Diversity of Variations in the Virtual Prototyping of Tennis Rackets

Robustness evaluation and optimization of HEAD tennis rackets with multiple input and objective parameters using optiSLang® and ANSYS®.

Diversity of Variations in the Virtual Prototyping of Tennis Rackets

The combination of optiSLang‘s stochastic and optimization algorithms with the parameterization and preprocessing capabilities of ANSYS Workbench enable engineers to quickly and easily evaluate each proposed design from a quality standpoint, all from the early stages of the product development process. Simulation and Robust Design Optimization (RDO) have played a significant role in the dramatic improvements that HEAD has achieved in the performance and durability of its tennis rackets over the past decade. The evaluation of prognosis allows to distinguish between physical and numerical effects on the change of output variables.

Diversity of Variations in the Virtual Prototyping of Tennis Rackets
First bending mode of a strung tennis racket in elongation. Hitting the ball at the blue node line on the strings does not excite this mode. This is the sweet spot of the racket.

For example, it is possible to quantify the influence of meshing if geometry changes. If permissible limits are violated by scattering output variables, optiSLang safely identifies (statistically provable) the responsible scattering input parameters. The design optimization of the racket does not have to be limited to a few parameters (CAE + CAD) any longer. Furthermore, oversizing is minimized by the implementation of specific variations. The ability to automatically identified the most important parameters made it possible to analyze such a large number of design alternatives and to optimize performance to a level that would never have been possible in the past. The detailed and accurate design information provided by optiSLang and ANSYS has made it possible to produce extremely lightweight designs that can withstand the enormous forces generated by string tension as well as the impact of the ball on the racket during the serve.

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