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  1. #1
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    Question What's the shelf life for strings?

    While piling up various kinds of strings and knowing that I won't use them all within a year or two, start to wonder about following.

    - how long are they good for while sitting on the shelf? Since they are polymers, they will age over time.

    - what's the best way to store the strings, in a dry and cool places, in a refridgerator, ...?

    - how can I find out how "old" the string is?

    Thanks, DC.

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    Strings can last forever if you leave them in good climate conditions. A place that is not too hot or too cold and not too humid or dry.

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    i've been told by the pro shop that string should last around 12 months without problems. i've had strings for 2 yrs without degradation. for 3 yrs... well, i think that's way too long... i disagree that they can last forever. i had one pack of BG65 (yellow) in storage in which i totally forgot about it for 10 yrs+. i figured let's not waste it and string it. it felt really, really dead. my friend broke the string in a few smashes and he is not even intermediate.

    may be panda or someone else can put some input?

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    Assume the package is perfectly sealed, and the storage condition is acceptable (not too hot, too cold or too dry, etc), then I think the string should be usable for at least 2-3 years without any problem. I am not sure about the "forever" part, though.

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    1) For many of us stringer here, we used up the string we purchased in less than 12 month. So often time, the string shelf life is unknown passed 12 month. For me, all my string will be used up in less then 6 month.
    2) I mainly use Yonex string with some time using Ashaway MP in reel. So I can only use Yonex string as example. Here is the storage conditions if I remember right. temp 10~29 degree C or 50~85 degree F and humidity 25% to 90%. Since Yonex set are sealed in a plastic bag, it will last at lease 1 year. I second what LB said, the string will not last forever.
    Yes, I know these are not too much of help regarding your question.

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    I was estimating about 3 to 5 years. BUT, that's after the string is freshly made by factory.

    From the packages I have, I don't see any batch number, manufacturing date, etc, to indicate when they are made.

    I guess the only way to tell whether it's still good or not is to cut a piece out of the package, and pull it hard and make it break. from the breaking tension, we can rough tell how good / bad the string is, correct?

    DC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunmaster View Post
    I was estimating about 3 to 5 years. BUT, that's after the string is freshly made by factory.

    From the packages I have, I don't see any batch number, manufacturing date, etc, to indicate when they are made.

    I guess the only way to tell whether it's still good or not is to cut a piece out of the package, and pull it hard and make it break. from the breaking tension, we can rough tell how good / bad the string is, correct?

    DC.
    If you are really concerned about the quality, try to sell some here or on ebay, under the assumption that they are not super old yet, and you won't use them in a short period of time. Or try to acquire as much work as possible around your local clubs.

  8. #8
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    Yes and no.
    1) to test the string breaking tension, you need a long enough piece of string. (depend on the machine, it could be 0.5m or 1.5m) If you cut off a 1.5m, it will be very hard to string a whole racquet.
    2) only reason you want to test it is to make sure you do not spend time to string up a racquet to find out the string is dead. however, the breaking tension is not the best indicator of string performance. I would say the best way to test is to tie and mount the string on a drop weight machine (don't cut), set your desire tension on the drop weight. Once the bar is leveled, lift up the bar about 5~10 degree and let it drop, you should see the bar bounce up and down. If a string just stop cold and the bar is lower, the string is bad. This way, you do not need to cut a long piece of string.

    good luck

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    Silentheart:

    Since I have a CP machine (ST-200), not sure how I can do the test you metioned on the drop weight machine. Maybe I should try to do double - triple - or quadrupule pulls at increasing tension (+0.5 lb each time) and see how the string will hold the tension.

    LazyBuddy:

    I really wanted to acquire more work. But, I can foresee about ~10 string jobs per year around my area here. For me, I acquired the machine and tools, simply because I hate to drive 2+ hours one way to Boston area and have the re-stringing job done. Even that, I still have to wait, which is not to mention the fuel cost, toll charge, time away from my kids, etc.

    Looks like I should just buy new string when I need them.

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    Good thread.I also wanted to know how long unused strings can last quite a while.

  11. #11
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    Dear Dunmaster,

    The test I proposed is using a drop weight machine. I am OK with ST200 so here is what I propose. I will suggest you to get a digital fishing scale from Walmart. You need it to calibrate your machine anyway. Take out about 2 ft (or 0.6m) of string but do not cut it. Then tie one end of the string to the scale. hook the other end of mounting post or the mounting arm. set tension on your tensioning head. tension the string and wait for a few second for string to settle. then pluck the string like a gitar (move string at lease 5 degree) and see the scale weight. let go and see the scale weight change. It shoule take at lease 4 or 5 cycle to settle down again. the check the static tension again. the second time tension should not be too far off the origional tension. 2% is acceptable range to me. Hope this help.

    Good luck and nice weekend.

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