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Tennis String Materials & Construction

POLYESTER BASED TENNIS STRINGS:

EXAMPLES: Golden Set Power Cord, Hex Poly, Snake-Bite& Snake-Bite Smooth
MATERIAL PROPERTIES: Polyester based strings have improved a great deal over the last 10 years thanks to the development of co-polyesters (polyester blends) having more favourable mechanical properties. These new co-polyesters maintain tension better and offer a feel that is less harsh.
CONSTRUCTION: Typically extruded mono-filaments. Recent trend towards non-circular cross-sections (i.e.. Hex Poly) to increase spin potential (texture increases friction between ball and strings).
COMMENTS:
- Polyester based strings are the fastest growing segment of the tennis string market
- Have become extremely popular at the professional level
- The relatively low power of polyester (in comparison with nylon based or natural gut strings) allows for the generation of more spin
- Generally, stiffness is in between that of nylon and aramid based strings
- For a softer feel, Polyester strings are sometimes used only in the mains. A solid-core nylon based string is often used in the crosses (strings running perpendicular to handle axis) to soften the feel A combination of different string types like this is commonly referred to as a "hybrid" or "blend". Typically the more durable string will be installed in the mains (because main strings usually endure more abrasion and stress than cross strings). Sometimes a polyester string is used in crosses with a softer string in the mains (even softer feel at the cost of durability). Main strings tend to have a greater influence on string-bed behaviour (playability) than cross strings
- When trying polyester for the first time, it is generally recommended that a player use a tension that is 5-10% lower than what they would normally use with a nylon or natural gut based string (this will compensate for the higher stiffnes of polyester)

 

NYLON BASED TENNIS STRINGS:

EXAMPLES: Golden Set Synthetic Gut, Classic, Satin, Velvet & Maximal
MATERIAL PROPERTIES: Can be fairly soft or hard depending on chemical composition
CONSTRUCTION: Generally, the cores of solid-core strings are made from a soft nylon compound to provide elasticity. (nylon solid-core examples: Classic, Synthetic Gut). A harder nylon compound is often used as the jacket material. Abrasion and notch resistance improve as hardness increases. Nylon based, multi-filament core strings such as Golden Set Satin, Maximal or Velvet have cores consisting of many nylon filaments.
COMMENTS:
- Nylon based solid-core strings offer excellent value by providing good performance and durability characteristics at a reasonable price. Easy to string with thanks to moderate flexural stiffness and smooth low-friction surface
- Nylon based multi-filament core strings can provide levels of comfort, softness and power that approach those of natural gut string.

 

ARAMID TENNIS STRINGS:

EXAMPLES: Golden Set Dura-Match & Hard-Line (mains)
MATERIAL PROPERTIES: Aramid fibres are stiff, extremely durable (fantastic abrasion resistance) and extremely strong (can withstand high tension). Typically, aramid based strings are 3 to 5 times stiffer than nylon based strings. DuPont Kevlar fibre is classified as aramid along with Technora fibre.
CONSTRUCTION: Invariably, aramid based strings are multi-filament and generally contain some nylon based components. Kevlar is often used within the jacket because of its tremendous abrasion resistance.
COMMENTS:
- Due to the relative stiffness of aramid fibres, the racquet string-bed deflects less and remains flatter during impact than other strings
- Low deflection results in very good control but less power
- Aramid based strings are most suitable for hard-hitting players that do not require extra power from their string but want maximum control
- Aramids are generally considered to be the most durable string type
- Due to the high stiffness of aramid strings, they are usually only used in the mains (strings running parallel to handle axis). A solid-core nylon based string is often used in the crosses (strings running perpendicular to handle axis) to soften the feel. A combination of different string types like this is commonly referred to as a "hybrid" or "blend". Typically the more durable string will be installed in the mains (because main strings usually endure more abrasion and stress than cross strings). When trying an aramid based string for the first time, it is generally recommended that a player use a tension that is 10% lower than what they would normally use with a nylon or natural gut based string (this will compensate for the higher stiffness of aramid)
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