Modern day tennis players tend to play with more spin and as a result, hit the ball out of the top of the racket rather than the centre. The disadvantage of this is players swing with more force to generate more power and spin. This puts extra load on the player’s arm and can result in injury. BASF’s expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy supports tennis racket producers to solve this problem. The Dunlop research team used the E-TPU for the development of the Sonic Core technology. Designed for the tennis player looking for strong cushioning, high rebound, speed, and lightweight performance, the Sonic Core is built with intuitive design and technology principles unmatched in the industry, the companies said in a joint statement.
Located at the two and ten o’clock areas of the racket, Sonic Core made with Infinergy creates a high performing yet comfortable material. Dunlop’s material testing shows the main highlight is its 46 % increase in rebound height vs. the company’s original Sonic Core material resulting in 2 % faster ball speed off the racket. In addition to superior rebound properties, the Infinergy material also has very good damping properties and reduces vibrations up to 37 % vs. a standard carbon fibre racket. The Sonic Core technology can be found in Dunlop’s next generation CX racket series.
Dunlop is owned by Sumitomo Rubber Group and has its headquarters in Kobe, Japan. The company uses Infinergy also in the production of its padel bats.
|“Infinergy is designed not only for footwear but also for sports equipment like the Dunlop tennis racket that gives players an advantage on the court,” said Dr. Jens Peter Dierssen, Head of Global Business Management Infinergy at BASF. “When working with Dunlop to design the new CX rackets, our goal was to maximise durability, cushioning and speed with an aggressive advancement in performance that sets a new benchmark for the industry.”