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02.08.2013


Ever since their introduction in the early 1970's aluminum bats have dominated the youth and amateur adult baseball and softball markets.
At times the controversy over metal versus wood bats has become quite heated, resulting in threats of lawsuits between bat manufacturers, safety watch organizations, and sports regulatory groups.
Given the amount of controvery over the metal versus wood bat issue, there have been surprisingly few scientific studies comparing the performance of wood and metal baseball bats.
A second phase of the study attempted to explain the increase in performance of the aluminum bat by comparing the size of the "sweet spot" for the two bats by locating the center-of-percussion. In contrast to the 1977 study, a 1989 study concluded that metal bats did not outperform wood bats.[2] In this study balls were shot from a pitching machine towards bats held stationary (without swinging) in the hands of a player. The most comprehensive study comparing metal and wood bats under realistic playing conditions that I have come across was published by Crisco and Greenwald.[5,6] Their study involved actual players swinging bats at pitched balls in a batting cage. Disclaimer: While the results were not published in peer-reviewed research journals until 2000-2001, the data for the Crisco-Greenwald batting cage study was collected during 1997-1998. Because the barrel of an aluminum bat is hollow, the distribution of mass along the length of a metal bat is considerably different than it is for a solid wood bat.
The table at right shows data for two of the bats used in the Crisco-Greenwald batting cage study, wood bat (W) and metal bat (M2) from Fig. When a ball hits a wood bat, it compresses to nearly half its original diameter, losing up to 75% of its initial energy to internal friction forces during this compression. Again, the only published study todate which offers evidence of an enhancement in performance for metal bats due to an elastic property of the bat is the Crisco-Greenwald study.
Figure 3 compares batted ball speeds for balls hit with a wood bat (orange dots) and the highest performing metal bat (blue dots) used in their study.
Crisco & Greenwald were only able to conclude that an "inherent elastic property" of the bat was most likely present to explain the difference in batted- ball speeds shown in Figure 3. This advantage is a little tougher to scientifically validate - partly because the "sweet spot" is a term used to mean several different things relating to both the perception of feel and a measure of performance.


Crisco and Greenwald defined the sweet spot as the range of locations on the bat barrel for which the highest 10% of batted ball speeds were obtained.
Wood bats, especially the thin handled ash bats used by a majority of today's players, have a tendency to break upon impact with a ball near the middle of the bat. Aluminum is much stronger than ash wood, and the handle of an aluminum bat is a thin cylindrical tube with reasonably thick walls (thicker than the barrel portion).
Many people have argured that the fact that aluminum bats don't break has a noticeable impact on the game of baseball. So what does it mean that a player using an aluminum bat can hit a ball 8-mph faster than he could with a wood bat?
What advantages does a wood post-frame metal building have over a steel-frame metal building? Steel-frame buildings are a good fit when you need extremely wide (well more than 100') clear-span interiors, such as in a large manufacturing facility.
It is much easier, and thus less expensive, to get higher-pitched roofs, interesting roof lines, overhangs, dormers, offsets, etc. Post-frame buildings are easier to insulate and don’t suffer from the extreme thermal bridging of steel-frame buildings. Lumber is nearly always less expensive than manufactured steel beams, sometimes substantially so. FBi Buildings, Inc., is a pre-engineered post-frame design and engineering, manufacturing, and self-perform construction company serving agriculture, livestock, suburban, commercial and industrial markets that has built well more than 20,000 pre-engineered building structures for producers, land owners, and investors in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
From logo design to video animation, web development to website copy; expert designers, developers and digital talent are ready to complete your projects. The controversial topic of safety and the metal versus aluminum debate is something I would like to stay away from, especially since I have nothing significant to add to the discussion. The 1989 study found that the rebound speed of the ball depended strongly on impact location, and somewhat on how strongly the player was gripping the bat.


Evidence of an enhancement in performance due to an "inherent elastic property" of the bat.
Russell, " "Hoop frequency as a predictor of performance for softball bats," Engineering of Sport 5, Vol. The bars in the chart represent the average and spread for the top 10% (ie, fastest 10%) of all hits across all players for each bat.
Greenwald, "Metal baseball bats can outperform wood bats with a similar `sweet spot'," Proceedings of the 24th Annual Meeting, American Society of Biomechanics. That’s why it is so common to see steel buildings with extremely low-pitch roofs and no overhangs.
Crisco,"Differences in Batted Ball Speed with Wood and Aluminum Baseball Bats: A Batting Cage Study," J. Almost everyone who has ever used an aluminum bat "knows" that they perform better than wood bats.
In the Fall of 2006 several lawsuits and policy decisions were being made in North Dakota, New York and New Jersey attempting to eliminate aluminum bats from high school play. The results of these two studies are in contrast to what players, coaches, and league officials all know - that metal bats do outperform wood bats. Figure 4 shows the Bat-Ball Coefficient-of-Restitution (which measures the combined elastic properties of the bat-ball system) as a function of hoop frequency. Data was collected for each player until 30 line drives were produced within a certain range of locations in the outfield. Ideally a player should use a bat with a high moment of inertia and swing it really fast - but this is difficult unless you are really strong (which is why many baseball and softball players undergo weight training regimens during the off-season in order to bulk up their strength and increase swing speed).



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