Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Invention breathes new life into tennis balls

14.06.2005


The traditional cry of “new balls please” at tennis courts throughout the country could become a thing of the past thanks to a new invention by a University of Bath student.

Aimée Cubitt, a final year Mechanical Engineering student, has developed a new device which pumps air into tennis balls to extend their useful life and restore the bounce of old balls.

This is useful because tennis balls start to lose their bounce as soon as they are removed from their container as the pressurised air within their rubber core starts to seep out.



Playing with flat balls can increase the likelihood of tennis elbow and causes the ball to behave in a less consistent manner, affecting a player’s game.

In major tournaments, like Wimbledon, umpires need to call for new balls after around every nine games to make sure that the balls stay within the regulations*.

But there is currently no way for amateur players to reinvigorate their tennis balls once they have gone flat, resulting in thousands of balls being thrown away each year and many amateur players using below-regulation balls.

As part of her final year project on the Innovation, Engineering and Design course at the University, Aimée discovered that storing tennis balls in a pressurised container can help slow down pressure loss and even reverse it.

Her invention, which she has called Pump‘n’Bounce, is incorporates a hand-operated pump into a tennis ball canister, allowing players to pressurise the container they store their tennis balls in.

“It is a fairly simple idea really, but the tests have shown that you can quite literally breathe new life into tennis balls by putting them under pressure,” said Aimée, who graduates in July.

“Pump‘n’Bounce is a small device which will allow amateur tennis players to get the most out of their tennis balls. The tennis players I have surveyed are really keen to get their hands on the product.

“It should be possible to manufacture and sell Pump’n’Bounce for about £15, and players will be able to recoup their costs fairly quickly, as initial tests have shown that it is possible to double if not treble the lifetime of a tennis ball using this kind of system.”

Aimée, who has been involved in setting up the Student Enterprise Centre at the University of Bath and is a founder member of BANTER, the University’s student enterprise society, is keen to try and develop the product after she graduates.

Manufacturers currently advise players that tennis balls should be stored in the can they came in when they are not in use. This won’t prevent them from losing pressure, but can slow it down.

“Tennis ball manufacturers could sell their tennis balls with a Pump‘n’Bounce canister which would help add value to the product they are selling and extend its lifetime for the benefit of their customers,” said Aimée, who is keen to hear from potential commercial partners interested in helping develop the product.

After graduating in July and taking some time out from studies, Aimée hopes to start a career in product design.

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/articles/releases/pumpnbounce140605.html

More articles from Innovative Products:

nachricht Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks
22.02.2017 | Technische Universität Chemnitz

nachricht A shampoo bottle that empties completely -- every last drop
27.06.2016 | Ohio State University

All articles from Innovative Products >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>