WO2019060020A1 - Baseball/softball bat with shock dissipation characteristics and method of manufacturing same - Google Patents

Baseball/softball bat with shock dissipation characteristics and method of manufacturing same Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2019060020A1
WO2019060020A1 PCT/US2018/039960 US2018039960W WO2019060020A1 WO 2019060020 A1 WO2019060020 A1 WO 2019060020A1 US 2018039960 W US2018039960 W US 2018039960W WO 2019060020 A1 WO2019060020 A1 WO 2019060020A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
bat
handle
barrel
vibration absorber
comprised
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2018/039960
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thu Van Nguyen
Renqin Zhang
Chi-Hung Lee
Original Assignee
Xiamen Pheasant Hi-Tech Aluminum Co., Ltd.
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
Priority to US15/714,670 priority Critical
Priority to US15/714,670 priority patent/US10016667B2/en
Application filed by Xiamen Pheasant Hi-Tech Aluminum Co., Ltd. filed Critical Xiamen Pheasant Hi-Tech Aluminum Co., Ltd.
Priority claimed from US16/133,217 external-priority patent/US10252127B2/en
Publication of WO2019060020A1 publication Critical patent/WO2019060020A1/en

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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
    • A63B59/51Substantially rod-shaped bats for hitting a ball in the air, e.g. for baseball made of metal
    • 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
    • A63B60/08Handles characterised by the material
    • 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
    • A63B60/14Coverings specially adapted for handles, e.g. sleeves or ribbons
    • 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
    • A63B60/54Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like with means for damping vibrations
    • 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
    • A63B2060/0081Substantially flexible shafts, hinged shafts
    • 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
    • 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
    • A63B2102/182Softball
    • 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

Abstract

A barrel of a baseball or softball bat is coupled to an end of a handle of the bat by means of a vibration absorber affixed to the end of the handle. Projections of a first locking section of the vibration absorber engage with depressions formed on an inner surface of the barrel. Adhesive disposed within gaps and channels of the vibration absorber adhere the vibration absorber to the barrel. A second locking section of the vibration absorber is attachable to a sleeve disposed over the handle. The sleeve may be of a material having shock absorbing or dissipating characteristics.

Description

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL BAT WITH SHOCK DISSIPATION CHARACTERISTICS AND

METHOD OF MANUFACTURING SAME

D ESC RI PTI ON

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[Para 1 ] The present invention relates to baseball and softball bats. More particularly, the present invention relates to a multi-component bat having shock dissipation characteristics.

[Para 2] Baseball and softball are very popular sports in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Japan and elsewhere. Due to the competitive nature of these sports, players are constantly seeking ways of improving their performance. An important aspect of baseball and softball is the ability to effectively hit the ball.

[Para 3] Metal, such as aluminum alloy, and composite material bats are allowed in baseball amateur play from Little League to college levels. Such bats are also typically used in slow- and fast-pitch softball. Metal and composite bats are advantageous over wood bats in that they do not break and splinter like wood bats and thus can be repeatedly used with consequent cost savings. Metal and composite bats also have a larger optimal hitting area or power zone than wood bats. Further, the ball comes off a metal or composite bat faster than a wood bat, resulting in longer hits.

[Para 4] However, these bats have certain disadvantages. Bats comprised of metal, composite materials and combinations thereof vibrate upon impact. The shock caused by the bat hitting a ball may send painful vibrations into the hands and arms of the batter if the ball is not hit at the sweet spot of the bat. Various attempts have been made to overcome the vibration problems associated with metal and composite material bats.

[Para 5] Attempts to create multi-component bats, particularly those having vibration dissipating or absorbing characteristics, have often been complicated in nature in assembling and formation. Oftentimes, the interconnection points between the various components of the bat, such as the handle and barrel, are prone to failure as the bat is used repeatedly, causing connecting points and internal devices to break over time. The joint or connection between the handle and the bat barrel is especially prone to failure. Also, many of the designs do not effectively dampen the vibrations caused when the bat hits an object, such as a baseball or softball.

[Para 6] Accordingly, there is a continuing need for a bat which is not complex in design and is not expensive to manufacture and not prone to structural failure. Moreover, a bat is needed which effectively dissipates vibrations and shock caused when hitting an object, such as a baseball or softball. The present invention fulfills these needs, and provides other related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[Para 7] The present invention resides in a baseball or softball bat having shock dissipating properties and characteristics. The bat of the present invention is a multi-component bat which is relatively simple in design and not expensive to manufacture and not prone to structural failure while providing vibration and shock dissipating and absorbing characteristics to enhance the use of the bat.

[Para 8] The baseball or softball bat generally comprises a barrel having a distal end and a proximal end. A handle has a first end defining a grip portion adjacent to a first end and a second end which is disposed within the proximal end of the barrel. The barrel and the handle may be comprised of a composite material.

[Para 9] A vibration absorber is affixed to the second end of the handle. The vibration absorber is typically comprised of a shock absorbing material, such as an elastomeric material. The material may be molded onto the second end of the handle. The elastomeric material of the vibration absorber and the material of the handle may be fused to one another as the vibration absorber is molded onto the handle.

[Para 1 0] The vibration absorber defines a first locking section and a second locking section spaced apart from the first locking section and a circumferential gap disposed between the first and second locking sections. An adhesive is disposed in the circumferential gap for adhering the vibration absorber to the barrel. The adhesive may comprise a polymeric material having shock

absorbing characteristics.

[Para 1 1 ] The first locking section of the vibration absorber has projections which engage with depressions formed on an inner surface of the barrel adjacent the proximal end thereof. The projections may comprise threads that are threadedly attached to threads formed on an inner surface of the bat barrel. A channel may be formed through the threads of the first locking section generally along the longitudinal axis of the handle. Adhesive is disposed within the channel to adhere the vibration absorber to the barrel. The adhesive in the channel may be comprised of a polymeric material having shock absorbing characteristics.

[Para 1 2] The second locking section also defines projections. A sleeve is disposed over the handle and has depressions formed on an inner surface at an end thereof that engage the projections of the second locking section. The projections of the second locking section may comprise threads that are threadedly attached to the depressions, also forming threads, formed in the inner surface of the sleeve. The second locking section of the vibration absorber may extend outward of the proximal end of the barrel. The sleeve may be comprised of a translucent or transparent material so that the

connection between the sleeve and the second locking section is viewable.

[Para 1 3] The sleeve may be comprised of silicone rubber or other vibration dampening or absorbing material, such as silicone rubber. A grip may be placed over the grip portion of the handle and over at least a portion of the sleeve. The first end of the handle may have a knob attached thereto and the distal end of the barrel may include a cap or plug.

[Para 1 4] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[Para 1 5] The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

[Para 1 6] FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a baseball or softball bat embodying the present invention;

[Para 1 7] FIGURE 2 is another perspective view of the bat of the present invention;

[Para 1 8] FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective view of component parts of the bat of the present invention;

[Para 1 9] FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a mold that molds a vibration absorber onto an end of the handle of the bat, in accordance with the present invention;

[Para 20] FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the handle and vibration absorber;

[Para 21 ] FIGURE 6 is a partially sectioned and perspective view illustrating the handle attached to a barrel of the bat by means of threaded connection and adhesion of the vibration absorber to an inner surface of the barrel and a sleeve disposed over the handle and a lower locking section of the vibration absorber;

[Para 22] FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view of the bat of the present invention; [Para 23] FIGURE 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of area "8" of FIG. 7, illustrating the interconnection of a sleeve and barrel to a vibration absorber of the bat; and

[Para 24] FIGURE 9 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of area "9" illustrating a wrap and sleeve over a handle of the bat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[Para 25] As shown in the accompanying drawings, for purposes of illustration, the present invention resides in a multi-component baseball or softball bat, generally referred to by the reference number 1 0, as well as a method for manufacturing the same. The baseball bat 1 0 has vibration absorbing and shock dissipating characteristics. The bat 1 0 also has an enlarged hitting zone and sound control.

[Para 26] With reference now to FIGS. 1 -3, a bat 1 0 embodying the present invention is illustrated. The bat 1 0 is generally comprised of a barrel 1 2, a handle 1 4, a vibration absorber 1 6 affixed to the handle 1 4 and attachable to the barrel 1 2, and a sleeve 1 8 which is connected to the vibration absorber 1 6 and is disposed over at least a portion of the handle 1 4. The incorporation of the vibration absorber 1 6 and the design of the barrel 1 2 provides an enlarged hitting zone or "sweet spot" of the bat 1 0 and also provides sound control. As will be more fully discussed herein, the handle 1 4, via the vibration absorber 1 6, is attached or locked to the barrel 1 2 securely by two different means. Moreover, multiple components and aspects of the bat 1 0 provide vibration and shock dissipation and absorption when the bat 1 0 hits an object, such as a ball.

[Para 27] With continuing reference to FIGS. 1 -3 , the barrel 1 2 is typically comprised of metal, such as aluminum or an aluminum alloy, or a laminate composite material, such as composite fibers or sheets which may be pre- impregnated with resins and the like. Typically, the barrel 1 2 is generally hollow. The barrel has a proximal end 20 which is typically tapered inwardly, as shown. At a generally opposite end of the barrel 1 2 is the distal end 22. The distal end 22 may have a cap or plug 24 or the like attached thereto so as to close the open distal end 22 of the barrel 1 2. Alternatively, the distal end 22 of the barrel 1 2 may be closed in upon itself so as to close the distal end 22 , as is known in the art. However, the distal end 22 of the barrel 1 2 is not closed until the handle 1 4 has been inserted therethrough for connection to the barrel 1 2 , as will be more fully described herein.

[Para 28] The handle 1 4 may be comprised of composite material, such as composite fibers or sheets which may be pre-impregnated with resins and the like. The handle 1 4 may be generally cylindrical and hollow, as illustrated. The handle 1 4 may be of generally uniform width along a length thereof. The handle 1 4 has a first end 26 defining a grip portion of the handle 1 4. The vibration absorber 1 6 is typically attached to a generally opposite second end 28 of the handle 1 4. The composition and design of the handle 1 4 provide a desired degree of flexibility while remaining durable. [Para 29] With reference now to FIG. 4, the vibration absorber 1 6 can be attached to the handle 1 4 by various means. However, the connection points of the components of multi-component bats in the past have been prone to failure as the adhesive or mechanical attachments break over time due to the repeated hitting of a ball or other object by the bat. Accordingly, in a particularly preferred embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the vibration absorber 1 6 is molded onto the handle 1 4. Mold members 30 and 32 cooperatively define an inner cavity 34 defining the configuration of the vibration absorber 1 6. An aperture 36 may receive an injection needle 38 for injecting the material forming the vibration absorber 1 6 into the joined mold members 30 and 32, which surround the end 28 of the handle 1 4 so as to mold the vibration absorber 1 6 onto the handle 1 4.

[Para 30] The vibration absorber 1 6 is comprised of a material having vibration dampening and dissipating characteristics. For example, the vibration absorber may be comprised of an elastomeric material, such as an elastic polymer material having a desired hardness so as to be physically attached to the barrel 1 2 of the bat while still providing flexibility and vibration dampening and absorbing characteristics. For example, the elastic polymer material may have a durometer hardness of between 25- 1 00 shore A.

[Para 31 ] The mold members 30 and 32 may be comprised of metal, such as steel, which is preheated to approximately 60° C. The melted, liquid elastic polymer material is injected into the mold to form the vibration absorber 1 6 directly onto the surface of the handle 1 4. The newly injected elastic polymer material may be cured at approximately 1 40° C under pressure of

approximately 70 Mpa for approximately ten to twenty minutes. The

temperature of the mold may then be reduced to approximately 60° C and mold members 30 and 32 removed from the handle 1 4 resulting in the newly formed vibration absorber 1 6 molded thereon, as illustrated in FIG. 4.

[Para 32] While the vibration absorber 1 6 could be affixed to the end 28 of the handle 1 4 by various means, in a particularly preferred embodiment, the vibration absorber 1 6 is molded onto the handle 1 4 as molding the vibration absorber 1 6 onto the handle 1 4 has been found to have many advantages.

Molding the vibration absorber 1 6 onto the handle 1 4 provides manufacturing and cost benefits in that the steps of otherwise creating a vibration absorber as a separate unit and then having to attach the vibration absorber to the handle 1 4, and the complications and costs involved with such an approach are eliminated by molding the vibration absorber 1 6 directly onto the handle 1 4. Furthermore, it has been found by the inventors, as illustrated in FIG. 5, that when the vibration absorber 1 6 and handle 1 4 are comprised of certain types of materials, such as the handle 1 4 containing resin or the like as part of a laminate composite material, the boundary layer 40 between the handle 1 4 and the vibration absorber 1 6 fuse to one another, such as having a crossover of material from the handle 1 4 and/or vibration absorber 1 6 migrating into the material of the other component. The molding of the vibration absorber 1 6 onto the handle 1 4 has been found to provide a very strong and secure connection between these components, typically more so than using adhesive or other mechanical attachment means.

[Para 33] Instead of having a generally uniform outer diameter and

configuration, as illustrated, the handle 1 4 could have different configurations so as to conform to an inner surface of the barrel 1 2 and/or secure the vibration absorber 1 6 thereto. For example, the handle 1 4 could have a configuration at an end thereof as disclosed in U.S. Application Serial No.

1 4/ 584,078, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference, wherein an end of the handle 1 4 is tapered and include sections sloped towards one another and defining a recess into which the vibration absorber would be molded onto. The handle could include projections extending therefrom which would be embedded into the vibration absorber which could serve various purposes, including fixing the vibration absorber in place and preventing rotation. Such projections or configuration of the handle could also form shoulders or stops abutting the vibration absorber and prevent axial

movement.

[Para 34] With reference now to FIGS. 3-6, the vibration absorber defines a first locking section 42 and a second locking section 44 spaced apart from the first locking section 42. A circumferential gap 46 is disposed between the first and second locking sections 42 and 44. The first and second locking sections 42 and 44 each include projections extending therefrom 48 and 50. The projections 48 and 50 may comprise threads formed on an outer surface of the first and second locking sections 42 and 44. The circumferential gap 46 defines an area between the first and second locking sections 42 and 44 so that the threads or projections 48 and 50 are non-continuous and the first and second locking sections 42 and 44 are spaced from one another and distinct from one another. As illustrated, the circumferential gap 46 may comprise a generally open-faced groove or non-threaded area between the first and second locking sections 42 and 44.

[Para 35] The vibration absorber 16 may also include other areas which are free of projections or threads, such as the area 52 at the end of the vibration absorber 16 adjacent to the end 28 of handle 14. The vibration absorber 16 also typically includes one or more channels 54 which are formed through the projections or threads 48 of the first locking section. The one or more channels 54 are formed generally along a longitudinal axis of the handle 14 so as to effectively cut through the threads 48. The channel 54, as illustrated, is typically an elongated open-faced channel. The channel 54 is configured so as to reside within the first locking section 42 of the vibration absorber 16 while still permitting the projections or threads 48 of the first locking section 42 to engage with corresponding depressions formed on an inner surface of the barrel 12.

[Para 36] The method of installing the various components of the bat 10 will now be described. Adhesive 56 is applied to the vibration absorber 16, and particularly to the areas comprising the circumferential gap 46 and the one or more channels 54 so that the adhesive 56 resides therein. The circumferential gap 46 and channel 54 define areas having an outer diameter which may be less than the outer diameter of the threads or projections 48 and 50 of the first and second locking sections 42 and 44. In practice, the adhesive may be applied to the entire exterior surface of the vibration absorber 1 6 and/or an inner surface of the barrel 1 2 , such as an area having depressions 58, defining internal threads, adjacent the proximal end 20 of the barrel 1 2.

[Para 37] The first end 26 of the handle is inserted through the opening of the distal end 22 of the barrel 1 2 and the handle 1 4 is pulled through the barrel 1 2 until the vibration absorber 1 6 engages the inner surface of the barrel which is typically tapered adjacent to the proximal end 20 thereof. As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8, the projections 48 of the first locking section 42 are engaged with the depressions 58 formed on the inner surface of the barrel 1 2 so as to attach the vibration absorber 1 6, and thus the handle 1 4, to the barrel 1 2.

More particularly, in the illustrated embodiment, the handle 1 4 is turned so that the external threads 48 of the first locking section 42 of the vibration absorber 1 6 are threadedly connected to the internal threads 58 formed on the inner surface of the barrel 1 2. This forms a direct mechanical connection which attaches and locks the handle 1 4 to the barrel 1 2.

[Para 38] Moreover, the adhesive 56 adheres the vibration absorber 1 6 to the barrel 1 2. Due to the threaded engagement between the threads 48 of the first locking member 42 and the internal threads 58 of the barrel 1 2, the adhesive may be forced out of the areas of threaded connection, or only a very thin layer of adhesive remain therebetween. This adhesive can crack and fail over time due to the stresses applied to those areas as the bat 1 0 hits a ball or other object. However, the adhesive 56 which is within the circumferential gap 46, channel 54 and other gaps and non-threaded areas 52 of the vibration absorber 1 6 is retained within those areas, may be of a greater thickness, and forms a strong adhesion between the vibration absorber 1 6 and the inner surface of the barrel 1 2. Thus, the vibration absorber 1 6, and thus the handle 1 4, is attached to the barrel 1 2 by both the threaded connection as well as the adhering of the vibration absorber 1 6 to the inner surface of the barrel 1 2 , forming a durable and reliable attachment and connection over time.

[Para 39] As a ball or other object is hit by the barrel 1 2 of the bat 1 0, vibrations and shock forces caused by the impact will be transmitted down the length of the barrel 1 2 to the vibration absorber 1 6 which absorbs and dissipates the vibrations. Preferably, the exterior configuration of the vibration absorber 1 6, and particularly the first locking section 42, mates with and conforms to substantially all of the inner surface of the barrel 1 2 adjacent the proximal end 20 thereof. This forms a tight fit and secure attachment as well as effectively conveying the vibration forces to the vibration absorber 1 6. The adhesive 56 may be selected so that it is comprised of a material having shock absorbing characteristics, such as a polymeric material. In this manner, the adhesive 56 can also absorb and dissipate vibrations and shock forces resulting from the bat 1 0 hitting an object.

[Para 40] The sleeve 1 8 is inserted over the first end 26 of the handle 1 4 and brought into engagement with the second locking section 44 of the vibration absorber 1 6. The sleeve 1 8 is generally cylindrical and has an outward taper at an end thereof which engages the second locking section 44 of the vibration absorber 1 6. An end of the sleeve 1 8 includes depressions, typically in the form of internal threads 60, formed on an inner surface thereof which engage the projections or threads 50 formed on the second locking section 44, as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8. For example, the sleeve 1 8 may be rotated so that the internal threads 60 thereof are threadedly engaged with the external threads 50 of the second locking section 44 of vibration absorber 1 6.

[Para 41 ] The second locking section 44 of the vibration absorber 1 6 may extend outward of the barrel 1 2 , as illustrated, such that the end of the sleeve 1 8 abuts the proximal end 20 of the barrel 1 2. The sleeve 1 8 may be

comprised of a vibration dampening or dissipating material, such as silicone rubber or the like, so as to further attenuate and dampen and dissipate the vibration forces generated at the barrel 1 2 when the bat 1 0 hits a ball or other object. The sleeve 1 8 is preferably of a size and configuration such that its inner surface is in engagement with an outer surface of the handle 1 4, further serving to dissipate and dampen any vibrational forces which may be

transmitted through the handle 1 4. The sleeve 1 8 may be translucent or transparent such that the connection between the sleeve 1 8 and the second locking section 44 is viewable, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. This provides a visible threaded locking mechanism, as well as contributing to a well-controlled flex under a bat to ball impact. The interconnection of the vibration absorber 1 6 and the barrel 1 2 also contributes to the well-controlled flex under a bat to ball impact. [Para 42] A grip 62 is typically placed over a grip portion of the handle 1 4. The grip 62 is typically comprised of a material which is comfortable to the user while providing a degree of friction or gripability so as to securely hold and swing the bat 1 0 in use. A portion of the grip 62 may overly a portion of the sleeve 1 8. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 9, an end of the grip 62 may define an outer lip 64 which is disposed over an end of the sleeve 1 8. The end of the sleeve may be of a reduced thickness to fit within the gap caused by the lip 62. The grip 62 may be adhered onto the handle 1 4 and/or the end of the sleeve 1 8 or have a frictional fit formed therebetween.

[Para 43] To complete the bat, a cap or plug 24 may be attached to the open distal end 22 of the barrel 1 2 and a knob 66 may be attached to the first end 26 of the handle 1 4. The knob 66 prevents the user's hands from slipping off the end of the bat 1 0 when swinging the bat.

[Para 44] In the assembled bat 1 0, the vibration absorber 1 6 adds two important features to the bat with important functions. In particular, the second locking section 44 provides the handle 1 4 a flex component allowing energy to be stored during the whip action of a batter's swing to be released at impact to provide greater batted-ball speed. The first locking section 42 between the handle 1 4 and the barrel provides a stiffener which increases the trampoline effect in the barrel 1 0 to be more effective when striking a ball, thus also improving batted-ball speed.

[Para 45] Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.

Claims

What i s cl ai m ed i s :
[C l ai m 1 ] A baseball or softball bat, comprising:
a barrel having a distal end and a proximal end;
a handle comprising a first end having a grip portion adjacent thereto and a second end disposed within the proximal end of the barrel;
a vibration absorber affixed to the second end of the handle comprised of a shock absorbing material, the vibration absorber defining a first locking section having projections which engage with depressions formed on an inner surface of the barrel adjacent the proximal end thereof, a second locking section spaced apart from the first locking section and defining projections, and a circumferential gap disposed between the first and second locking sections;
an adhesive disposed in the circumferential gap for adhering the vibration absorber to the barrel; and
a sleeve disposed over the handle and having depressions formed on an inner surface at an end thereof that engage the projections of the second locking section.
[C l ai m 2] The bat of claim 1 , wherein the projections of the first locking section comprise threads that are threadedly attached to threads formed on the inner surface of the bat barrel.
[Claim 3] The bat of claim 2, further comprising a channel formed through the threads of the first locking section generally along a longitudinal axis of the handle, wherein the adhesive is disposed to adhere the vibration absorber to the barrel.
[Claim 4] The bat of claims 1 or 3, wherein the vibration absorber is comprised of an elastomeric material molded onto the second end of the handle.
[Claim 5] The bat of claim 4, wherein the elastomeric material and the material of the handle are fused to one another as the vibration absorber is molded onto the handle.
[Claim 6] The bat of claims 1 or 3, wherein the adhesive in the
circumferential gap is comprised of a polymeric material having shock absorbing characteristics.
[Claim 7] The bat of claim 3, wherein the adhesive in the channel is comprised of a polymeric material having shock absorbing characteristics.
[Claim 8] The bat of claim 1 , wherein the second locking section of the vibration absorber extends outward of the proximal end of the barrel.
[C l ai m 9] The bat of claim 8, wherein the sleeve is comprised of a translucent or transparent material so that the connection between the sleeve and the second locking section is viewable.
[C l ai m 1 0] The bat of claim 9, wherein the sleeve is comprised of a silicone rubber material.
[C l ai m 1 1 ] The bat of claim 1 , wherein the projections of the second locking section comprise threads that are threadedly attached to threads formed in the inner surface of the sleeve.
[C l ai m 1 2] The bat of claim 1 , wherein the handle is comprised of a composite material and the barrel is comprised of a composite material or metal.
[C l ai m 1 3] The bat of claim 1 , further comprising a grip placed over the grip portion of the handle and over at least a portion of the sleeve.
[C l ai m 1 4] A baseball or softball bat, comprising:
a barrel having a distal end and a proximal end and internal threads formed on an inner surface of the barrel adjacent the proximal end;
a handle comprising a first end having a grip portion adjacent thereto and a second end disposed within the proximal end of the barrel; a vibration absorber affixed to the second end of the handle comprised of a shock absorbing material, the vibration absorber defining a first locking section having threads connected to the internal threads of the barrel, a second locking section spaced apart from the first locking section so as to extend outward of the proximal end of the barrel, a circumferential gap disposed between the first and second locking sections, and a channel formed through the threads of the first locking section generally along a longitudinal axis of the handle;
an adhesive disposed in the circumferential gap and the channel for adhering the vibration absorber to the barrel; and
a sleeve disposed over the handle and having threads formed on an inner surface at an end thereof that engage threads of the second locking section.
[Clai m 1 5] The bat of claims 1 4, wherein the vibration absorber is
comprised of an elastomeric material molded onto the second end of the handle.
[Clai m 1 6] The bat of claim 1 5, wherein the elastomeric material and the material of the handle are fused to one another as the vibration absorber is molded onto the handle.
[C l ai m 1 7] The bat of claims 1 4, wherein the adhesive in the circumferential gap and channel is comprised of a polymeric material having shock absorbing characteristics.
[C l ai m 1 8] The bat of claim 1 4, wherein the sleeve is comprised of a translucent or transparent material so that the connection between the sleeve and the second locking section is viewable.
[C l ai m 1 9] The bat of claim 1 4, wherein the sleeve is comprised of a silicone rubber material.
[C l ai m 20] The bat of claim 1 4, wherein the handle is comprised of a composite material and the barrel is comprised of a composite material or metal.
[C l ai m 2 1 ] The bat of claim 1 , further comprising a grip placed over the grip portion of the handle and over at least a portion of the sleeve.
PCT/US2018/039960 2014-12-29 2018-06-28 Baseball/softball bat with shock dissipation characteristics and method of manufacturing same WO2019060020A1 (en)

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US15/714,670 US10016667B2 (en) 2014-12-29 2017-09-25 Baseball/softball bat with shock dissipation characteristics and method of manufacturing same

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CN201880040174.7A CN111032166A (en) 2017-09-25 2018-06-28 Baseball/softball bat with shock absorbing properties and method of making same
US16/133,217 US10252127B2 (en) 2014-12-29 2018-09-17 Baseball/softball bat with outer locking system having shock dissipation characteristics

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Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3877698A (en) * 1973-11-28 1975-04-15 Michael A Volpe Baseball bat with replaceable ball-striking portion
US6485382B1 (en) * 2001-03-09 2002-11-26 Sam Chen Bat having fiber/resin handle and metal hitting member and method of making
US7014580B2 (en) * 2003-05-08 2006-03-21 Hoon/Forsythe Technologies, Llc Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US7166046B1 (en) * 2005-10-25 2007-01-23 Shyr Sheng Enterprise Co., Ltd. Retractable baseball bat
US20070142135A1 (en) * 2005-12-16 2007-06-21 Chen-Hua Cheng Extendable bat
US7377866B2 (en) * 2006-02-15 2008-05-27 Thu Van Nguyen Multi-component bat having threaded connection and assembly process
US7601083B1 (en) * 2006-01-17 2009-10-13 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat with interchangeable sections
US7798926B1 (en) * 2009-07-14 2010-09-21 Joseph Hsu Composite baseball bat
US20150065278A1 (en) * 2013-08-28 2015-03-05 Thu Van Nguyen Multi-component bat and assembly process

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3877698A (en) * 1973-11-28 1975-04-15 Michael A Volpe Baseball bat with replaceable ball-striking portion
US6485382B1 (en) * 2001-03-09 2002-11-26 Sam Chen Bat having fiber/resin handle and metal hitting member and method of making
US7014580B2 (en) * 2003-05-08 2006-03-21 Hoon/Forsythe Technologies, Llc Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US7166046B1 (en) * 2005-10-25 2007-01-23 Shyr Sheng Enterprise Co., Ltd. Retractable baseball bat
US20070142135A1 (en) * 2005-12-16 2007-06-21 Chen-Hua Cheng Extendable bat
US7601083B1 (en) * 2006-01-17 2009-10-13 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. Bat with interchangeable sections
US7377866B2 (en) * 2006-02-15 2008-05-27 Thu Van Nguyen Multi-component bat having threaded connection and assembly process
US7798926B1 (en) * 2009-07-14 2010-09-21 Joseph Hsu Composite baseball bat
US20150065278A1 (en) * 2013-08-28 2015-03-05 Thu Van Nguyen Multi-component bat and assembly process

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