How To Make Composite Softball Bats
Ever wondered how to make composite softball bats? Good composite softball bats combine the power of wood and durability of aluminum. This offers the best of both worlds in a lightweight bat.
The manufacturer needs:
- Carbon fiber sheets
- Steel form
- Industrial iron
- Hot steel roller
- Polypropylene tape
- Braided carbon/fiberglass
- Braided heavy carbon
- Industrial oven
- Bat mold
- Five-ton puller
- Pneumatic bending equipment
- Spray Paint
- Poly-carbonate plug
- Hydraulic ram
- Steel Rod
- Synthetic leather
- Carbon fiber sheets. The first step in making composite softball bats is creating pliable sheets of carbon fiber, glass, and Kevlar embedded in plastic resin. Crisscrossed sheets are ironed together (on the paper backing), then run through a hot steel roller that fuses the layers together, before slicing to size.
- Sheets Spiraled On. After the paper liner is removed, the sheets of carbon fiber are spiraled around a steel bat form. Polypropylene tape is added to squeeze the air out between the layers. Then the softball bat is baked in an oven for two hours to cure the resin and fuse them all together.
- Other Layers. Once baked, the tape is removed. Tubes of braided carbon and fiberglass, braided carbon, and a synthetic weave called aramid are slid on and taped, before placing the softball bat into a mold.
- In the Mold. Now epoxy resin is injected. The mold applies hot pressure to bake all the layers together and create the shape of the composite softball bat.
- Steel Form Removed. The bat can now hold its own shape. The steel from is removed by five-ton puller, and tested for flexibility using pneumatic equipment.
- Finishing the Shape. A lathe a cutter cuts the resin base into a knob at the grip end. The bat is then spun to sand the bat.
- Painting. The composite softball bat is next dipped in primer and hung to dry. Then individual markings are added, using spray paint in a variety of colors, decals, and laser printed logos.
- Adding Weight. Next, the end of the bat if pressure-fitted with a poly-carbonate plug which is sealed with resin. Resin is pumped in through a hole in the knob to meet weight specifications.
- Adding Balance. Once the composite softball bat is checked for proper weight, a hydraulic ram drives a steel pin into the hole in the bottom of the knob to attain the correct balance.
- Wrapping it up. The final step is wrapping the handle in synthetic leather for a better grip.
Creating composite softball bats is complex, but the end product can improve the game of any player. However, it’s still the best players, not the best bats, that will win a ball game.