Use of Aluminium in Sports Sector

Contributed by: Anonymous
July 30, 2021

Aluminium, due to its unique properties, finds extensive use in many key industries like automotive, construction, aviation, transportation, electrical and electronics. Sports is also one of the sectors where use of aluminium is abundant and its increasing day by day. The main reason behind use of aluminium in sports is its strength to weight ratio. It is used for equipment which need to be strong to withstand certain forces but also need to be lightweight to help the user in specific need. The equipment ranges from hand help equipment like baseball bats to essential items like goal posts in football or rugby. The cost of these equipment also varies a lot with inexpensive items like karabiners for climbing to expensive items like parts of formula 1 cars.

FOOTBALL / RUGBY

Goalposts, used in football or rugby, can be made from wood, uPVC or aluminium. The posts consist of two hollow vertical tubes, joined by one horizontal tube at the top. As safety requirements by international football associations are continually revised, it is necessary not only to meet but exceed those requirements. Extruded aluminium posts and fittings offer a light weight, durable, corrosion resistant solution that meets the functional and safety requirements.

BASEBALL

Professional baseball bats are made of wood, but use of aluminium is prominent in the baseball world among the amateurs. Aluminium bats are very popular due to its ease of use because of the lightweight nature of the metal. It helps batsmen to adjust their swings at the last moment and also helps them to swing better. Though aluminium being lighter, there have problem of deformation and this is the reason why wooden bats are preferred in professional leagues.

BICYCLES

Many bicycles are made of one of the following three metals – steel, aluminium and titanium. The advantage aluminium has over the other materials is its good strength to wight ratio. With this, it means that the bicycle can weight considerably less at the same time be equally strong as other metals.

FORMULA 1

In formula 1, one of the primary objectives that are being kept in mind is how we can make cars more lightweight, increase aerodynamics and ultimately how we can make cars go faster. The weight reduction part certainly attracts the use of aluminium through many stages of the designing process of the equipment. Aluminium is used in high stiffness low weight components within the motorsport industry. The components consist of an aluminium honeycomb encased by an outer material such as carbon-fibre. These composite aluminium sandwich materials are used for the energy absorbing structures and the protective cell for the drivers.

TENNIS

Today, tennis rackets are produced from monolithic metals including steel, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and metal-matrix composites. However, the high stiffness of carbon-fiber-reinforced composites makes them superior to the metals in imparting high forces to the ball. To reduce the high-frequency vibration upon impact, racket handles are constructed of multiple fiber-reinforced layers wrapped around a soft inner core, which is often an injected polyurethane foam or honeycomb construction.

Apart from these, below are also some of the uses in other sports industry -

  • Racing bike frames are often made from incredibly strong, light aluminium alloy that can be manipulated into almost any shape and is great for transferring power from the pedals to the wheel. Aluminium has high corrosion resistance and now a good aluminium road bike is a joy to ride.
  • In December 1979, Dennis Lillee from Australia was the first person to use an aluminium cricket bat in a test match against England. However, he played only one ball with the aluminium bat before it was replaced with a wooden bat. That is probably the first and only use of aluminium in the history of cricket bats.

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