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 A ski jacket that actively gets rid of sweat
30.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht A fashionable chemical and biological threat detector-on-a-ring
12.10.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Innovative Products >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature

17.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>