Simulation of a badminton racket - A parametric study of racket design parameters using FEA

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Applied mechanics (MPAME), MSc
Blomstrand, Elias
Demant, Mike
Badminton, said to be the worlds fastest ball sport, is a fairly unknown sport from a scientific point of view. There has been great progress made to get from the old wooden rackets of the 19th century to the light-weight high performance composite ones used today, but the development process is based on a trial and error method rather than on scientific knowledge. The limited amount of existing studies indicate that racket parameters like shaft stiffness, center of gravity and head geometry affect the performance of the racket greatly. These studies have either been physical test with limit number of data points or simplified computer simulations. In this work a parametric study of racket models is performed with the purpose to find key racket design parameters using Finite Element Analysis, FEA. Eleven racket models are simulated using one smash and one clear swing. One is the reference model, based on a modern isometric racket, and the other ten have one parameter modified to see how this alters the response. In addition to the swing tests, the sweet spots of the racket head is analysed and the eigenmodes of the racket are investigated. The results show that the previously mentioned parameters have a noticeable effect on racket performance. A low shaft stiffness may give higher shuttle velocities if used correctly, and an inconsistent shuttle speed and trajectory if used incorrectly. High center of gravity has a less inconsistent effect but instead would require more effort to swing. Noticeable is that the Y-shaped head introduced by Prince, which since has been removed from the market, perform very well in some aspects. These results show that FEA should be seen as a useful tool in badminton racket development and with further work on the field advances can be made that would make badminton the definitive fastest ball sport in the world. Keywords: Badminton, Racket, Composite, FEA, FEM, LS-Dyna, Smash, Clear, Sweet spot
Fastkroppsmekanik , Materialvetenskap , Solid mechanics , Materials Science
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