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How It's made: Baseball Bat

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by

Marco Valdez

on 7 December 2013

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Transcript of How It's made: Baseball Bat

Present time
Bats used in the Major Leagues
Split logs lathed then bundled to be painted with protective preservative.
Seasoned-air drying process to strengthen wood by removing sap and gum.
Lathed and shaped with a narrowed neck and then sanded.
Bat is branded with company trademark and signature of player associated with model.
College/Recreational
Aluminum rods sliced into short pieces.
Lathe and computerized drill used to drill through center.
Tapers are put into perforated drum with soapy water
Forming tool punches through center. Aluminum stretches around tool to full length and shape of bat
Hydraulic pressure is used to bend into correct shape if needed.
Computerized lathe blade lobs off end to cut to size
Top end is threaded for end cap
Circular saw trims handle end
Bat is sanded for heavy duty painting
Placed in silk screen machine for trademark and decals glued on.
Plastic end cap press fitted into hollow barrel and Aluminum knob slides onto handle end.
Automatic welder fuses parts together.
Synthetic leather wrapped on for grip
References
Easton Sports
Official Rules of Major League Baseball
NFHS Baseball Rules
How It's Made: Aluminum Baseball Bats
http ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=didmRLz4vfU
How It's Made: Wooden Baseball Bats
http ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zP64fNNsEs
"Wood science and how it relates to baseball bats"
http://www.woodbat.org/
Case Study
Image by Tom Mooring
How It's made: Baseball Bat
Process
Making the process more automated through the use of computerized lathe machines.
Materials
Metal bats give the ball dangerous speeds; wood recommended.
Wood bats break more; resulting in more bats produced/purchased
Materials Used
Professional (MLB) Bats
Wood
Collegiate/High School Bats
Aluminum Alloy
Scandium Alloy
Proposed Changes:
Go with the Wood!
Quality Control
Non-Destructive Testing of Bats
Weighed in between steps to make sure the bat is being made properly according to customer's requests
Structural integrity is monitored through repetitive impact testing
Compressed air cannons in factories. High speed cameras record impact while accelerometers measure velocity
Straightness of grain in billet after being lathed.
Why Does a Bat Break?
Wood
Metals
Advantages
Disadvantages
Many regulations and illegal in MLB
Extensive testing/quality control
Loud "ping" noise upon impact
Expensive
Types: Maple, White Ash (Preferred)
Wood
Metals
Unchanged
Advantages:
Because the design of baseball bats will not be changed, no design change options were explored.
Player Safety
Used by professional athletes
Natural "crack" sound upon impact
Material Cost
Disadvantages:
Handmade
Custom Orders
Break often; permanent
Durability; long lasting
Color/Paint customization (Branding)
Can be Automated
Types: Aluminum, Scandium , etc.
Tony DiFilippo
Gina Gautieri
Ian Kanezo
Marco Valdez

T.G.I.M. (Thank God It's Manufacturing)
Design Constraints
Professional Regulations
Single, solid piece of wood
Max. Length = 42 in.
Max. Diameter = 2.61 in.
No colored bats
Collegiate/High School Regulations
Any safe, solid, and uniform material
Drop must be ≤ 3:
Drop = Length (in.) - Weight (oz.)
Bat-Ball Coeff. of Restitution (BBCOR)
For Metal Alloy and Composite bats
Rupture Failure- Occurs when the stress created from hitting the ball exceeds the strength of the wood. Considered a "good" failure because the bat doesn't break.
Slope-of-Grain Failure- Occurs in the handle of the bat when the bat breaks along the slope-of-grain plane. Dangerous because the bat breaks into multiple pieces.
Annual Ring Separation- Aka "Flaking"- occurs when contact is repeatedly made on the flat-grain face of the bat and the bat splits between the earlywood-latewood interface.

Gradual Wear- Continuous impact causes fatigue of the bat material. This can eventually lead to cracking but most players can feel when a bat is getting weak.
Easton Sports
Go-No GO Chart
Full transcript