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Nanotechnology in Different Aspects of Tennis Ranging

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Nanotechnology is the technology that focuses on particles that are within 1-100 nanometers which is on an extremely small scale. Over the past decades these nanoparticles have been manipulated and integrated into sport, in particular tennis, enhancing players’ performance capabilities and improving the general way of play. Although nanotechnology seems very promising, limitations are evident. Nanotechnology is utilised in many aspects of tennis ranging from the clothing to the equipment although two applications of focus are tennis rackets and tennis balls.

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Tennis rackets were originally composed of wood although through society it was discovered that it had many drawbacks; it was heavy and people found it difficult to put in motion. Scientists and engineers then began to research other ways to construct tennis rackets and decided on a graphite frame which was definitely an improvement. Society was now able play tennis more efficiently and to higher level. Although with the introduction of nanotechnology in the recent century, tennis rackets were given a major boost in performance; tennis became much faster and easier. Hence the way of life in society advanced forward.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are comprised of carbon atoms covalently bonded together in hexagonal shapes into the form of a cylinder. Carbon nanotubes can either be single walled or, for added strength, multi-walled where the layers of nanotubes are concentrically bonded together (Berger, 2018). CNTs are less than a nanometre in width and can span up to a length of some centimetres in certain cases. Bonded with sp2 bonds they occupy sturdy intermolecular interactions and in conjunction with their tendency to amalgamate with each other produces remarkable strength-to-weight ratio (Boysen & Booker, 2005). This property is applied in many areas of society, in particular the sport of tennis.

Back in the olden days, tennis rackets were comprised of wood which made them very heavy, slow and inefficient. People, amateurs in particular, were exerting a lot of energy and found it difficult to provide a powerful swing to hit the ball (Cutri, 2013). Although from the recent breakthrough of nanotechnology tennis rackets were never the same again. As mentioned previously carbon nanotubes are a very strong and light material and when integrated within tennis rackets produces a very powerful tool.

Carbon Nanotubes are five times more powerful than carbon and when implemented into tennis rackets produces a product that is ideal for players looking for power, control and stability. At the time of impact the nanotechnology-induced rackets remains rather sturdy which is comparable to the trampoline effect due to the perfect structure of carbon nanotubes. For example, Babolat, a major tennis enterprise, have positioned carbon nanotubes within opposite sides of the racket’s graphite frame and between the top of the handle and the middle of the frames.

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