US20110111894A1 - Bat with internal core member - Google Patents

Bat with internal core member Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20110111894A1
US20110111894A1 US12940612 US94061210A US2011111894A1 US 20110111894 A1 US20110111894 A1 US 20110111894A1 US 12940612 US12940612 US 12940612 US 94061210 A US94061210 A US 94061210A US 2011111894 A1 US2011111894 A1 US 2011111894A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
member
core
portion
bat
barrel
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12940612
Inventor
Maxime Thouin
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
True Temper Sports Inc
Original Assignee
True Temper Sports Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B59/00Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00
    • A63B59/50Substantially rod-shaped bats for hitting a ball in the air, e.g. for baseball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/10Handles with means for indicating correct holding positions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/18Baseball, rounders or similar games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2209/00Characteristics of used materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2209/00Characteristics of used materials
    • A63B2209/02Characteristics of used materials with reinforcing fibres, e.g. carbon, polyamide fibres
    • A63B2209/023Long, oriented fibres, e.g. wound filaments, woven fabrics, mats
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/16Caps; Ferrules
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/50Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like with through-holes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/54Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like with means for damping vibrations

Abstract

A bat is provided having a barrel portion with a hollow cavity therein. A core member is disposed in the interior cavity. An exterior surface of the core member engages with the interior surface of the barrel portion such that the core member supports the barrel portion and resists radial deformation of the barrel portion when striking an object, such as a ball.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/258,854 filed Nov. 6, 2009. The disclosure of the above application is herein incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present disclosure relates to bats and, more particularly, to bats having an internal core member within a cavity of the barrel portion.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.
  • [0004]
    Baseball and softball bats typically include a handle, a barrel, and a tapered section joining the handle to the barrel. The handle, barrel, and/or tapered section can include a hollow interior, thereby forming bats that are relatively lightweight. The hollow barrel can act as a tubular spring, or similar structure. In some bats, the barrel can be of a multi-wall construction while in others it can be of a single-wall construction. The use of a hollow interior in the barrel can provide an increase in the size of the “sweet spot” of the bat wherein the performance characteristics are enhanced over a greater length of the barrel. The deflection of the hollow barrel when contacting a ball can allow greater force transfer to the ball being hit with the bat. The performance characteristics of such a bat, however, may exceed the maximum allowable performance dictated by the rules of various sanctioning bodies.
  • [0005]
    Thus, it would be advantageous to provide a bat with an enhanced size of the “sweet spot” while maintaining the performance of the bat within the maximum allowable performance as established by the various sanctioning bodies.
  • [0006]
    Further, bats can be made from a variety of materials. The materials may breakdown over time through usage or compression and alter the performance of the bat. For example, as most composite bats age, their layers progressively separate from one another. This de-lamination both reduces barrel stiffness and results in less energy losses in the ball-bat collision. The effect is a faster exit speed of the ball post-contact. This aging process can either be accomplished by extended usage of the bat or by accelerated break-in via a special device called a bat rolling machine. This technique compresses the bat barrel between two rollers and deflects it abnormally until the barrel compression is 5-20%, by way of non-limiting example, softer than the original bat. While this voluntary breakdown of the bat may compromise durability, it instantly increases performance. As a result, a bat that may have originally met the maximum performance characteristics dictated by the rules of the various sanctioning bodies may now surpass that maximum allowable performance. Therefore, a bat that may have at one point met the rules for maximum performance may now exceed the rules, thereby providing the user a competitive advantage that is not allowed under the rules.
  • [0007]
    Thus, it would be advantageous to have a bat whose performance is not enhanced (or whose enhanced performance is significantly reduced) through the aging process or through an accelerated break-in procedure. Such a bat would allow for a more competitive and equal playing field between users while maintaining compliance with the rules of the sanctioning bodies.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0008]
    This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features.
  • [0009]
    A bat according to the present disclosure may have a barrel portion with a hollow cavity therein. A core member is disposed in the interior cavity. An exterior surface of the core member may be engaged with the interior surface of the barrel portion such that the core member supports the barrel portion and resists radial deformation of the barrel portion when striking an object, such as a ball. The core member may thereby locally support the barrel portion. The additional resistance to radial deformation of the barrel portion may reduce the peak performance of the barrel portion while still allowing for a large “sweet spot.” The core member may also reduce the aging process or breakdown of the laminate layers, in the case of a composite bat, such that the performance of the bat does not significantly increase and/or change over its useful life.
  • [0010]
    Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.
  • DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bat according to the present disclosure;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a fragmented cross-sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a hypothetical graph of the performance of the bat of FIG. 1 relative to a wood bat and a prior art hollow barrel bat;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a fragmented cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 with multiple internal core members in the barrel portion according to an alternate construction of the present disclosure;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5A is a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 with the internal core member including a central sleeve according to another configuration of the present disclosure;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5B is a fragmented cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 5A showing a hypothetical deflection of the barrel and core member under impact;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 6A is a fragmented cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 5A showing an alternate construction of the internal core member with tapered end faces according to the present disclosure;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 6A showing a hypothetical deflection of the barrel and core member under impact;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the tapered core member of FIG. 6A with the central sleeve removed;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the core element of FIG. 7 showing the insertion of the central sleeve into the core member;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 9 is a fragmented exploded view of the bat of FIG. 6A illustrating the assembly thereof according to the present disclosure;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 10A is a perspective view of an alternate core member having a tapering cylindrical surface according to the present disclosure;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 10B is a fragmented cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 with the core member of FIG. 10A in the barrel portion;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another alternate configuration of a core member according to the present disclosure;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 12 is a perspective view of still another alternate configuration for a core member according to the present disclosure;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of yet another alternate core member according the present disclosure; and
  • [0028]
    FIG. 14 is a fragmented cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 showing a prior art bat with a hollow unsupported barrel.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0029]
    Example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • [0030]
    Example embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough, and will fully convey the scope to those who are skilled in the art. Numerous specific details are set forth such as examples of specific components, devices, and methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that specific details need not be employed, that example embodiments may be embodied in many different forms and that neither should be construed to limit the scope of the disclosure. In some example embodiments, well-known processes, well-known device structures, and well-known technologies are not described in detail.
  • [0031]
    The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, applications, or uses. It should be understood that throughout the drawings, corresponding reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts and features (e.g., 20, 120, 220, etc.).
  • [0032]
    A baseball or softball bat 20 according to the present teachings is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Bat 20 includes a handle portion 22, a barrel portion 24, and a tapering portion 26 extending between handle portion 22 and barrel portion 24. Handle portion 22 has a free end 28 at which a knob 30 or similar structure is located. Barrel portion 24 has a free end 32 that may be closed off by a suitable cap or plug 34. A gripping member 35 may be disposed on handle portion 22. Barrel portion 24 is hollow or at least partially hollow and includes an interior cavity 36. Additionally, tapering portion 26 and/or handle portion 22 may also be hollow or partially hollow.
  • [0033]
    Bat 20 includes an internal core member 40 disposed in cavity 36. Core member 40 may be generally cylindrical with an exterior surface 42 that extends axially between first and second ends 44, 46. Exterior surface 42 may be in direct contact with the interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24, as shown. The engagement between exterior surface 42 and interior surface 48 may be a continuous, non-interrupted interface as exterior surface 42 extends circumferentially around core member 40 between first and second ends 44, 46. It should be appreciated, however, that there may be gaps between exterior surface 42 and interior surface 48 due to manufacturing tolerances and/or due to intentional inclusion to meet desired design or performance criteria. An adhesive, as described below, can be disposed between exterior surface 42 and interior surface 48 to retain core member 40 in a desired position in cavity 36 of barrel portion 24.
  • [0034]
    Core member 40 may be located in any desired position within cavity 36 of barrel portion 24. The locating of core member 40 within cavity 36 can be chosen so that desired performance characteristics for bat 20 are achieved. In some embodiments, core member 40 is aligned with the center of percussion of bat 20. This location may also correspond to the center of the “sweet spot” of bat 20. Core member 40 provides a localized internal support of barrel portion 24 such that the radial deflection(deformation) and/or compression of barrel portion 24 adjacent core member 40 is altered from that of an unsupported barrel portion. Core member 40 thereby locally increases the compression strength of bat 20. For example, as shown in FIG. 14, a prior art unsupported barrel portion 924 may have a deflection profile when striking a ball, such as that hypothetically illustrated by line 950, while a barrel portion 24 that includes core member 40, as shown in FIG. 2, may have a hypothetical deflection profile when striking a ball that is different, as illustrated by line 50. The inclusion of core member 40 limits and/or prevents the radially inwardly deformation/deflection of barrel portion 24 along the section that is supported by core member 40 between first and second ends 44, 46. The sections of barrel portion 24 that are not supported by core member 40, however, may be more easily and readily radially deformed and/or compressed, as shown. As can be seen when comparing FIGS. 2 and 14, the deflection profile of an unsupported barrel portion 924 is different than that of a supported barrel portion 24.
  • [0035]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, a hypothetical graph 56 comparing the performance of two prior art bats with a bat constructed according to the present disclosure is shown. The vertical axis represents a relative performance of the bats when striking a ball, while the horizontal axis represents the distance from the end of the barrel portion. The hypothetical performance of a solid wood bat is represented by line 58. The performance represented by line 58 can be representative of the maximum allowable performance specified in the rules of a sanctioning body. The hypothetical performance of a prior art hollow composite bat, such as that shown in FIG. 14, is represented by line 60. The hypothetical performance of a bat 20 according to the present disclosure is represented by line 62. As can be seen in graph 56, the spike or peak performance of wood bat 58 occurs at the “sweet spot” of the bat. The performance of hollow composite bat 60, however, is significantly greater than that of wood bat 58 and also has a wider “sweet spot” (represented by the distance to the left and the right of the peak performance) that reduces more gradually than that of wood bat 58. However, the performance of composite bat 60 remains above the peak performance of wood bat 58 over the length of its barrel portion.
  • [0036]
    The performance of bat 20 has a peak performance that is about the same as that of wood bat 58. The core member 40 supports barrel portion 24 at the “sweet spot” such that the ability to compress and radially deform barrel portion 24 is reduced by the resistance of core member 40 from being compressed and radially deformed. The performance of bat 20 beyond the location of core member 40 remains significantly elevated relative to that of wood bat 58, but below the peak performance of wood bat 58. Preferably, the performance of bat 20 is as flat as possible and equal to or just slightly below the peak performance of wood bat 58, or whatever maximum performance standard is allowed in the rules of the sanctioning body. To achieve a flatter curve, core member 40 can support the middle of the “sweet spot” and gradually allow for softer (less) compression resistance as it transitions toward handle portion 22 and free end 32. As seen in graph 56, the resulting bat 20 according to the present disclosure can have a “sweet spot” that is significantly larger (extends over a longer axial length of barrel portion 24) than that of wood bat 58. Additionally, the performance of bat 20 can be reduced such that it matches that of wood bat 58 while not exceeding that performance over the length of barrel portion 24. The performance of bats can also be measured by the ball-bat coefficient of restitution (BBCOR).
  • [0037]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, in some embodiments, bat 20 may include multiple core members 40′. The multiple core members 40′ can be made from the same or different materials. The location of core members 40′ can be varied to provide the desired performance characteristics for bat 20. The use of multiple core members 40′ can result in a change to the hypothetical deflection profile 50′. For example, deflection profile 50′ can have two areas of reduced deflection associated with the locations of core members 40′ while other sections of barrel portion 24 can experience a greater radial deformation or compression. It should be appreciated that when multiple core members are utilized, the sizes of the core members can vary one from the other. Moreover, it should also be appreciated that more than two core members can be utilized.
  • [0038]
    Referring now to FIGS. 5A and B, an alternate configuration for a core member 140 according to the present disclosure is shown. Core member 140 is a multi-piece core member that includes an outer member 164 and an inner member 166 within outer member 164. Outer member 164 can be generally cylindrical with an exterior surface 142 and axially opposite first and second ends 144, 146. Outer member 164 can include a central cavity within which inner member 166 is disposed. Inner member 166 can be generally cylindrical with a hollow interior 168. Inner and outer members 166, 164 may be coaxial and/or concentric with one another. Inner and outer members 166, 164 may have the same or differing axial lengths relative to one another. Outer member 164 and inner member 166 can be made from different materials to provide desired properties to core member 140. For example, inner member 166 can be of a material that has a greater resistance to compression than that of outer member 164. Inner member 166 can thereby reinforce outer member 164 and minimize or prevent outer member 164 from fracturing or breaking. In one embodiment, outer member 164 may be made of wood and inner member 166 may be made of carbon fibers, although it should be appreciated that other materials of construction can be utilized, as described below. The exterior surface 142 of core member 140 extends circumferentially within barrel portion 24 and engages with interior surface 48 thereof. The edge 170 where exterior surface 142 meets first and second ends 144, 146 can be a 90 degree edge, as shown. The use of a sharp edge 170, however, may result in stress concentrations when a ball is struck by barrel portion 24 at the location adjacent to either first or second ends 144, 146. The resulting deformation of barrel portion 24 can cause stress concentrations at the associated edge 170 and in barrel portion 24. The stress concentrations may result in the performance curve of such a bat to not be as flat as desired as the “sweet spot” extends along the axial length of barrel portion 24. The stress concentrations may also affect the lifespan of bat 20.
  • [0039]
    Referring now to FIGS. 6A-9, an alternate configuration for a core member 240 is shown. Core member 240 is similar to core member 140 in that it is of a multi-piece construction with both an outer member 264 and an inner member 266. Inner member 266 may be concentric and/or coaxial with outer member 264 and both may be generally cylindrical in shape. Outer member 264 of core member 240, however, has tapering first and second ends 244, 246. That is, the first and second ends 244, 246 taper axially toward one another as they extend radially inwardly from exterior surface 242 at the junction of edge 270. The axial length of inner member 266 can be reduced compared to that of inner member 166 to account for the axial tapering of first and second ends 244, 246. The tapering of outer member 264 results in the thickness of outer member 264 adjacent edges 270 being less than that adjacent an axial central section of outer member 266. As a result, when a ball is struck adjacent edge 270, outer member 264 may be capable of being compressed and/or deformed radially inwardly more easily than that of core member 140, thereby relieving or reducing stress concentrations in core member 240 and barrel portion 24. The reduction in the stress concentrations can result in a flattening of the performance curve of such a bat so that increased high level performance along the axial length of the “sweet spot” may be realized. The reduced stress may also prolong the lifespan of the bat. Outer member 264 and inner member 266 can be different materials.
  • [0040]
    As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, core member 240 can be produced by inserting inner member 266 into a central cavity 267 of outer member 264. The fit between the inner and outer members can be an interference fit and/or it may utilize adhesives or other binding agents to maintain inner member 266 within the outer member 264. Core member 140 may also be produced in a similar manner.
  • [0041]
    Referring to FIG. 9, the assembly of bat 20 having core member 240 is shown. It should be appreciated that the assembly technique described with reference to FIG. 9 is suitable for all the core members disclosed herein, as appropriate. The barrel portion 24 can be of a composite shell molded using known techniques. For example, the barrel portion 24 along with other portions of bat 20 can be made by bladder molding, mandrel wrapping, resin transfer molding, or any other available manufacturing process. The molded shell may include handle portion 22, tapering portion 26, and barrel portion 24. In some embodiments, barrel portion 24 may be metal. Free end 32 of barrel portion 24 can be left open. Interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24 may be abraded to prepare interior surface 48 for bonding with core member 240. The outer diameter of core member 240 can be made slightly larger than the inner diameter of interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24. By way of non-limiting example, the outer diameter of core member 240 may be made approximately 0.005 inches greater than the inside diameter of interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24. Exterior surface 242 of core member 240 along with interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24 may be coated with an adhesive, such as a flexible urethane adhesive by way of non-limiting example. Core member 240 may then be pressed down into barrel portion 24 to a desired depth or location, such as by using a press. This assembly results in a bonded interference fit between core member 240 and barrel portion 24. Knob 30 can be co-molded with handle portion 22 or installed after core member 240 is installed. After securing core member 240 within barrel portion 24, end cap 34 can be bonded to free end 32 of barrel portion 24.
  • [0042]
    Referring now to FIGS. 10A and B, an alternate configuration for a core member 340 is shown. Core member 340 has an exterior surface 342 that extends between axially opposite first and second ends 344, 346. Core member 340 may have a central cavity 365 that extends between first and second ends 344, 346. Core member 340 is generally cylindrical with exterior surface 342 having a varying outer diameter dimension as it extends between first and second ends 344, 346. In particular, the exterior surface 342 may have portions adjacent first and second ends 344, 346 that have a radially decreasing diameter as the portions extend toward first and second ends 344, 346. As a result, exterior surface 342 tapers away from interior surface 48 of barrel portion 24 adjacent first and second ends 344, 346. The tapering of exterior surface 342 can minimize or reduce stress concentrations adjacent first and second ends 344, 346 when a ball is struck in those regions. As a result, the performance curve of such a bat may be flattened so that the performance of the “sweet spot” is enhanced over a greater axial distance. It should be appreciated that core member 340 may be solid or be of a multi-piece construction and may include an inner member within central cavity 365. Moreover, ends 344, 346 may be tapering ends.
  • [0043]
    Referring now to FIGS. 11 and 12, an alternate configuration for a core member 440 according to the present teachings is shown. Core member 440 is generally cylindrical in shape and includes an exterior surface 442 that extends axially between first and second ends 444, 446. First and second ends 444, 446 taper axially toward one another as they extend radially inwardly toward a central hub 474 of core member 440. Central hub 474 may include a central cavity 465 that extends axially between first and second ends 444, 446. A plurality of spokes 476 extends from central hub 474 radially outwardly and supports exterior surface 442. Spokes 476 can be generally straight or linear as they extend radially outwardly, as shown in FIG. 11. Gaps 478 may be disposed between adjacent spokes 476 and may extend axially the entire length between first and second ends 444, 446. Edges 470 may be rounded. In an alternate configuration, as shown in FIG. 12, spokes 476′ extend in a wavy (non-linear) manner as they extend radially outwardly from central hub 474. The particular configuration of spokes 476, 476′ can alter the compression stiffness of core member 440, 440′ such that a desired performance of bat 20 incorporating such a core member may be realized. In particular, the use of wavy spokes 476′ may allow for more compression of core member 440′ than that of core member 440 utilizing straight spokes 476. Core member 440, 440′ may be a molded component or have the various features machined therein or produced by other methods known in the art.
  • [0044]
    Referring now to FIG. 13, a cross-sectional perspective view of still another configuration for a core member 540 is shown. Core member 540 may be generally cylindrical and have an exterior surface 542 that extends between axially opposite first and second ends 544, 546. Core member 540 is made of multiple materials that may have differing properties to achieve a desired performance for a bat 20 utilizing core member 540. In particular, core member 540 may have a central portion 580 that may define a majority of core member 540. Central portion 580 may extend radially outwardly all the way to and form a central section of exterior surface 542. An intermediate portion 582 can encase a portion, as shown, or an entirety of central portion 580. Intermediate portion 582 may extend radially outwardly all the way to form an intermediate section of exterior surface 542 between the central section formed by central portion 580 and first and second ends 544, 546. Core member 540 may have an exterior portion 584 that encases a portion, as shown, or an entirety of intermediate portion 582 and/or central portion 580. Exterior portion 584 extends radially outwardly all the way to and forms a portion of exterior surface 542 between the central section formed by intermediate portion 582 and first and second ends 544, 546. Core member 540 may have a central cavity 565 extending axially between first and second ends 544, 546 or may be solid.
  • [0045]
    Central portion 580, intermediate portion 582, and exterior portion 584 may be made of differing materials and/or of materials having differing properties, as desired. In one exemplary configuration, central portion 580 has a greater resistance to compression than intermediate portion 582, which may have a greater resistance to compression than exterior portion 584. With this configuration, the stress concentrations adjacent edges 570 may be reduced along with providing a desired transition from the least available compression at the central section of the “sweet spot” to a lesser resistance to compression as the “sweet spot” extends axially away from the central section toward free ends 28, 32. As a result, the performance characteristics of such a bat may be flatter such that improved performance and/or size of the “sweet spot” is realized. It should be appreciated that the relative properties of central portion 580, intermediate portion 582, and exterior portion 584 can vary from that discussed. For example, it may be desirable to have intermediate portion 582 have the greatest resistance to compression while central portion 580 and exterior portion 584 exhibit a lesser resistance to compression. Additionally, central portion 580 may exhibit a greater resistance to compression than exterior portion 584, by way of non-limiting example.
  • [0046]
    The ability of the core member to limit the radial deformation of barrel portion 24 of bat 20 according to the present disclosure also advantageously aids in reducing or minimizing the de-lamination of the layers of a composite bat. In particular, the support of barrel portion 24 provided by the core member can limit the deformation of the layers that form the composite barrel portion such that the layers do not progressively separate from one another or such that the separation is reduced or inhibited. The localized increased compression strength of the barrel portion helps manage the deflections that would otherwise allow the laminate to breakdown. As a result of reducing the de-lamination, an increase in the performance of the bat as it ages and/or through the use of accelerated break-in procedures can be reduced and/or eliminated. The resulting performance of the bat may be such that the performance does not exceed the maximum allowable performance as the bat ages, thereby remaining legal for use. Such a bat may thereby provide for a level playing field for competitors wherein the bats do not have performance exceeding the maximum allowable performance as the bats age.
  • [0047]
    The core member according to the present disclosure can be utilized with a variety of different bats. For example, the core member can be utilized with bats having a composite barrel portion or a metal barrel portion. Additionally, the core member may also be utilized with barrel portions that are of a single-wall construction or of a multi-wall construction. Furthermore, the core member may also be applicable to other types of materials out of which barrel portion 24 may be produced.
  • [0048]
    The core members described herein can be made from a variety of materials. The selection of the material can be based upon the particular properties that material exhibits. The choice of materials can also be based on the ability of the material to not breakdown under repeated impacts over time. The core member should have the ability to support the barrel portion 24 over the expected lifespan of bat 20 such that more consistent properties may be realized without exceeding the maximum allowable performance. The materials can exhibit orthotropic or isotropic properties. Suitable materials include, by way of non-limiting example, plastics, foams, metals, woods, composites, elastomers, polymers, and the like. The particular material chosen can be based upon its strength in resisting compression, its weight, the sound produced when compressed, and/or the feel provided to a user of bat 20 when striking a ball. Additionally, multiple materials can be utilized to form a core member to provide desired performance characteristics for bat 20.
  • [0049]
    While the core members described herein are shown with various features and configurations, it should be appreciated that such features and configurations are not limited solely to the core members shown and described but can be intermixed with one another such that various features from one core member are utilized along with one or more other features of a different core member to achieve desired performance characteristics. Additionally, it should be appreciated that while a central cavity or gaps (between the spokes) are shown in the core member, other cavities or gaps can be utilized. The gaps and cavities may provide an enhanced performance of the “sweet spot” over a longer axial length of barrel portion and/or provide a desired sound or feel for bat 20 when striking a ball.
  • [0050]
    It should be appreciated that the core members shown are merely exemplary and the other features and configurations can be utilized. For example, the first and second ends may taper outwardly such that they extend axially away from one another as they extend radially inwardly from the exterior surface. Additionally, the edges may be rounded. Moreover, the lengths and positions of the core members may be designed to achieve desired performance characteristics. Furthermore, the amount of engagement or contact between the exterior surface of the core member and the interior surface of the barrel portion can vary from that shown. In some embodiments, the engagement or contact between the exterior surface of the core member and the interior surface of the barrel portion may be discontinuous and/or have gaps therein. In some embodiments, the engagement or contact between the exterior surface of the core member and the interior surface of the barrel portion may be a plurality of discrete engagements or contacts.
  • [0051]
    Thus, the foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention. Individual elements or features of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, where applicable, are interchangeable and can be used in a selected embodiment, even if not specifically shown or described. The same may also be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the invention, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A bat comprising:
    a handle portion;
    a barrel portion having an interior cavity with an interior surface; and
    a core member disposed in said interior cavity, said core member having an exterior surface engaged with said interior surface of said barrel portion,
    wherein said core member resists radial deformation and locally supports said barrel portion from radial deformation when striking an object.
  2. 2. The bat of claim 1, wherein said barrel portion has a first axial length, said core member has a second axial length, and said second axial length is less than said first axial length.
  3. 3. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member is located within said cavity at a center of percussion.
  4. 4. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member has axially opposite first and second ends and at least one of said first and second ends tapers axially toward the opposite one of said first and second ends as it extends radially inwardly toward a central axis of said core member.
  5. 5. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member has axially opposite first and second ends, said exterior surface of said core member extends between said first and second ends, and said exterior surface has an outer diameter dimension that diminishes as said exterior surface approaches at least one of said first and second ends.
  6. 6. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member has at least one hollow cavity therein.
  7. 7. The bat of claim 6, wherein said at least one hollow cavity is a central cavity that extends between axially opposite first and second ends of said core member.
  8. 8. The bat of claim 7, further comprising an insert disposed in said central cavity and supporting said core member against radial compression.
  9. 9. The bat of claim 8, wherein said core member is a first material and said insert is a second material different than said first material.
  10. 10. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member includes a central hub and a plurality of spokes extending radially outwardly therefrom and supporting said exterior surface against radially inwardly deformation.
  11. 11. The bat of claim 10, wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly from said central hub in a non-linear manner.
  12. 12. The bat of claim 10, wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly from said central hub in a linear manner.
  13. 13. The bat of claim 10, wherein said central hub includes an axially extending central cavity.
  14. 14. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member includes a first portion of a first material, a second portion of a second material, and a third portion of a third material, and at least two of said first, second, and third materials are different.
  15. 15. The bat of claim 14, wherein all three of said first, second, and third materials are different from one another.
  16. 16. The bat of claim 14, wherein at least two of said first, second, and third portions form said exterior surface.
  17. 17. The bat of claim 16, wherein all three of said first, second, and third portions form said exterior surface.
  18. 18. The bat of claim 1, wherein substantially an entirety of said exterior surface is engaged with said interior surface.
  19. 19. The bat of claim 1, wherein said core member is one of a plurality of core members disposed in said interior cavity and each having an exterior surface engaged with said interior surface of said barrel portion and resisting radial deformation of differing sections of said barrel portion, thereby locally supporting said differing sections of said barrel portion.
US12940612 2009-11-06 2010-11-05 Bat with internal core member Abandoned US20110111894A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US25885409 true 2009-11-06 2009-11-06
US12940612 US20110111894A1 (en) 2009-11-06 2010-11-05 Bat with internal core member

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12940612 US20110111894A1 (en) 2009-11-06 2010-11-05 Bat with internal core member

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20110111894A1 true true US20110111894A1 (en) 2011-05-12

Family

ID=43974602

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12940612 Abandoned US20110111894A1 (en) 2009-11-06 2010-11-05 Bat with internal core member

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20110111894A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110152015A1 (en) * 2009-12-22 2011-06-23 Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Ball bat with internal impact dampening means
US20140206484A1 (en) * 2013-01-24 2014-07-24 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Tapered isolating element for a ball bat and system for using same
WO2015157672A1 (en) * 2014-04-11 2015-10-15 Easton Baseball / Softball Inc. Ball bat including a stiffening element in the barrel
WO2016090233A1 (en) * 2014-12-06 2016-06-09 Baden Sports, Inc. Bat with multiple hitting profiles
US20170354854A1 (en) * 2016-06-10 2017-12-14 Anarchy Bat Company Inc. Baseball Bat with Performance Limiting Core

Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4600193A (en) * 1983-09-19 1986-07-15 William Merritt Hollow bat
US5114144A (en) * 1990-05-04 1992-05-19 The Baum Research & Development Company, Inc. Composite baseball bat
US5511777A (en) * 1994-02-03 1996-04-30 Grover Products Co. Ball bat with rebound core
US20040053716A1 (en) * 2002-09-13 2004-03-18 Happy Wu Bat structure
US6949038B2 (en) * 1999-09-15 2005-09-27 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Ball bat having an insert with variable wall thickness
US20060025253A1 (en) * 2004-07-29 2006-02-02 Giannetti William B Composite ball bat with constrained layer dampening
US7011588B2 (en) * 1999-09-15 2006-03-14 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Insert for a bat having an improved seam orientation
US7214152B1 (en) * 2005-05-23 2007-05-08 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat having a sleeve with slots
US20070254752A1 (en) * 2003-09-29 2007-11-01 Sutherland Terrance W Multi-walled tubular baseball bats with barrel inserts of variable geometry
US20080070726A1 (en) * 2006-07-28 2008-03-20 Nippon Shaft Co., Ltd. Bat used for baseball or softball
US20090197712A1 (en) * 2004-07-29 2009-08-06 Giannetti William B Ball bat exhibiting optimized performance via selective placement of interlaminar shear control zones
US20090215560A1 (en) * 2008-02-26 2009-08-27 Nike, Inc. Composite Bat
US20100160095A1 (en) * 2008-12-23 2010-06-24 Dewey Chauvin Ball bat with governed performance
US7955200B1 (en) * 2008-04-02 2011-06-07 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat with circumferentially aligned and axially segmented barrel section
US8100787B2 (en) * 2010-01-28 2012-01-24 Mattingly Sports, Inc. Baseball bat employing a dual density foam material

Patent Citations (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4600193A (en) * 1983-09-19 1986-07-15 William Merritt Hollow bat
US5114144A (en) * 1990-05-04 1992-05-19 The Baum Research & Development Company, Inc. Composite baseball bat
US5511777A (en) * 1994-02-03 1996-04-30 Grover Products Co. Ball bat with rebound core
US7011588B2 (en) * 1999-09-15 2006-03-14 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Insert for a bat having an improved seam orientation
US6949038B2 (en) * 1999-09-15 2005-09-27 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Ball bat having an insert with variable wall thickness
US20040053716A1 (en) * 2002-09-13 2004-03-18 Happy Wu Bat structure
US20070254752A1 (en) * 2003-09-29 2007-11-01 Sutherland Terrance W Multi-walled tubular baseball bats with barrel inserts of variable geometry
US20060025253A1 (en) * 2004-07-29 2006-02-02 Giannetti William B Composite ball bat with constrained layer dampening
US20090197712A1 (en) * 2004-07-29 2009-08-06 Giannetti William B Ball bat exhibiting optimized performance via selective placement of interlaminar shear control zones
US7214152B1 (en) * 2005-05-23 2007-05-08 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat having a sleeve with slots
US7534180B1 (en) * 2005-05-23 2009-05-19 Miken Sports, Llc Bat having a sleeve with slots
US20080070726A1 (en) * 2006-07-28 2008-03-20 Nippon Shaft Co., Ltd. Bat used for baseball or softball
US20090215560A1 (en) * 2008-02-26 2009-08-27 Nike, Inc. Composite Bat
US7955200B1 (en) * 2008-04-02 2011-06-07 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat with circumferentially aligned and axially segmented barrel section
US20100160095A1 (en) * 2008-12-23 2010-06-24 Dewey Chauvin Ball bat with governed performance
US8100787B2 (en) * 2010-01-28 2012-01-24 Mattingly Sports, Inc. Baseball bat employing a dual density foam material

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110152015A1 (en) * 2009-12-22 2011-06-23 Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Ball bat with internal impact dampening means
US8632428B2 (en) * 2009-12-22 2014-01-21 Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Ball bat with internal impact dampening means
US20140206484A1 (en) * 2013-01-24 2014-07-24 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Tapered isolating element for a ball bat and system for using same
US20140206485A1 (en) * 2013-01-24 2014-07-24 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Tapered isolating element for a ball bat and system for using same
US9242156B2 (en) * 2013-01-24 2016-01-26 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Tapered isolating element for a ball bat and system for using same
US9731180B2 (en) * 2013-01-24 2017-08-15 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Tapered isolating element for a ball bat and system for using same
WO2015157672A1 (en) * 2014-04-11 2015-10-15 Easton Baseball / Softball Inc. Ball bat including a stiffening element in the barrel
US9427640B2 (en) 2014-04-11 2016-08-30 Easton Baseball/Softball Inc. Ball bat including a stiffening element in the barrel
US9895588B2 (en) 2014-04-11 2018-02-20 Easton Diamond Sports, Llc Ball bat including a stiffening element in the barrel
WO2016090233A1 (en) * 2014-12-06 2016-06-09 Baden Sports, Inc. Bat with multiple hitting profiles
US9498690B2 (en) 2014-12-06 2016-11-22 Baden Sports, Inc. Bat with multiple hitting profiles
US20170354854A1 (en) * 2016-06-10 2017-12-14 Anarchy Bat Company Inc. Baseball Bat with Performance Limiting Core

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5634859A (en) Grip with increased soft feel and tackiness with decreased torque
US5547189A (en) Golf club and club shaft constructions
US6152840A (en) Composite baseball bat with cavitied core
US5624115A (en) Composite baseball bat with cavitied core
US6902495B2 (en) Golf club vibration dampening and sound attenuation system
US3963239A (en) Baseball bat
US20080045356A1 (en) Golf club head
US6053828A (en) Softball bat with exterior shell
US6652941B1 (en) Grip element and method of manufacture thereof
US20040029660A1 (en) Laminated sport bat with internal chamber
US5511777A (en) Ball bat with rebound core
US6599202B2 (en) Golf club set
US7419446B2 (en) Multi-component bat and assembly process
US4569521A (en) Composite baseball bat having swaged spar and plastic foam covering
US7850554B2 (en) Apparatus for deterring modification of sports equipment
US20040209716A1 (en) Composite softball bat with inner sleeve
US5599242A (en) Golf club shaft and club including such shaft
US20020037780A1 (en) Hockey stick with reinforced shaft
US20020107088A1 (en) Grip for sporting implement
US6743127B2 (en) Bat with composite handle
US20090280934A1 (en) Bat for baseball or softball
US6231456B1 (en) Golf shaft vibration damper
US5899823A (en) Ball bat with insert
US6482114B1 (en) Bat and method of manufacturing
US5320386A (en) Composite titanium ski pole and method of making same

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC., TENNESSEE

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:THOUIN, MAXIME;REEL/FRAME:025320/0910

Effective date: 20101104

AS Assignment

Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., TENNESSEE

Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:025592/0384

Effective date: 20101231

AS Assignment

Owner name: TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC., TENNESSEE

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE STATE OF INCORPORATION PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 025320 FRAME 0910.ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE STATE OF INCORPORATION IS DELAWARE;ASSIGNOR:THOUIN, MAXIME;REEL/FRAME:026179/0224

Effective date: 20101104

AS Assignment

Owner name: REGIONS BANK, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, GEORGIA

Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:028652/0326

Effective date: 20120726

AS Assignment

Owner name: TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC., TENNESSEE

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:028725/0906

Effective date: 20120726

AS Assignment

Owner name: TRUE TEMPER SPORTS, INC., TENNESSEE

Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:REGIONS BANK, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:038832/0042

Effective date: 20160527