are you sure the shuttlecocks you got are made of fresh feathers? Most shuttlecock manufacturers and feather manufacturers will stock at least 20million feather pcs in their warehouse every year. They use these stock the next year, and then collect fresh feathers in the warehouse for the next coming year. Therefore, nearly 90% shuttlecocks are not made of fresh feathers. Our factory has stocked 20,000kg raw feather materials and 4,000,000 feather pcs already.

    Thirdly, shuttlecock speed, I agree the speed will be changed a little if we steam the shuttlecocks. But you must know that speed is not a point, but a distance around 35cm. If 9.14m is the beginning of speed 76, then 9.49m will be the end of speed 76. So steaming shuttlecocks don't affect too much, the excess steam absorbed by the feathers is less than 0.1g, so if the shuttlecock is speed 76, the shuttlecock will be still speed 76, at most speed 77. So I don't think it will affect you too much, right? In other word, when you order the shuttlecocks, can you confirm the speed is exactly right? Shuttlecock speed is not decided by one factor, but by many factors such as weight, rotation speed, skirt diameter, the gravity, etc.

    Hope these information are helpful.
     
  8. hduong

    hduong Regular Member

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    I just bought 5 tube of feature shuttles and will steam them 48 hours before play. Will try a couple unsteamed and see if it makes a difference. Hopefully don't miss hit too much as steaming will not help!
     
  9. Tony Sun

    Tony Sun Regular Member

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    ok, expect to get your comment after practice.
     
  10. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Exactly what does steaming the shuttle do that can prolong its life? Where does the moisture creep into and how and what do they do to prolong its life? I can understand old shuttles that have lost a high percent of its natural oils getting a "lifesaver" in the form of moisture to replace those lost natural oils, which of course is not as good as new but will make the shuttle less brittle. But with new and fresh shuttles that have all their natural oils intact, where will the moisture from steaming go? It will certainly not replace the natural oils. The most important structure for structural integrity is the shaft. It is not simply a hollow tube but has many celled walls and structures of keratin, with natural oils. Once the oils are gone the shafts become brittle in cold and dry weather.
    Shuttles in good condition are water-proof and steaming the shuttles will not get any moisture into the feathers, unless the feathers have lost their natural oils.
    You can try wetting the feathers of the shuttle, shake it and see if there is still moisture. If it is still moist then steaming or wetting is recommended. If not, it is redundant.
    The resins in the shuttle may be affected by any water. If shuttles are old steaming will help but even then you must finish playing with all the steamed shuttles as leaving them for future days will be no good. Steam can be very hot too and old resins will soften.
    I used to wet or dry cool steam my shuttles before during winter, because they were probably too old. I don't do that anymore and my shuttles can now last as long, if not better.
     
  11. hduong

    hduong Regular Member

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    what would one consider old shuttles? 1 year or more?
     
  12. tckang

    tckang Regular Member

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    Just to share my experience

    This is quite interesting ....

    1) First of all, in Northern China, like Beijing, winter is cold and super dry (<20% humidity, sometimes below 10%). So this causes badminton players here to use thick string (BG65) for one thing, and the other most important thing is to 'steam' your shuttles, even brand new off the shelve ones.
    Now forgive me as i am no rocket scientist, so spare me all those jargons like rotational speed, etc etc. What i can tell you is, local or expats in Beijing, like it or not, we 'steam' our new shuttle just minutes before play.
    Like some of you, i come from a very humid tropical country (Malaysia). And when i first see this, i am very sceptical. So, i just took out a shuttle without 'steaming' and play a game with it. It is featherless by 10 point. :eek: (We smash a lot) So, no choice, take a break and go 'steam' it. after 5 minutes of doing so, the same newly open shuttle can last 2 games. And i repeat this experiment for different brand of shuttles.

    So to taneepak, it works, especially over here in Beijing during winter and don't ask me why. It WORKS. People will think you are either too rich or pardon me, stupid if you use a new tube of unsteam shuttle. Now, for those who tried 'steaming' and find it no difference, my only answer is maybe your area is not as dry (low humidity)as some of us in other parts of the world. Like in Malaysia, we never even heard of steaming shuttlecock. It will be a joke if anyone were to suggest that.

    2) Now before you guys asking how the heck you can 'steam' your shuttle so fast? Well in Beijing we no need to take so much energy of using shower room, etc etc. IF you are in a very dry winter country, i am sure all of you has use Air Humidifier before. All you have to do, is to open up the top and bottom lid of the whole tube, and put the tube on the outlet of the humidifier for about 5 minutes. (Let the steam go through freely the whole tube, bottom up)

    Whether you believe it or not, it works, and it is fast and convenient and it works marvel in Beijing. Everyone is doing it.

    Just for sharing.
     
    #52 tckang, Jan 18, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  13. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    It is hard to say. Conditions of handling, transportation, storage, and of course age, all are factors. The only fool-proof way is to play it during cold and dry periods. All feather shuttlecocks will dry out overtime, even to the extent that no wetting or steaming will help. If they are old they will break easily at the shafts, just like old and tired bones that are no longer young. When you are old taking calcium is akin to wetting the shuttles-it may help but it is not the same as young bones.
    Some years back a very large badminton shuttlecock company, now claiming to be the #1 in the world, nearly went bankrupt speculating on the feathers market by cornering most of the supply of feathers. It then squeezed the market and increased prices. But with increased prices demand fell and meantime the huge inventories of feathers were getting old and dried out. Needless to say it nearly went bankrupt and no banks would extend a credit lifeline. However, as luck would have it the Bank of China came to its rescue with a huge credit line and it survived.
     
  14. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Hong Kong may not be as cold as Beijing but there are days when the temperature goes down to 8 to 9 degrees C and a RH of 15%. In the hall it may be about 15 degrees C and RH 15%. Yes, I have seen many players steaming or wetting their shuttles, some to no avail, others benefitted. Some complain about using up to 12-18 shuttles in a 2-hrs session.
    I used to bring a humidifier to the courts too The machine generates cold steam and it was used by the players.
    However, I don't bring the machine anymore as I don't use it now. If you choose your shuttles well with better durability-and this usually means higher grade shuttles-then I find steaming redundant.
    I find steamed shuttles' playability not so good.
    For example, in a 2-hr session in winter with above conditions, I rotate using high grade shuttles and my lowest grade ones. With my higher grades I average 2 shuttles to the lower grades (duck feathers) of about 5 shuttles without steaming.
    Good grade goose feathers are more durable than good grade duck feathers.
     
  15. tckang

    tckang Regular Member

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    Agree on that.
    But the only difference is some of us here play in a social club where shuttles are pre-provided and we have no choice of selecting it :D :D :D In this case humidifier steaming helps ;)
    I am that kind of player that gets annoyed by constant too frequent shuttle changing during a game, not to mentioned a one -two missing feather shuttle affects our game enjoyment totally.
     
  16. mindfields

    mindfields Regular Member

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    Guys,

    Dry Shuttles are brittle, Waterlogged shuttles are to soggy, heavy & will take extra punishment due to the weight.

    There's a natural balance that's just right in between the two.

    It's not a case of age. If old shuttles are dry Steam them. If new shuttles are dry, steam them. If they're fine leave them alone.

    New shuttles are probably more likely to be near optimum. So don't need steaming mostly.

    P.S. The oils only help prevent drying. If you steam dry shuttles that don't have oils they'll dry out in a week or so & need re-steaming later to get the best out of them.
     
    #56 mindfields, Jan 20, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  17. noelp

    noelp Regular Member

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    Hi Tony Sun,
    Do you know what are the optimal conditions for storing shuttles?

    N
     
  18. noelp

    noelp Regular Member

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    Hi,

    I've seen shuttles being stored in a humidity controlled cabinet. Can anyone shed more light on this practice?
     
  19. urameatball

    urameatball Regular Member

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    1 shuttle per hour will be a miracle here in Canada.
    My friends all use EG1130 (aeroplane black) and none of us have EVER had a shuttle last more than 1/2hr. Even if we don't lose any feathers, there will be too many cracks/splits on the stems for it to fly properly after about 15min.
     
  20. noelp

    noelp Regular Member

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    It seems that people are divided on the practice of steaming shuttles. There must be optimal storage conditions for shuttles. Can anyone tell us what they are??
     

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